Fans of the 1985 family adventure film The Goonies have heard talk for years about a potential sequel, with director Richard Donner and stars Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, and Corey Feldman sometimes offering hope and sometimes doubting it would ever happen.
This emotional turmoil may or may not be resolved with the recent announcement that The Goonies franchise is finally being revived with Sloth, Chunk, and the rest of the gang intact. But the premise is not what anyone expected.
Variety reports that a Goonies television series has been ordered by Fox. Instead of a sequel, remake, or reboot, however, the plot involves a substitute teacher named Stella Cooper mentoring three students who are embarking on creating a shot-for-shot remake of one student’s favorite film—The Goonies.
Producer Gail Berman came up with the idea and worked on the pilot with Sarah Watson, who created the Freeform series The Bold Type. Donner and his wife, Lauren Shuler Donner, will executive produce with Berman and Watson, among others.
The idea may have had some foundation in the true story of three teens in Biloxi, Mississippi who spent most of the 1980s filming a low-budget, shot-for-shot remake of 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. (That film’s director, Steven Spielberg, also produced The Goonies.) Their efforts were documented in the 2015 documentary Raiders! The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.
The Goonies revival also mirrors a recent trend of meta examinations of popular culture. In 2009, Larry David devoted the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm to his (fictional) efforts to mount a Seinfeld reunion in order to win back his ex-wife. In 2019, Fox premiered BH90210, which starred the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 playing versions of themselves who are filming a reboot of the series. It lasted one season.
It’s not currently known whether any original Goonies cast members will make appearances. In 2017, Astin told HuffPo that a sequel was “likely” and that he would be willing to participate, but he preferred to do a voiceover in an animated series. In 2015, Jeff Cohen, who played Chunk and later quit acting to go into entertainment law, expressed doubt he would want to return to the role.
It may not be Donner’s only look back at his career. The 89-year-old director is said to be attempting to get a fifth Lethal Weapon made with original stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Donner directed the first four installments from 1987 to 1998.