Robert Downey Jr. was set to star but had to drop out when he was charged with drug possession. Kurt Russell was attached at some point but bailed out because he felt uncomfortable with the nudity. Pierce Brosnan refused to play the male lead role because of distasteful elements. Bruce Greenwood was set to star but dropped out because he hadn't been signed on yet and feared the actors strike. Benjamin Bratt was banned by Sharon Stone for not being a good actor.
Rupert Everett publicly expressed his anger after being turned down to star opposite Sharon Stone by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios CEO Chris McGurk for being a "pervert who would never be accepted by the American public in this role."
Before agreeing to perform the full-frontal nude scene, Sharon Stone invited a friend over to watch the original Basic Instinct (1992). During the film, Stone, by her own admission, stripped down totally naked and asked her friend if she could "still pull it off."
David Cronenberg was in talks to the direct the film for some time. John McTiernan was set to direct after Cronenberg bailed out due to producer Mario Kassar banning him from using his own cinematographer, production designer, and the rest of his usual team.
The film was delayed several times in pre-production in 2000 and 2001. Some of the largest problems were finding the right director and the right male lead. Eventually the production was dropped and the movie canceled. In June 2001, Sharon Stone filed a lawsuit against the movie's producers, Andrew G. Vajna and Mario Kassar, for being responsible for the delays and therefore making her unable to take other jobs. She filed for nearly $100 million in damages. Three years later, during her promotion tour for Catwoman (2004), she stated that she had finally dropped the charges and that Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction was back on track. Both Stone and the same producers were still making the film together.
The film was greenlit several years before it actually reached production, but was halted because Sharon Stone vetoed several actors who auditioned for the Glass role, including the producer's favorite Benjamin Bratt.
Sharon Stone's lawsuit against producers Andrew G. Vajna and Mario Kassar claiming that she had been promised $14 million, with the assurance that she'd get paid even if the movie never got made. The producers had missed their February 2001 deadline. It was settled out of court in 2004.