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Why we never got to see a sequel to The Breakfast Club

John Hughes' 1985 classic The Breakfast Club is probably an automatic go-to reference for any pop cultural discussions of the 1980s cinematic scene—and for good reason. It was the seminal culmination of all the teen tropes and drama of an entire generation of teen films, many of which also belonged to Hughes. Given that the movie only followed its quintet of characters through a single day of detention and still managed to produce an impressionable arc for each, many fans hoped for a sequel that might follow "a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse" past that fateful day and see if any parts of their Saturday self-actualization session stuck, as Anthony Michael Hall's character asked. A second film never happened, though. Here's why.

The director

Writer-director Hughes, who passed away in 2009, was never big on sequels to begin with. Although he wrote the scripts for the Home Alone sequels and gave his blessing to the litter of Beethoven follow-ups, he never directed a second installment to any of his movies. And he was diametrically opposed to idea of a The Lunch Club ... or whatever a Breakfast Club sequel might be titled. Hughes told The Hartford Courant in 1999, "I know everybody would love to watch it, but I'm too fond of those characters ... there's no excuse that could ever put them in the same room ever again. There isn't anything in their lives after high school relevant to that day."

He added that he had a plan for what would happen to each of them after their epic pow wow in the library that day and said he once thought of tapping it out as a short story for readers to consume. "I thought about it. I could do it in prose. I know what will happen to them. I know them. But to do it with real actors—with Molly [Ringwald] and Judd [Nelson] and Ally [Sheedy]— they'd never come back together again," he explained.

Although that never happened, he did give a few clues as to what became of his TBC crew. "It's like Ferris Bueller. You don't want to see him today. You'd hate him. He'd either be a bum or a politician. But it would be great to hear [The Breakfast Club] Sunday night on the phone. That Monday, Michael would have really tried to be friends with them. Molly would be obviously embarrassed.”

The deleted scene

According to biographer Susannah Gora, who wrote the 2010 book You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes and Their Impact on a Generation (via Reuters), there actually was an epilogue of sorts contained in an early draft of The Breakfast Club. The author said that Carl the janitor was supposed to have a monologue which previewed what the fivesome would be doing in 15 years (that is, the year 2000 to them).

Actor John Kapelos, who played the character, revealed, "I told Brian [Anthony Michael Hall] that he's gonna be a big stockbroker, die of a heart attack at age 35. Claire's gonna drive a Suburban and be a housewife. John Bender, if and when they let you out of prison." Could that have been closure enough for audiences, if the scene had made it into the theatrical cut? We'll never know now.

The remake

In this modern day of Hollywood recycling so many properties, it's no surprise that the idea of a The Breakfast Club remake was once percolating. According to The Guardian, it would've been titled Bumped and focus on five equally dissonant 20-plus-year-old characters—including the suit, the musician, and the flirt—who are lumped together after being stranded at the airport by their flight, but the timing of the project was (perhaps fortunately) prohibitive to progress, as it came up smack dab in the middle of the Writers Guild of America strike of 2007-08 and never got off the ground.

Molly Ringwald, who played the popular girl Claire Standish whose last name might've been better as Standoffish as she dined on her posh plate of sushi, wasn't opposed to some kind of loose adaptation of the idea of the original, though. She told Entertainment Tonight that while she didn't like the idea of an exact reboot, they should still "do something that is inspired in some way because when I look back on The Breakfast Club I think it speaks to so many different people but at the same time it's incredibly white. I think if there was ever another movie that was inspired by I think it really needs to incorporate racial diversity. Not just racial but all kinds of diversity."

The cast

Ringwald told The Daily Beast in 2015 that she had heard talk of a potential The Breakfast Club sequel on the rise herself. "Somebody told me that there is a script for a sequel to The Breakfast Club," she said. "One day, all that stuff will come out." However, Ringwald was one of the cast members who was completely opposed to the idea of following up the original.

Ringwald, who also starred in a pair of Hughes' other popular '80s pics, Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, reportedly said, "I think that's a movie that just should stand on its own." She and co-star Ally Sheedy, who played the near-mute waif Allison Reynolds in the pic, reunited to celebrate the film's 30th anniversary in 2015 and later revealed that there was another cast member from the pic who wanted exactly zero to do with its continued craze.

Ringwald revealed to the press, "The only person [from the film] I don't really see is Emilio [Estevez]. He won't really have anything to do with anything. He's just like, 'that's the past, and that's not really what I want to do." Indeed, Estevez was also absent from the reunion which took place before that in 2010, to mark the flick's 25th anniversary in New York, and the 2005 MTV Movie Awards before that.

The Talk

Even despite Estevez's documented resistance to The Breakfast Club-related event attendance, he was rumored in 2005 to have been attached to a sequel. Per Moviefone, he even reportedly said, "John's got an idea for a sequel—mature aged students at college, all doing time again for some reason or another. The twist would be that we're all the polar opposites of how we were in the original. If it happens, I'm there." That same year, Ringwald confirmed that she'd been offered the opportunity to return to the film "for years" and turned it down but that she liked whatever idea was knocking around two decades after the fact. "I couldn't see how it would work. Now it seems right," she told Moviefone.

The death

Many people were skeptical about the buzz that Estevez, Ringwald, and the rest were ready to pick up where they'd left off so many years later, especially considering Hughes' prior words about the possibility of a sequel. However, even if the news wasn't some kind of Hollywood hot air, the passing of Hughes in 2009 certainly stopped things in their tracks for good. There simply is no story without the mind of Hughes behind it, so whatever slight progress may have been made on The Breakfast Club 2 has unquestionably fizzled out since the writer-director's death.