Revenge of the ’80s

In which we meet the heroes of Splash, Footloose, and E.T., and find they’ve changed

by Scott Feschuk

Photo Illustration by Bradley Reinhardt

Oliver Stone’s new movie, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, will bring Gordon Gekko back to the big screen after more than two decades. This surely means that rival studios are already rushing to make sequels to other big films of the 1980s. What has become of some of the most famous characters of that era? And how will they have adapted to very different times?

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 2: Now pushing 40, our irreverent anti-hero is off on another madcap adventure—phoning in sick as a Starbucks barista and playing World of Warcraft while waiting for Sloane to get home from her job in porn. “Life comes at you pretty fast,” he says later that night while reading his notice of mortgage default.

Footloose 2: Searching for his place in the world, the son of Kevin Bacon’s rebellious dancer leaves the big city and finds his way to a small, socially conservative Midwestern town. At first, the repressed locals aren’t sure what to make of this brash interloper—but once they sense he is merely trying to get them to “loosen up,” they beat him with a tire iron, fracture his shin bones and tell him to “limp on back to Jewtown.” (This movie will be marketed as a feel-good comedy in red states and a Michael Moore documentary in blue states.)

When Harry Met Sally 2: Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan), married now for 25 years, sit silently through an early dinner at an Applebee’s in suburban New Jersey. For one loud moment, Sally appears to be reprising her famous fake orgasm scene but, no, it’s just her acid reflux. Harry doesn’t look up from his copy of Auto Trader.

Ghost 2: With Patrick Swayze’s character out of the picture, Demi Moore is haunted by the ghost of her original face.

Hoosiers 2: Desperate to win the votes of the state’s hard-core moralists, an Indiana judge sentences Coach Dale (Gene Hackman) to a six-year prison term for saying “I love you guys” to a group of half-naked teenage boys.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 2: The beloved alien returns to earth to renew one of the most legendary friendships in movie history—only to discover that the grown-up Elliott, forever shaped by the governmental incompetence he witnessed as a child, spends his nights patrolling Arizona’s border with Mexico. Does E.T. have his papers? Will patriotism trump friendship? Most important: will a “hard R” rating for graphic violence and waterboarding jeopardize the studio’s ability to strike a merchandising deal with McDonald’s?

Splash 2: Exiled from their underwater kingdom, Allen (Tom Hanks) and Madison (Daryl Hannah) lobby the state of New York to broaden the legal definition of marriage to include the union of one man and one mythological aquatic creature. This causes social upheaval, statewide protests and Glenn Beck’s head to explode.

Gandhi 2: In a timely sequel to the Ben Kingsley classic, a clone of young Mahatma Gandhi (Shia LaBeouf)—grown by a mad British tycoon bent on owning copies of all the world’s great men—serenely elucidates his philosophy of non-violent civil disobedience . . . until they push him too far. That’s when he activates his robot army. Michael Bay directs. Tag line: “An eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind . . . so let’s get plucking!”

Tyler Perry’s Driving Miss Daisy 2: Five words: Morgan Freeman in a dress.

The Breakfast Club 2: Frustration and anger bubble to the surface as this iconic cast of Brat Packers reunites to share the pain of leaving school, growing up and not being able to find steady acting work.

Do the Right Thing 2: Mookie (Spike Lee) teams up with Sal (Danny Aiello) to open a chain of pizzerias in Obama’s post-racial America. It all goes great until Sal finds out Mookie treats women as equals.

Field of Dreams 2: Shoeless Joe Jackson returns once more from the afterlife only to discover that Ray’s farm, foreclosed upon in the early 2000s, is now a Wal-Mart. Still in his uniform, Shoeless Joe wanders through housewares, remarking on the timeless nature of baseball and the affordability of the George Foreman grill (hello, product placement). An awkward moment ensues when Joe comes across Ray (Kevin Costner), now employed as the store’s greeter. They pretend not to know each other.

Revenge of the ’80s

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