“Goonies never say DIE!” It would seem that is an accurate assessment as it was recently announced that the 1985 film The Goonies, starring newcomers Corey Feldman (Stand By Me, Gremlins, The Lost Boys), Josh Brolin (Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War and End Game), Sean Austin (Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things), among others would be getting a make-over. The Goonies is a loveable tale about a misfit group of friends trying to save their town from corporate America and greedy banks. Throughout their exploits and misadventures, they mistakingly find themselves in the sights of a murderous, yet dimwitted, crime family. Full of adventure, ill-timed comedy, and pirate lore, Steven Spielberg’s story resonated well with fans and has amassed a loyal following. That same loyal following now has a Goonies series to look forward to!
It seems that in their attempt to remake everything that we Gen X’ers hold dear, Disney has now shifted their focus to The Goonies, and the remake is set to happen in the form of a new story told as a series. This could go one of two ways, really well or considerably poor. There’s reason to be hopeful, however, as Amblin Entertainment, the group that produced the original film, is back on board for this new series which will air on Disney+. Affectionately called “Our Time,” the new series was reportedly passed on by Fox as it was too kid-central. Their loss, Disney’s gain.
The Plot of Goonies Reboot
There aren’t many details yet, but we have a plot foundation as the show’s producer Gail Berman spilled the beans with Variety. “This is a partnership between me, Amblin, and Lauren Shuler Donner. When I was at Paramount, there were these young boys doing this movie about “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” a shot-by-shot remake. It got some press at the time, and the studio was very upset about it. I thought it was an amazing idea, and it always stood in my head of — how can you take an idea like that and turn it into a TV series? … We needed a terrific writer and great partners, so we brought the idea to Amblin and those guys loved it. Sarah Watson is our creator. The series is a story of a town and a family in the lens of “Friday Night Lights,” and within that they tell a story of a shot-by-shot remake of “The Goonies.” We had to go to Warner Bros., to Toby Emmerich, and ask if we could have rights to “The Goonies”. They said yes, obviously, because of Mr. Spielberg and the Donners. We’re now doing this for Disney Plus.”
Berman’s statements are exciting as they tell us they plan to stay within the original story. It seems the setting, Astoria, Oregon, and the general premise of the series will be the same as the ode to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Berman wanted to tell the story through a new lens, and we can get behind that. The problem, however, becomes what level of story do they want to tell. We can’t have the original pirate-laden tale of One-Eyed Willy and his hidden treasure, right? I’d argue, why not?
The original story’s foundation of kids searching for a hidden treasure navigating their way through treacherous terrain and booby-trapped caverns is perfect; why change it? It doesn’t seem that Berman plans to. The story works so well as is, filled with cringy one-liners, ridiculous gags, and great sets (for the 1980’s anyhow), they don’t have to stray far from the original formula for the series to have a chance at success.
Goonies Never Die: Who’s Returning?
This is where we come to a concerning conundrum. The Goonies wouldn’t be the same without Sloth, Chunk, Mouth, Data, Mikey, or even the Fratelli family. We have yet to hear about who could return and what their role would be. Producers could likely attempt to recast, but I fear that would not go over well with fans. Personally, I’m not sure how I’d feel about it. Although the original Goonies weren’t top-class actors (they were just a bunch of kids), that’s part of its everlasting charm. The terrible timing of jokes, over-the-top delivery of dialogue, and excessive stereotyping of kids make that movie perfect in its own way. They can’t reproduce that with a new cast.
The other likely possibility is that The Goonies gets a modern take. Maybe the kids are all grown-up and still searching for the ship full of treasure that sailed away at the original movie’s end. This is the most likely case for me, but it would still struggle to possess the same charm that made the original film so memorable. When we look at other productions that have been brought into the new age of movie-making, they’re only successful if they maintain their original essence.
No matter what they decide to do, a new series based on The Goonies is coming. It will be interesting to see how the show is written and produced, as it is made solely for Disney+. As Fox passed on the project, it might lose some of its gravitas in the joke-making department, but we shall see. As for the original, however, you can stream it on Amazon!