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The Goonies 2 - Will It Ever Happen?

The only thing that the Goonies, that scrappy bunch of kids who made 1985's "The Goonies" an unassailable classic, can't uncover is the path to a sequel. Mikey, Brand, Chunk, Mouth, Data, Andy, and Stef find a treasure map, save their family homes from developers, thwart a gang of criminals, rescue the misunderstood Sloth from abuse, and find a long-lost pirate ship that once belonged to the legendary One-Eyed Willy. But that perennial classic of the VHS and early cable TV era marks the one and only time the Goonies ride their bikes to a grand adventure and groove to a Cyndi Lauper soundtrack.

But the thing about the Goonies is that they never say die. Rumors, news, and interest in "The Goonies 2" spreads and persists, even as the original film's 40th anniversary approaches. Here's the story of why Hollywood never Truffle-Shuffled its way to a "Goonies" sequel, and why fans should keep holding out hope.

Why The Goonies 2 didn't happen

Even before it became a beloved staple of TV and home video, "The Goonies" was a bonafide box office hit, earning $61 million, enough to make it the seventh-highest-grossing North American film of 1985. There was definite interest and demonstrated market demand for "The Goonies 2," which encouraged those responsible for the first movie to give another outing a shot. Director Richard Donner (who died in 2021) and producer Steven Spielberg often entertained the idea and really tried to get something happening, but they never managed to carve out a workable path. "We tried for a long time. Steven and I had many meetings with writers but nothing stuck," Donner told Empire in 2009.

Nevertheless, Jeff Cohen (who portrayed Chunk) has reported that there was one idea Spielberg liked enough to pitch to executives at Warner Bros. At a "Goonies" celebration in 2005, Cohen said that Spielberg got in touch with him during the previous year, to discuss a solid idea. But Warner Bros. didn't want to commit to a project that would need such a massive budget. The studio also wasn't willing to sell the rights to "The Goonies" to others, instantly negating the idea of shopping around the project.

What the cast has said about The Goonies 2

Most of the young stars of "The Goonies" became major actors. But even decades later, several have expressed a keen desire to return to their fondly remembered roles — with some caveats. "I'm absolutely convinced there'll be one," Sean Astin (Mikey) told Empire in 2009 of a "Goonies" follow-up. He added, "A sequel could be great. It could be s***ty." Corey Feldman (Mouth) echoed that cautious optimism to MovieWeb in 2016. "It could have a very bad backlash!" Feldman said. "At the end of the day, and I have said this before, the only way a 'Goonies' sequel happens, and is forgivable to the fanbase ... is if it is done right."

The cast's fears may be justified: According to Ke Huy Quan (Data), a few lackluster "Goonies" sequel concepts have emerged over the last few decades. "We had numerous scripts, but there was not one script that felt it could live up to what the original was," Quan said backstage at the 2023 Academy Awards (via IndieWire). "Sadly, we lost the captain of our ship Dick Donner, and I really don't know if there's going to be a 'Goonies 2.'"

What the crew has said about The Goonies 2

After years of rumors and false starts, "Goonies" director Richard Donner declared in 2014 that a sequel to the 1985 film was in the works. "We're doing a sequel," he told TMZ, adding that he hoped the original cast would return. Days later, Donner followed up with TMZ, telling the outlet that "Goonies" producer Steven Spielberg would be involved in the new film. "Steven came up with the idea of doing a sequel after 30 years," the director remarked.

In January 2015, Spielberg collaborator and producer Frank Marshall told Collider that Donner may have spoken too soon. "It's in discussion," he said of Donner's involvement. "He's talked to us about it, and we've talked to him. It's all about the story." At that point, nobody on the "Goonies" creative team had penned a screenplay yet, let alone generated an idea for one. Also in 2015, "Goonies" screenwriter Chris Columbus told ScreenCrush that any new film wouldn't be a sequel at all, but a franchise reboot. 

Five years later, Spielberg tried to tamp down any lingering enthusiasm during a "Goonies" reunion episode of the web series "Reunited Apart." "Every couple of years we come up with an idea, but then it doesn't hold water," he said. He went on to add, "I don't think we've really successfully been able to find an idea that is better than 'The Goonies' that we all made in the '80s."

An animated Goonies sequel is a possibility

Producing a big-budget, live-action movie — such as a hypothetical sequel to "The Goonies" — is a difficult and complicated task. There's also the fact that several original cast members have walked away from acting or taken lengthy hiatuses, including Jeff Cohen, Kerri Green (Andy), and, until recently, Ke Huy Quan. Additionally, Anne Ramsey (Mama Fratelli) and John Matuszak (Sloth) died in the late 1980s. But animation is a forgiving medium. Actors can record their parts more quickly, as they don't need to perform on camera, and it allows for less noticeable recasting — all at a moderate budget, no less.

In 2007, rights-holding studio Warner Bros. contacted Corey Feldman, Quan, and Cohen to gauge their interest in voicing their characters in a "Goonies" sequel in the form of an animated TV series. "They even showed us character designs. It looks very cool," Quan told Empire. He added, "All of us are very interested, if the story is right." That concept art and cast enthusiasm never translated into a "Goonies" series, however.

What could be explored in The Goonies 2?

Over the years, the filmmakers behind "The Goonies" and the actors who starred in it have hinted about various attempts to develop a sequel. Nothing has ever made it past the idea or outline phase, but some scant details have surfaced, revealing the various ways filmmakers have tried to pursue a "Goonies" follow-up. 

"The one that I heard that worked the best was all of us were now grown up, and have kids," Corey Feldman told MTV in 2007. "And those kids get into some trouble and end up stumbling across some link to our past." After learning of their parents' treasure-hunting, criminal-busting past, the new Goonies are noticed by the Fratelli brothers, who give chase. Other script treatments are less than ideal. In some, Feldman noted, his character had grown up to be everything from a Las Vegas lounge singer to a criminal defense attorney.

Some Goonies spin-off projects will have to be good enough

It's true that no live-action sequel to "The Goonies" has ever been made. Neither is one currently in production, as of 2023. But a certified "Goonies" sequel, released in the 1980s, does exist. In 1987, Konami published "The Goonies II," a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System console. An adaptation of "The Goonies" movie, it has a brand new story set after the events of the film. The player controls Mikey as he rescues the other Goonies (as well as a mermaid) from the emergent and vengeful Fratelli crime family. 

Other cross-media attempts at a follow-up foundered. In 2007, news of a Broadway-style musical adaptation of "The Goonies" was in the works, with Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg heavily involved. It never hit the stage. In 2020, Fox ordered a pilot for a "Goonies"-related TV drama. The untitled project, from "Parenthood" writer Sarah Watson, was about a teacher and three of her students who set out to remake "The Goonies" on a smaller scale. Fox didn't turn the pilot into a full series, but Disney+ placed the concept under consideration in 2021.