This is either the best or the worst news ever, I genuinely can’t decide! Richard Donner, who directed The Goonies and gifted humanity with a prototype for the perfect kid’s movie, and me with the pop cultural high point of my childhood, was signing autographs in Hollywood yesterday and oh so casually dropped the most concrete confirmation yet that a sequel to The Goonies IS HAPPENING.
There have been rumours and hints over the last few years, from Josh Brolin saying that a script was in the works, to Sean Astin betting his kids on a sequel being made, but hearing it directly from the mouth of Richard Donner has unleashed a tentative excitement in me. When asked by a reporter for TMZ if he had plans to direct any more comic book movies, Donner replied “Uh, if you call Goonies a comic book. We’re doing a sequel.”
He went on to say that they hope to have all of the original cast back, but at this point it’s not clear if we’re talking cameos or if their character’s kids will be the main event. All things considered, it would be a timely enough development if the original Goonies had to stave off foreclosure once again by embarking on a big, swashbuckling, middle-aged adventure. Goonies never say die, but do they say “I can’t get down that grate with my dodgy knee” or “Listen, I’m taking these coins and getting in Troy’s bucket, the babysitter has to be home by midnight”?
It’s a distressing thought, but The Goonies will be 30 years old next year, though a well timed 2015 release seems unlikely at this stage. If Brolin was talking about a script in 2010 then it’s at least reassuring to know that they’re not rushing in to it, and on the plus side, a sequel is DEFINITELY preferable to a remake. But I still have The Fear, because I don’t want them to retrospectively fuck up something that I hold so dear. I know the argument that the thing you love remains the thing you love, regardless, but I also know that the thing you love can be cheapened if your affection for it gets diluted with disappointment or indifference. On the one hand I’ve been waiting 30 years to find out exactly how did Chunk’s parents react to the news that Sloth was gonna live with them now, but what if the answer to that is “Not very well. Sloth had to be institutionalised and he and Chunk inevitably drifted apart when Chunk went off to college.”? Some questions are best left unanswered, and if they didn’t feel the need to revisit this 25 years ago, then why now?
Of course, the answer to that is clear, and we all know what they’re doing. They’re going for the nostalgia market. That’s a good market, the nostalgia market. Big dollar, huge! They’re very smart to go after it. And on the other hand I have always wondered how they could just stand there and let One Eyed Willie’s treasure sail off into the sunset. I mean, somebody must have gone after that! I guess, one way or another, I’m going to find out soon enough. I just hope that everyone involved has enough respect and affection for the original not to treat it as a blatant cash grab. Tread softly, Richard Donner, for you tread on my childhood!