Shankman produced the romance movie, which stars 26-year-old Cyrus and 29-year-old Hemsworth. ET's Keltie Knight spoke with the director at the 2019 Industry Dance Awards on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, where he addressed the two splitting after less than a year of marriage. Cyrus and Hemsworth struck up an off-screen romance after meeting on the set of the film and continued to date on and off for a decade.
"I'm sad, I just want them both to be happy," Shankman tells ET. "I mean, I produced the movie where they met. I feel a part of their relationship."
"I am sort of responsible for introducing them," he continues. "So, I'm bummed about it because I love them so much."
Still, Shankman notes that knowing the two of them personally, the decision wasn't taken lightly.
"They are both such good people but I don't think that they would do this if they didn't think it was the right thing to do and they're not capricious people," he shares. "They've been together for a really long time. Their love is real and very deep, so if this is what's right for them right now, I trust them and I just want them to be happy."
But Shankman was game when propositioned with making a sequel to The Last Song to get the two back together.
"I'm going to call [The Last Song author] Nicholas Sparks," he joked. "See if he'll write a sequel, see what we could get going."
"That was the first job I got [in the U.S.], and it was literally right at the end of my three-month visa," he shared. "They cast another kid, and it didn't work out with him. My agent calls me like, whispering, like, 'You've got to go to Disney right now. It's not working out with the other guy. You've got to go in and read with Miley again.' I come in and everyone starts clapping like, 'We should have gone with you first!' Good, thanks. Great."
"It's sort of weird how it all comes together, and then 10 years later I'm here, married," he added at the time.
A source tells ET that Cyrus and Hemsworth still have a lot of love for one another, but ultimately, their issues drove them apart.
"Liam loves Miley and it made him feel sad and a bit insecure when she openly talked about her attraction to other people," the source says. "In the end, he didn't know how to control the situation and she didn't want to be controlled. Another issue that made it very difficult was, because they are so different, their friends never seemed to fit together and that affected their social life together."
"She does love him so much; I'm sure she'll miss him terribly," the source adds of Cyrus. "They talked about wanting children and living their married life but she is just not ready."