Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lost and Found: Spielberg's Goonies II

“Who the hell is Josh Brolin” Gus Van Sant, 1990 Vanity Fair Interview from the set of My Own Private Idaho

Cult classics such as Apocalypse Now, Critters, and Plan 9 are in fact, cut down versions of lengthier manuscripts. While in some cases, the remaining story lines are released, it often takes the screenwriters or actors own money to produce the movie, as Kevin Bacon so famously did with Critters 2 and 3. However, most stories barely make it past pre-production, most famously Goonies II.

Before Goonies became a blockbuster in the home video market, it was a failed B-movie attempt by Steven Spielberg, who began pumping movies out after his success with E.T. Only grossing 9 million dollars in its ‘85 release, Paramount pulled out of the sequel shortly before the end of 1986, and with only budding child stars left to produce, the movie was never made. What is known about the film is that in the spring of 1986 around 17 scenes were actually filmed by Spielberg, who pulled out of production shortly after, choosing instead to work on a script about an archeologist, named Indy. The story begins with the break up between Mouth, Corey Feldman’s character and Stef, portrayed by Martha Plimpton (who agreed to film only one scene as she was already working full time in Parenthood) and the budding romance between Brand and Andy, played by Josh Brolin and Kerri Green. The Fratelli’s in the mean time have escaped Astoria Prison, and are seeking revenge on the gang, whose story begins with Mikey, Chunk and Data reading through One Eyed Willie’s Journal; it is eluded that the ship was turned over to the Copperpot Museum, while each member of the Goonies was allowed to choose one item from the ship. Mikey of course takes the ship’s log, and discovers that another treasure had been left with One-Eyed Willie’s predecessor, Captain George Flavel, who turned over command of The Inferno to Willie in order to amass a new fortune, the treasure we find with Willie in the first movie. The story thins out as Data is kidnapped by the Fratelli’s while looking for clues at the Museum, and the gang reunites to find the other half of One-Eyed Willie’s treasure and save their friend.

After the success of the home video release, Spielberg attempted unsuccessfully to reunite the gang for the sequel. A mix of bitterness toward Spielberg’s initial walk away, and conflicting schedules of the now famous actors led to the movie never being made. Corey Feldman, despite his mixed career, has been quoted several times stating, that Goonies II: The Return of One-Eyed Willie’s Gold, would never be made. The story was bought by Konomi in 1987, and quickly released as a run down version of the movie, where Mikey must rescue all his captured friends from the Fratelli’s.

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