Goonies director Richard Donner recently gave away that he’s planning to finally make our sequel dreams come true. This nearly thirty years after The Goonies made cult movie history, and many years after the kids all grew up and went their separate ways. Excitingly, however, Donner claims he wants to bring the entire gang back together for the film. So what’s the right route to go for this?
For starters, how about we scrap the “next generation” gimmick before anyone says a word.
Here’s my worry: whenever one movie generation grows up, the next one inevitably follows in the sequels. It’s happening with Star Wars, it happened with Tron, it was meant to happen with Indiana Jones (though we’re all just as glad that “Mutt Jones” isn’t our new intrepid archaeologist). We pass the mantle on to the kids, circle of life continues, franchises go on.
But some things should remain sacred. In this case, the bond forged by adventure and danger and great escapes and mountains of pirate treasure. That’s what made Goonies a cult smash, why it’s a perfect rainy day treat when anyone’s in need of a pick-me-up. And to watch Mikey’s progeny lead a ragtag crew of young ones who just happened to be descended from dad’s old buddies… it doesn’t do anything. It feels beyond cheap. Especially if they only bring the crew back together so they can sit in Brand’s living room drinking Irish coffees while they chuckle about “those kids!” every few scenes.
Crazy thought: what if the Goonies sequel was actually about the Goonies?
You could conceive a multitude of excuses to bring them back together. Heck, you could even go back to the same old ploy—it’s more likely than ever that the Goondocks are going to be sold in this day and age. Mikey’s the only one still living in the old homestead (he’s probably running the local museum by now and telling his story to tourists), but he needs his friends back or they’ll lose that magical place forever. Reunion! Like The Big Chill, only not depressing and with more questing.
Or what if Mikey’s gotten all jaded in his old age? And Brand isn’t too happy with it, so he decides to surprise his little brother by forcing him on a road trip with the whole gang! They discover some secret bunker owned by a ye old president, one who turns out to be One-Eyed Willie’s long lost brother! Yes, I realize this needs work, but you see where I’m going with it, don’t you?
There’s really no reason not to use the original cast as the stars of the film, especially since practically all of them are still acting. The only person you’d have to pull out of a real job would be Jeff Cohen, who is an entertainment lawyer… but come on, you think he’d really say no? Really?
It would just be lovely not to have to suffer through another Generation 2.0 story, complete with “kids today and their smartphones” asides. I’d much rather watch a gang of adults revert to being children in each other’s company, to develop seven excellent characters that only had one movie to strut their stuff. (And maybe add a new member or two?) Goonies never say die, and they also never let someone else do a job that they can do. We’ll bring Cyndi Lauper back for another music video, and everything will be right with the world.