Since the release of Richard Donner’s "The Goonies" in 1985, fans have clamored for a sequel. Though there was always buzz here and there about the gang getting back together for another adventure, nothing ever came of it -- unless you count 1987’s NES game, "The Goonies II."
However, in the past decade or so – thanks to the 24/7 news machine called the Internet – we’ve gotten more tidbits about the maybe-sequel-to-be than ever before. With the long-gestating follow-up seemingly gaining steam one more, we thought it was time to catalog the stops and starts of this flick once and for all.
November 1987: "The Goonies II" on NES
Despite its misleading title, "The Goonies II" for the Nintendo Entertainment System was not based on a "Goonies" movie sequel you may have missed. Instead, it’s simply a direct sequel to a game based on the movie that was never officially released in the U.S. other than as an arcade port. There’s not even really a story to speak of, other than you play as Mikey saving the rest of the "Goonies" who have been captured by the Fratellis. You also rescue a mermaid, if that interests you.
June 6, 2005: Chunk Talks to Spielberg
After years of chitter chatter, this is where the rumors about "Goonies II" really started picking up with consistency. After an event in Astoria, Oregon celebrating "The Goonies," Aint It Cool News reported that during a Q&A, Jeff Cohen (Chunk) said that Steven Spielberg reached out to him the year before and told him about the proposed sequel story, but that Warner Brothers wasn’t willing to commit.
February 1, 2006: Donner Says Their Sequel Ideas “Weren’t Right”
In an interview with IGN, Donner revealed that despite their best efforts, the ideas he and Spielberg pitched to WB “weren’t right,” though he clarifies that if they ever came up with something they thought worked, they’d pitch it again.
March 30, 2007: "Goonies… the Musical!"
This time, Donner more or less repeated what he told IGN a year earlier, but told Entertainment Weekly a little something extra: that they were actively pursuing a stage adaptation of the original film as a musical. Given Cyndi Lauper’s connection to the franchise and her subsequent success with Kinky Boots on Broadway, this actually could’ve been pretty amazing.
August 7, 2007: Corey Feldman Suggests Animated Sequel
Though he had no comment on Donner’s musical claims from earlier in the year, Corey Feldman (Mouth) recounted all of the stops and starts of the project through the years, including a version that featured the original Goonies grown up with their kids now on an adventure. Most interestingly, he told us that a result of the development hell the sequel was stuck in is that an animated sequel was in development. He didn’t elaborate much.
October 8, 2007: Sean Astin Says Sequel is a Sure Thing
Citing stellar DVD sales for The Goonies, Sean Astin (Mikey) told us in 2007 that Spielberg and Donner are definitely moving forward and are committed to the idea that Feldman alluded to earlier that year, about the “next generation” of Goonies. He, however, made no mention of an animated version.
October 23, 2007: Data Says WB Approached Him
For the first time, one of The Goonies revealed that Warner Brothers actually approached them. Jonathan Ke Quan (Data) told Empire that the studio reached out about lending his voice talents to the animated sequel Feldman had been talking about. Empire reported that in addition to Feldman, Jeff Cohen was also contacted. Ke Quan also mentions that he was shown character designs, which were based on the “next generation” of Goonies concept that keeps cropping up.
November 25, 2008: Feldman Says, "There is no 'Goonies 2'!"
Stemming from frustration about interviewers asking about "Goonies" while talking with Feldman about his band’s new album, the actor posted a blog in which he clearly states that “There is no 'Goonies 2',” though he would’ve loved to have done it under the direction of Richard Donner. To be fair, though, he adds as an after thought: “Now that I’ve said that, they’ll do it.”
April 29, 2009: Yes, No, Maybe So
Empire reunited "The Goonies" crew, Spielberg and Donner included, for a photoshoot to celebrate the magazine’s 20th year. Unfortunately, the gang had nothing of substance to say about the sequel, instead hemming and hawing between “yes” and “no” and “maybe.” However, the video taken from the day of the reunion is a pretty fun watch for "Goonies" fanatics.
May 31, 2011: Goonies Musical Still Going Strong
Doing press for the "Superman" Blu-ray set, Donner told Collider that the musical version of "The Goonies" is still in the works, but that development of the project is “a bitch.” He makes no mention of a sequel, but insists that making a musical for Broadway is a long process and it’d be a while before seeing anything.
April 5, 2014: Donner Says “Yes,” Again
This is where "Goonies" sequel rumors gained a new life. TMZ nabbed an exclusive from director Richard Donner saying that the follow-up was back on track and that he hoped all of the original cast would return. It’s little more than a reporter cornering Donner as he signs autographs, but it’s the firmest confirmation Donner has given to date.
April 21, 2014: Goonies 2 Story by Steven Spielberg
Weeks after their scoop, TMZ had a follow-up with Donner who dropped another bombshell: that Executive Producer Steven Spielberg was the one that came up with the idea for the sequel that was finally gaining steam.
May 7, 2014: Astin Says Chris Columbus is In, Too
During a HuffPost Live segment, actor Sean Astin confirmed what TMZ had reported a month earlier, and also mentioned that original screenwriter Chris Columbus was to be involved as well. However, he also said that they are seeking a writer for the project based on the Spielberg outline Donner had mentioned, so it’s probably Columbus would be a producer rather than a scribe.
January 12, 2015: Frank Marshall Says "Goonies 2" Isn’t a Direct Sequel
In a discussion with Collider, Marshall says that "Goonies 2" doesn’t have a script yet, and that he doesn’t think it’ll be a sequel. The exact quote is: “You want to do a real legitimate movie. It’s not going to be a sequel. In the Amblin spirit of "Goonies," that’s what has to be.” We’re not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds like he’s talking about something in the vein of "Jurassic World" – a fresh look at an existing franchise without being a reboot or “direct” sequel.
April 22, 2015: Columbus Says Things Have Stalled
Only a year after Donner’s confirmation, original "Goonies" screenwriter Chris Columbus, after discussing the upcoming Gremlins reboot/reimagining/sequel with MTV, said that they still haven’t cracked "Goonies 2." He goes as far as to say, “I don’t know that we’ll ever solve it.” Which, as you might guess, isn’t the most encouraging.
May 7, 2015: Astin on Larry King
Recently on PolitcKING, Larry King asked Sean Astin about making another "Goonies." While Astin was insistent that Spielberg and company are trying their hardest to make it happen, he’s not as sure about it happening as he was back in 2007. He cites the organic magic of the original movie and the difficulty in recapturing that.
Where the sequel talk goes from here is anybody’s guess.