8 Classic 1980s Movies That Need A Where-Are-They-Now Sequel With The Original Cast

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

1980s movie

The 1980s were a classic period for the coming-of-age movie, in which we saw countless casts of youthful stars learn life lessons, underdogs defeat malicious bullies, and/or discover magical worlds (both inside themselves and real ones). However, the 1980s were literally in the last century, and we’d like to see what some of our favorite movie characters of the time are up to now. These classic movies deserve some sequels in which we see what has become of our youthful heroes.

8. The Goonies (1985)

1980s movie

It has been well established that Goonies never say die. We would like to see whether the characters from the classic 1980s adventure film still live by this credo, and what has become of the cadre of Oregonian misfits since they discovered pirate treasure and saved their neighborhood from a snooty country club in the meantime.

Has asthmatic leader Mikey (Sean Astin) ever moved out of the Goon Docks? Did his older brother Brandon (Josh Brolin) become a professional athlete in whatever sport he did? Has Data (Academy Award winner Ke Huy Quan) become a celebrated inventor? Is Chunk (Jeff Cohen) his lawyer now, like in real life? 

It is very easy to imagine the whole gang heading back to Astoria, perhaps because One-Eyed Willie’s ship has somehow returned and they need to make sure those rich guys don’t get even richer. Someone make it happen.

7. Pretty in Pink (1986)

1980s movie

John Hughes pretty much owned the 1980s, with each movie he made instantly becoming part of the canon of movies about the awkwardness of being young and having really good movie taste. In Pretty in Pink, he told the classic story of working-class girl Andie (Molly Ringwald) incorrectly learning that not all rich bullies are actually bad (epitomized by Andrew McCarthy), while her best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) sort of hung around and pined after her.

Famously, Hughes’ original ending (in which Andie and Duckie ended up together) was discarded for one in which she got together with the Richie-Rich, which makes one wonder: did it last? It would be fascinating to see where Andie, Duckie, and Blane are now, and how the romantic triangle works now that they are all grown and out of high school.

6. Say Anything… (1989)

1980s movie

Say Anything… helped launch Cameron Crowe’s career as a director, John Cusack as a leading man, and Peter Gabriel’s destiny as a go-to signifier of romantic longing. The classic 1980s romcom movie starred Cusack as Lloyd Dobler, an underachieving kickboxing enthusiast, who falls in love with Diane Court, the upper-class valedictorian of his high school. While many films of the time period had a pretty clear-cut view of good guys vs bad, Say Anything… actually had a nuanced take on what it meant to grow up with differing expectations of your future.

As such, it would be interesting to revisit Lloyd and Diane 30-plus years later and see if their youthful class differences and life goals have made a difference. Maybe there could be an “In Your Eyes” remix, just for nostalgia’s sake.

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

1980s movie

John Hughes is back again, this time with his most joyful movie, the ebullient Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in which the title teen (Matthew Broderick in his eternally defining role) spends the day playing hooky along with his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck of Succession) and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) while pursued by the obsessive Dean of Students Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones). They have fun, have some trouble, and everything ends with a cool 1980s movie theme.

So what is Ferris up to now? Is he still the coolest, most confident guy in the world, or has life worn him into the kind of sadsack that Broderick prefers to play these days? Is Cameron as neurotic as ever, or has he found some peace? Has Sloane developed a personality beyond “girlfriend?” We want to know! 

4. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

We’ll be direct: we don’t really care about any member of the sprawling ensemble cast of Fast Times at Ridgemont High except for Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), the cheerful stoner and surfer dude. Although Spicoli and his affable battle against history teacher Mr. Hand (Ray Walston) was more of a recurring comedic beat than anything else, it is by far the thing people remember most from the movie. Well, except for that one scene at the pool.

Sean Penn does not tend to play goofball roles these days, now specializing in extremely grim, Terrence Malick-lite films, so seeing him slip back into the role of an elderly Spicoli still navigating the world with a chill attitude could be very fun.

3. The NeverEnding Story (1984)

The iconic 1980s fantasy movie The NeverEnding Story involved a young boy named Bastian (Barret Oliver), whose father enjoyed a truly revolting breakfast, stealing a book and discovering a magical world under threat of being erased. Within that story (which is, of course, within the story that we’re watching), Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) goes on a mission to save the Childlike Empress (Tami Stronach) and travels through Fantasia, encountering many strange creatures along the way.

Ewan McGregor’s movie Christopher Robin gave us a pretty good template for this one: Bastian has grown up and forgotten Fantasia, thereby summoning the Nothing once again. Atreyu must now travel to the human world to remind him what truly happened and save the day once again. You’re welcome, Hollywood.

2. The Breakfast Club (1985)

1980s movie

Once upon a time in Shermer, Illinois, five very different teenagers were sentenced to a Saturday detention and learned that they actually had a lot in common and also that when you grow up, your heart dies. Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy bonded over the course of the very emotionally intense day, but even within the story of the 1980s movie, it was far from sure that the group would remain close after they left the school that day.

We’ll just pitch something here: Vice Principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) passes away and the Breakfast Club is drawn to return for his funeral. Over the course of the event, the five of them learn that they still are not that different and that, just maybe, their hearts aren’t dead yet.

1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Steven Spielberg’s colossally successful film defined the 1980s as much as any movie ever could. The touching story of a young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas), who bonds with a benevolent alien who has been separated from his people hit a chord with the public, making it one of the biggest box office blockbusters ever.

The time has come for E.T.2., in which we see Elliott, his kid sister (Drew Barrymore), and older brother (Robert MacNaughton) back in contact with the wrinkly alien. We could very well see E.T. returning to Earth and bringing them all into space for a new adventure, this on his own terms. Hopefully, we won’t see any evil carnivorous aliens this time.