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In the mid-1980s, a scrappy band of misfit kids captivated audiences in the beloved adventure film The Goonies. Directed by Richard Donner and produced by Steven Spielberg, the 1985 movie follows a group of friends who find a treasure map and set off on a quest to save their homes from foreclosure.
With its eccentric characters, witty dialogue, and sense of childlike wonder, The Goonies became a hugely popular cult film that still entertains viewers today.
Unlike many iconic 80s movies, though, The Goonies never got a sequel – which is surprising given its enduring popularity. Over the years, rumored follow-ups have surfaced here and there, getting fans’ hopes up that they may one day return to the world of Mikey, Data, Mouth, and the gang.
So what exactly happened with The Goonies 2? Why was a sequel never made? Let’s unravel this mystery!
A Sequel Almost Happened – and a Musical
Director Richard Donner wanted a Goonies sequel almost as much as any fan. The filmmaker frequently mentioned he was open to the idea. Beyond that, Donner was actively working on writing a Goonies 2 with Steven Spielberg.
In a 2008 interview with Variety, Donner mentioned he and Spielberg had found the right idea for the sequel. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out. “We tried really hard, and Steven (Spielberg) said, ‘Let’s do it.’ […] but it just didn’t seem to call for it” – those were Donner’s words on the matter.
In the same interview, Donner also reveals he had plans to take The Goonies to Broadway. Yes, turning the movie into a musical was in the cards at some point. In 2010, Tim Long helped Donner with the Goonies musical. However, much like the sequel, the musical was never released.
Another reason why we never saw a Goonies 2 is Spielberg himself. Famously, the acclaimed filmmaker has opposed sequels throughout most of his career. If he wasn’t on board for Goonies 2, the project simply wouldn’t happen. For fans, Spielberg was as integral to the experience as the rest of the cast.
There Was a Goonies 2 – Sort of
Imagine the kids’ surprise in the 1987 holiday season when they saw the Goonies II video game on store shelves. While making video games based on movies was a common trend in the 80s, Konami’s The Goonies II wasn’t adapting a pre-existing film at all.
The game – which came out in Japan first – offers an original take on the Goonies mythos. The plot involved Mama Fratelli kidnapping Annie, a mermaid, to get back at the Goonies. The gang meeting a mermaid was one of the many possible ideas for the sequel that never was.
While not canon in any way, The Goonies II proves that, even back in the 80s, people were hungry for more Goonies.
Richard Donner’s Passing Might Mean the End for the Goonies 2
In July 2021, Richard Donner passed away at the age of 91 due to heart failure. Along with The Goonies, fans remember Donner for his work on the legendary Superman film. His death shattered the hopes of most Goonies fans who were still waiting for a sequel.
Donner had been talking about doing Goonies 2 for over 30 years, and diehard fans were convinced only he could recapture the magic of The Goonies. Over the decades, Donner fed into rumors of a sequel that would pass the torch to a new generation.
Unfortunately, without Donner, there might never be a Goonies 2. Legacy sequels, as widespread as they’re now, aren’t always popular with fans. Making a new Goonies now decades after the original and without the original director would be a recipe for disaster.
Even actor Ke Huy Quan, who plays Data in the original film, believes there might never be a Goonies 2. “We lost the captain of our ship Dick Donner, and I really don’t know if there’s going to be a Goonies 2,” the actor told IndieWire in a 2023 interview.
Still, Quan mentions he’d “Love to revisit the character of Data” if the right script comes along. It seems, however, that script still doesn’t exist.
We May Not Need a Goonies Sequel
On the subject of legacy sequels, fans are still split on whether The Goonies needs a sequel at all. For many, including Reddit user u/Mudron “The story [doesn’t] lent itself to a sequel that easily.“
The idea of Goonies 2 seems more fueled by the need for more adventures in this iconic setting – and not just because fans want more of the same as the first film. Ghostbusters II made that exact mistake, as did many 80s comedies – which all turned out to be box office flops.
It’s safe to assume that if a sequel wasn’t made when Donner was alive, it would be nearly impossible to make one now. For what it’s worth, we’ll always have the original film, which remains as culturally significant now as it was in the 80s.