The Goonies remains one of my earliest cinematic obsessions. I worshipped Richard Donner’s spunky, messy kids-on-an-adventure fantasy. I bought an Army bomber jacket that looked like Data’s and filled the pockets with "Booby traps." I begged my parents to vacation in Oregon, convinced I could stumble on a labyrinth of underground tunnels and caves. It was pretty unhealthy for a while.
So news that Richard Donner, Steven Spielberg and the entire Goonies clan might want to get the treasure-hunting band back together for The Goonies 2 nearly 30 years later conjures this strange concoction of excitement, nostalgia and dread. Sure, we want to see where The Goonies 2 might go, especially if – as Donner has said – Spielberg came up with the idea of a story. But do we want to see 42-year-old Corey Feldman swinging from the mast of a new pirate ship, while 46-year-old Josh Brolin tries to put the moves on 47-year-old Kerri Green? Or has the ship sailed?
We’re not giving up on The Goonies 2, because Goonies – as you know – never say die. So if this sequel is happening, here are three potential plotlines we can get behind:
The Goonie KidsFor some reason, this just feels like the direction that the inevitable sequel, The Goonies 2, will go. Richard Donner – or whomever directs – will come up with a script catching up with the original characters 30 years after the adventures on that fateful afternoon. Only now, they’ll be parents, raising their own little Goon Dock rejects. Slash Film notes that early drafts of a The Goonies 2 script involved the children of Mikey (Sean Astin) and Brand (Josh Brolin), and would follow them on a new journey. Hopefully, this new script would tap into the wonderment and adventure of the first movie, reminding audiences that ‘80s movies had this fantastic, unique sense of empowerment for kids that’s missing in movie theaters these days.
But will we be able to watch these new kids without comparing them to the original cast? Do we want to get the Goonies cast back together, then relegate them to the background roles of parents. Because grownup don’t belong in a Goonies adventure. This is our time, down here. Our time! But the news that Steven Spielberg came up with the storyline for The Goonies 2 means that the sequel likely will be family-friendly… and that likely means the further adventures of the Goonies families – kids and all. If they wanted to branch out in some crazy directions, though, we have better ideas.
The Meta Goonies 2The idea of a Goonies 2 reunion has been bouncing around for a while, with the cast discussing the possibility during a recent anniversary screening. I think this concept might have been floated around that time. If not, it should be explored from this point going forward.
Donner and Spielberg should get behind a meta comedy for Goonies 2 that has the original cast playing themselves as consultants on the set of a planned Goonies remake. I mean, reboots are all the rage in Hollywood now, and everything we once loved as children is being dredged up by lazy producers to squeeze dollars out of nostalgia.
Imagine Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, Corey Feldman and the crew playing themselves on the set of The Goonies reboot, mentoring youg kids who are groomed to look like the Goon Docks kids from 1985. Only, to create conflict, the real Fratelli brothers (Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano) are now out of jail and determined to ruin the production out of spite – and a sense of vengeance, in honor of their late mother (R.I.P., Anne Ramsey). This approach was adopted by horror sequels like Scream 3 and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Donner’s The Goonies wasn’t horror, but the idea is clever enough to give audiences a fresh portal into this familiar franchise. Cyndi Lauper, of course, would cameo.
The Mature, Cynical, R-Rated Goonies 2Audiences want an edge to their comedies. The days of the Amblin feature – which inspired Spielberg and Donner’s original Goonies -- are behind us. If the cast and crew want to get back together for another Goonies movies, why not take advantage of the fact that the actors have matured and give them an R-rated, ballsy screenplay that speaks to the cast now, as well as to the audience who adored The Goonies in 1985.
Because capturing the magic of the original movie is going to be impossible. And trying to come up with a new adventure for these characters will be very difficult. You can go the kid route, as suggested, if you want to lure families back into theaters. But what if The Goonies 2 went after the Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg crowd, coming up with a storyline that asks, "What ever happened to those Goon Dock kids AFTER they saved their neighborhood and made a fortune on pirate ‘rich stuff?’" Explore the impact of the first movie on the fragile psyches of the original Goonies characters. To paraphrase Marty McFly, do they grow up to become assholes? Can Mikey (Sean Astin) keep his close-knit group in check?
The humor in the original The Goonies was racy and slightly perverted. And this cast knows how to crank the humor up to 11. Unleash them. Hire Phil Lord and Chris Miller, saviors of the Jump Street brand. Give them an edgy comedy, and let them rekindle the chemistry of the existing ensemble. I’d much rather watch that than another treasure hunt with past-their-prime Goonies actors. Wouldn’t you?