Sunday, September 2, 2012


Last night, for something like the 20th time, I watched The Breakfast Club, my favorite among the popular batch of films from the 1980s featuring the so-called Brat Pack, a group of charismatic young actors that for a brief moment in time owned Hollywood. The Breakfast Club, which chronicled a day in detention for five high schoolers from different cliques who discover that despite their differences they have much in common, was a poignant and powerful depiction of teen angst and passion.

Some thought the 1985 film, which was written and directed by the late John Hughes, the so-called Godfather of the Brat Pack, was self-important and just too consciously hip. But I thought it was brilliant. OK, I was admittedly a bit obsessed with the movie, as well as several other Brat Pack-era coming-of-age films such as St. Elmo's Fire, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles, Oxford Blues, Class, Fresh Horses, About Last Night and Pretty in Pink

For a long time I've been waiting for a sequel - to any one of them - just to learn what became of these memorable young characters who not only reflected but helped shape youth culture in the 80s. 

Seems everyone, including the Brat Packers themselves, has an opinion about where these characters might be now. For example, Pretty in Pink star Molly Ringwald recently declared to The Daily Beast that she thinks actor Jon Cryer’s character Duckie was gay and that in 2012 he’d be married to a man and adopting a kid. In a Twitter post, Cryer respectfully disagreed with Ringwald.

There's clearly a hunger out there for a sequel to any of the movies featuring the Brat Pack, who include Ringwald, Cryer, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, Eric Stoltz, Lea Thompson, Mary Stuart Masterson, Charlie Sheen, James Spader, and Anthony Michael Hall.

In January 2011, a clip featuring a graying Broderick showed up on YouTube in which Broderick, in his best Bueller tone, said, “How can I handle work on a day like today?” Then the video flashed a date, 2/5/11, which was Super Bowl Sunday. 

The description of the YouTube video said: "We hate to be such a tease, but on a day like today, we just have to. Stick it out until the Super Bowl, or take a 'day off' on Monday and catch the big reveal." The video created a buzz and got people wondering if a Ferris Bueller sequel was coming.

Turns out it was just a teaser for a Honda commercial, albeit an entertaining one that was essentially a one-minute Bueller sequel.

But to date, neither Ferris Bueller's Day Off nor any other film associated with the Brat Pack has been made into an actual sequel – though there has been plenty of talk about it over the years (one of them is currently being remade, but set in 2012). 

Will a real sequel to any of these films ever happen? 

Here's a rundown of some of my favorite Brat Pack movies and sequel possibilities:

St. Elmo's Fire - Joel Schumacher, the film's writer-director, and co-writer Carl Kurlander actually wrote a sequel years ago. But Kurlander reportedly said, “It was definitely too soon, and, by then, it was not from the heart as much as an assignment. And it was hard then to get all the actors together because they all were in different places with their careers.” Chances of a sequel? Slim but still possible.

Pretty in Pink – In 2005, a rumor that a sequel would come out the following year starring original cast members Ringwald, Cryer, McCarthy, and Spader, made the media rounds. The film would reportedly revisit the characters twenty years later. But it was a hoax, an April Fool's Day joke from Chances of a sequel? Almost none.

The Breakfast Club – John Hughes was actually interested in doing a sequel set ten years after the events of the original movie. But over the years the idea became less attractive to Hughes, a baby boomer who chronicled the life of young 'tweeners and Gen Xers in a series of 80s films. He said many times that he had no interest in doing sequels to any of these movies. In a 1999 Hartford Courant interview he said of a Breakfast Club update, "I know everybody would love to watch it, but I'm too fond of those characters...there's no excuse that could ever put them in the same room ever again. There isn't anything in their lives after high school relevant to that day." Chances of a sequel? Slim to none.

About Last Night – This underrated depiction of young lust turned to love starring Lowe and Moore and based on a David Mamet play Sexual Perversity in Chicago has never been revisited, though I'd love to see if Danny and Debbie made it. A sequel also might have been a good way to restart Moore's career. But now it's too late: a remake of the film is in the works, this time with an all-black cast. NBC's Parenthood star Joy Bryant is in talks to play the Demi Moore character in remake. Chances of a sequel? None.

Sixteen Candles – Ringwald, the film's star, told the Tampa Bay Times back in April, "At one point, six years ago, I was considering participating in a sequel to Sixteen Candles. But John Hughes didn't want to have sequels to any of the movies I was in and I didn't feel comfortable doing it without his involvement." Chances of a sequel? Slim to none.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off  - In 2010, Broderick told Vanity Fair that he and John Hughes thought about a sequel in which Ferris would be in college or at his first job, and the same kind of things would happen again. "But neither of us found a very exciting hook to that," Broderick said. "The movie is about a singular time in your life. Ferris Bueller is about the week before you leave school, it's about the end of school - in some way, it doesn't have a sequel. It's a little moment and it's a lightning flash in your life." Chances of a sequel? Slight, but unlikely.


  1. Great read, Jamie. Saw most of those movies and fave is definitely "The Breakfast Club," which as you know also has an all-star soundtrack. Dug "Fast Times" as it was filmed near and around and in my hometown suburban Chicago area... i also loved the movies based on S.E. Hinton books... "That Was Then, This is Now..." and "The Outsiders" come to mind. Matt Dillon... yep. Those were excellent books and pretty good flicks...

  2. Thanks for reading, Karen. 'Breakfast Club' definitely had a great soundtrack. 'Fast Times' did, too, probably the best soundtrack of all the movies mentioned here. Is Fast Times a Brat pack movie? I'd say so, but it depends on who you ask. It came out in 1982. The Brat pack is a term that was first dubbed in 1985 by a New York Magazine writer. Because the term was created by the media and is somewhat broad and ill-defined, just like the term "Generation X," it can mean whatever you want it to mean. :)