The time between sequels is ever changing. Disney holds the record for the longest and most with its Peter Pan and Cinderella sequels coming in at about 50 years, and the record-holder “Bambi” with a 63 year gap between its original and failed sequel. You have the more recent 90’s films itching for a comeback like the upcoming “Independence Day” and “Dumb and Dumber” sequels looking for success almost 20 years later.
Richard Donner announcing that he has plans to go forward with a second Goonies film gives me little hope that anything good will come of it. First off most movies with any kind of sizable gap featuring some of the original cast pretty much never outshines or even lives up to the original. The closest I think anyone has ever gotten was the recent “Tron: Legacy” which I thought was okay when I saw it on the big screen, has grown on me in recent viewings on cable. That series had a 28 year gap, and did well enough that a third film is in the works.
Second if Donner plans on having the original writer’s on the film that being Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus, I honestly don’t feel they have the chops to tackle this one seeing as how Spielberg has moved way past these kinds of films and Columbus hasn’t written anything of note since “The Goonies”.
As for Donner, he did “16 Blocks” eight years ago and has been in kind of a creative slump since the mid-90’s. While I still love the underrated “Assassins” in 1995, he hasn’t contributed much to film. Well unless you count the interesting “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut”.
Lastly this film property is not really ripe for a sequel. Star Wars has something to prove after the prequels and looks to be heading in the right direction for now, but the Goonies? The only way I see it working on any level is if they totally make the original kids background characters, never mention their One-Eyed Willie adventure, and focus on the telling of a modern kid adventure that is slightly less juvenile but still has that right amount of nostalgia for flavor.
I know it’s not guaranteed to suck, but it does have a lot riding against it, and based on history it could just sit on that Wikipedia list of “longest gaps between film sequels” with the other failures like “A Christmas Story 2” and “The Odd Couple II”. Or it could surprise us all and make history with a second helping of the “truffle shuffle”.
–Robert L. Castillo