Among the legendary films directed by the late, great Richard Donner – who passed away in July at the age of 91 – The Goonies continues to endure as a major family favourite. Produced by Steven Spielberg, written by Chris Columbus, with an iconic young cast, it’s pure ‘80s Amblin – a pirate treasure adventure film with spiky edges, loveable characters, and a Cyndi Lauper-assisted soundtrack. For years there was talk of a potential sequel that never materialised, but it was something that played on the director’s mind throughout his later life, as Columbus tells Empire.
In the new issue, we pay tribute to Donner with a look back at his most iconic movies – and spoke to Columbus about his time working with the man himself. He recalled a phone call he received from Donner a few years ago, where the director hoped to make progress on the long-mooted Goonies sequel. “He called me and said, ‘You know what we should do? We’re gonna get on my boat, smoke pot for three days and come up with an idea for ‘Goonies 2’,” he says, laughing fondly at the memory. “I said to Dick, ‘Well, first of all, I don’t smoke pot. But maybe if I come down, we’ll have a couple of drinks together and sit on the boat.’ It never happened. And I regret that. Because I would drop everything to do that right now.”
While the sequel never came together, Columbus reflected on why Donner was the perfect director to unite his young cast on the original film. “Steven was absolutely right about one thing, which is that Dick was a kid at heart,” he says. “And that was infectious. He had the energy and the humour of a teenager, and those kids really fed off that.”
Read Empire’s full Richard Donner tribute feature – also including interviews with Lethal Weapon’s Shane Black, Scrooged star Karen Allen, The Omen screenwriter David Seltzer, Ladyhawke writer Edward Khmara, and Superman’s Sarah Douglas – in the Shang-Chi issue, on sale Thursday 5 August.