In April this year, fans of the classic children’s film The Goonies got bad news when Fox cancelled a planned TV series based on the original film after reviewing a pilot. Fox kept the filming of the pilot so tightly under wraps that we don’t really know who was in it or how advanced it was, but we’re never going to find out. The executives at Fox didn’t like what they saw, and so they decided they weren’t going to proceed with it.
Technically speaking, the project wouldn’t have been a sequel. Rather than following up the events of the first film – which is terrifyingly now 36 years old – it would have followed a cast of teenagers as they attempted to re-create the first film shot by shot for unknown reasons. It always sounded like a strange idea, so it was no great surprise when the executives cancelled it. Still, even with that cancellation, fans who’ve long wished for a second film hoped that it might clear the bath for a ‘proper’ sequel showing the characters as adults. We’re afraid it’s finally time to let that dream go. Corey Feldman – the biggest star of the 1985 film – says its chance has come and gone forever.
Most people probably never expected to see a sequel to the movie after such a long gap, but a few events in the past five years started to raise expectations among the first film’s hardcore following. We’ve seen more than one cast reunion aimed at raising funds for charities. Writer Chris Columbus, producer Steven Spielberg and director Richard Donner even appeared together at one of the reunions. That sparked conversations between the former colleagues, with Spielberg appearing hopeful as recently as April 2020 that it might be possible to make another film. We don’t have all the intimate details on what’s happened between then and now, but Feldman is one hundred per cent positive that the project is dead and will never be revived.
From the tone of Feldman’s interview – which he gave to the Dread Central website – he’s as disappointed with the collapse of the sequel as everybody else is. He says that all of the necessary actors want to do it, but 91-year-old Donner has made the surprising decision to make a fifth Lethal Weapon film instead. Feldman doesn’t believe that Donner will work again after finishing Lethal Weapon 5. Donner has described the fifth film – which will feature original stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover – as “his swansong.” Feldman doesn’t believe that another Goonies movie can happen without Donner in the director’s chair, so it follows that the film can’t be made. Quite why he doesn’t think Spielberg could direct the film instead is unclear, but perhaps Spielberg has made it clear that he isn’t interested in doing so.
Feldman won’t have taken the decision to declare Goonies 2 as a no-hoper lightly. He feels a strong personal attachment to the first film and has even been involved in writing several outlines for scripts in the past – often in conjunction with fellow former cast members. In his own words, he says that he and the rest of the gang speak regularly and come up with a new idea “every year or two,” but nobody ever seems to be interested in taking them further despite giving him an initially warm reception.
Donner’s apparent lack of interest in making another film is the biggest surprise of all. He’s always expressed a desire to follow up his original work and seemed to be as enthusiastic as Spielberg was last year. Perhaps time is the deciding factor. Lethal Weapon has always meant as much to him – if not more – than the Goonies, and even as a healthy 91-year-old, he knows his time is limited. Making a Hollywood movie is a huge commitment in terms of time and effort. It may be the case that he simply only has the energy to pursue one or the other, and he’s decided it’s going to be Lethal Weapon. That’s great news for fans of one of the most treasured action movie franchises of all time, but less great to hear for fans of the cult classic.
No matter whether there’s ever a sequel or not, the Goonies will live on. The first film is re-released to cinemas somewhere in the world every year and continues to perform well on streaming services. There’s been a new board game based on the Goonies released within the past five years. We’ve also seen not one online slots game based on the Goonies, but two. A wave of nostalgia-led online slots has taken over some of the world’s most popular online slots websites in recent years, and the Goonies is close to the top of the tree when it comes to popularity. In fact, yet another Goonies-themed online slots game with the title “The Goonies” return is scheduled to be released to Rose Slots CA at the end of July this year. It seems obvious that fans are still happy to spend money on anything connected to the film even three and a half decades after its release, which only makes the decision not to proceed with a sequel stranger. We, along with many fans, feel like it’s a missed opportunity. Still, it seems that some things are just doomed never to be.
The famous catchphrase of the Goonies is that “Goonies never say die.” Sadly, it seems there are occasions where they must. With Feldman despondent and Donner out of the running, it would take a near-miracle for anything to come along and breathe new life into the franchise now. The best we can hope for is a reboot in a few years time, similar to what we’ve seen with other classic entertainment properties of the past. If that happens, we hope that the producers can at least find space for cameo appearances from the original cast. Something would be better than nothing. For now, though, there’s literally nothing on the horizon in terms of sequels, tie-in products, or television series. Is just us, or did anyone else feel a part of their childhood die?