Lovell became the commander of Apollo 13 by chance. He, Mattingly, and Haise were the scheduled to fly Apollo 14 when Apollo 13 commander Alan Shepard was forced out of the mission by a medical problem. Always unwilling to break up a crew if it could be avoided, NASA switched flight assignments between the crews of 13 and 14.
Lovell had no misgiving about the change. He orbited around the moon on Apollo 8 and was thrilled at the prospect of returning to walk on its surface. Whether it was on Apollo 13 or Apollo 14 was irrelevant. His wife Marilyn, on the other hand, wasn't thrilled with flight assignment. Though she wasn't ordinarily superstitious, she had a bad feeling about this flight.
Marilyn couldn't help looking at the numbers. Her husband had been in space three times including the trip to the moon. Another mission seemed to be tempting fate. As if bringing her greatest fears to life, the Oscar-winning movie Marooned was released late in 1969, right around the time of the Apollo 13 reassignment. It tells the story of an Apollo crew stranded in orbit after the spacecraft's engine fails to fire for reentry. The mission's commander, Jim Pruett, sacrifices himself to leave oxygen for his crewmates. Lovell thought it would be a fun movie to see together; Marilyn had nightmares.