When I daydream, I picture a world of awesome things, like calorie-free but delicious cupcakes, three-day weekends weekly, and an unending supply of teen movies like the ones I swooned over as a not-entirely-dateable high schooler. (Hey, their loss.) Stuff like John Hughes used to make.
The work of John Hughes inspires me in my young adult fiction writing, not least of all because it means I can rewatch his movies again and again. When I was writing my book, The End of the World As We Know It, about four mismatched teens who survive an alien attack and decide they need to join forces to save their town, I dug deep, rewatching all of Hughes’ Molly Ringwald oeuvre (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink) many times. Sacrifices, sacrifices.
I love those movies so much that, after the initial heartbreak of Hughes’ death a few years ago, I started hoping that maybe one of his family members would unearth a drawer full of notebooks containing Hughes’ never-made teen movie scripts.
But wondering what might be included among those screenplays, I determined that maybe Hughes’ best movies don’t need sequels. In fact, it’s probably better that follow-ups to his best stuff don’t exist. Here are five sequel pitches to some of my faves that will (fortunately) never make the silver screen.
Sequel to: The Breakfast Club
Claire Standish, John Bender and Andy Clark haven’t seen each other in years, until their three kids are suspended for all turning in the same purchased-off-the-internet essay on Moby Dick. Summoned to the principal’s office, single parents Claire (princess, now real estate agent) and Bender (criminal, now bad-boy chef) are at each other’s throats, chemistry crackling, while widowed Andy (athlete, now accountant) thinks back to high school and wonders where it all went wrong. The principal, Brian Johnson (brain), is excited to have the old gang back together, especially when a frazzled Alison Reynolds (basketcase), the English teacher who busted the kids, shows up and sees a forlorn Andy in one of the guest chairs. When Brian’s secretary accidentally locks them in the office overnight, the five are forced to confront everything that sucks about adulthood, while old romances blossom anew.
Pivotal throwback scene: Bender shares some of his medical marijuana and the Breakfast Clubbers dance awkwardly to “Call Me Maybe.”
Sequel to: Weird Science
Wyatt and Gary are post-30 and girl-less. After creating one perfect woman, no other lady is quite Kelly LeBrock enough for them. They’re watching Cinemax in Gary’s parents’ basement AGAIN when they get a call from a leading conservative think tank. Their task: Create a woman to be the party’s presidential nominee. When their experimental hottie wins the election and takes office, Gary will do anything to become her First Gentleman. Wyatt, meanwhile, realizes she’s going to end the world and has to figure out a way to take the Babe in Chief down.
Pivotal throwback scene: Wyatt and Gary forget to take the bras off their heads for a state dinner.
Pretty in Pink Eye
Sequel to: Pretty in Pink
Andie thought being from the wrong side of the tracks was bad, until she turned 40 and had a surprise set of triplets. Blane is off doing whatever guys named Blane do for a living, and his slimy friend Steff (played by a puffy James Spader) is living in the guest room and using Andie’s pumped breast milk to make White Russians. Andie calls on Duckie for help, but as he tells her, “My devotion only goes so far, babe.”
Pivotal throwback scene: Rona (a still-spunky Annie Potts) stops by to outfit the triplets in some of her signature ‘80s gear, only to have one of the babies take out a vintage Betsey Johnson with some spit-up.
Ferris Bueller’s Play-Offs
Sequel to: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
After getting kicked out of four colleges, Ferris Bueller never quite made it to the real world. Camping out on Cameron’s couch while his friend travels the world, Ferris decides it’s time for a change. He’s going to get his beloved Chicago Cubs to the World Series. With his trademark moxie, Ferris secures himself a coaching spot and leads the team through an unforgettable season. The Cubs take home a trophy – but turns out the whole season took place during one of Ferris’ more drooly naps. It’s back to Loveable Loserdom for him and his favorite team.
Pivotal throwback scene: Ferris catches a Cubs home run ball in the final inning of the Series. And then he wakes up.
Sequel to: Sixteen Candles
It’s Grandma Dorothy Baker’s 86th birthday, and the only one who remembers is her former foreign exchange student, Long Duk Dong. The rest of her family has forgotten — even that brat Samantha who thought making it to 16 was such a big deal. Grandma kind of figured that this would happen, because they’re ungrateful and stuck her in a nursing home. She decides to throw the ultimate geriatrics-only birthday party and it becomes the hottest ticket in town. Her family wants in but Grandma bars entry until they complete a series of love-proving challenges — and set up a permanent guest room for her at Samantha and Jake’s luxury Chicago lakefront penthouse.
Pivotal Throwback Scene: Long Duk Dong shares a dance with a seductive senior — played by a lingerie-clad Betty White.