Sean Giambrone, Sean Astin
Goonies never say die — and neither do The Goldbergs.
The ABC comedy will do a Goonies-inspired episode later this season, TVGuide.com can exclusively reveal. And if you thought creating a show based on his '80s childhood was a dream come true for Adam F. Goldberg, this is even more so.
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"The Goonies is my favorite movie of all time. It's the reason I'm a writer," Goldberg tells TVGuide.com. "I've seen it a billion times. I would reenact it. I wrote Goonies scripts as a kid. I collect props and memorabilia. They had an anniversary reunion in Astoria [Oregon] and my wife wouldn't let me go, and it was heartbreaking. We had a new baby and she was like, 'You are not leaving me with a new baby and a 5-year-old to go and try to get the Goonies to sign your movie poster.' Maybe the 40th reunion I'll go. But I am so excited I get to do this."
To be written by Goldberg, the episode — titled "Goldbergs Never Say Die," natch — will follow Adam (Sean Giambrone) after he finds a treasure map in the attic and embarks on his own adventure with his siblings. The goal is to mirror the film as much as possible. "In the same way we did the Say Anything homage, I want to do that with The Goonies as well," Goldberg says. "So it'll be a love letter to that movie and what it's meant to me." Ironically, despite his uber-fandom, the showrunner admits that a Goonies episode was never in his show pitch to ABC.
"What was in the pitch was that the character of Adam — me — was obsessed with movies and the pop culture of the time. Everything in his world was cycled from movies," he says. "To do a full Goonies episode is great because the people who make the decisions, the executives, are around my age and love the movie too. I think if they were older or younger, they would say, 'Why are you doing this?' I got really lucky. They're like, 'Goonies is awesome!'"
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While some other cult films have broader appeal, Goldberg is well aware that The Goonies is the quintessential coming-of-age story for a specific generation — an '80s time capsule of sorts. He hopes to change that with the episode, starting with the show's young stars, who (gasp!) have never seen the movie. "I'm going to make them watch it as part of their homework. It's the greatest homework," Goldberg says.
"The pressure is all on me to just want to do it right. It's going to be on network TV, so the other responsibility I feel is to introduce it to kids who don't know the movie at all," he continues. "A lot of the other stuff on the show, like G.I. Joe and Transformers and Karate Kid, they are around today. They're being remade, and it's cyclical, but Goonies is just one of those things — it might not talk outside of a certain age group, but I don't care! I'm still doing this! ... I feel like anyone in my age bracket, that movie was really huge for us and we all lived that out. We had our own Goonies in our small towns where nothing ever happened, and the fact I can do this on my show is super-huge for me and super-nerdy."
As much as Goldberg wants to, the episode won't reunite the cast ("Corey Feldman was not hanging out with me when I was growing up"), but he is contemplating asking Richard Donner, who directed the film, to step behind the camera. "I haven't told him I'm doing this yet," Goldberg says. "I think once this gets out, maybe I'll hit him up and say, 'Can you please come do this?' I would literally stop everything I'm doing and just hang out with him on set if he did it."
It wouldn't be the first time the two have discussed a Goonies project together. With buzz of a follow-up every couple of years, Goldberg has pitched both a sequel and a Goonies musical to Donner, which he calls the "greatest meeting and moment of my life and career."
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"He was very touched by my musical pitch," Goldberg says. "It was 20 pages and I went through every scene. It was really just me being a total geek and having fun, but I think he knew how important the movie is to certain people, and I think he was overwhelmed that, as a working writer, I went out of my way to do this just so I can meet him and say how much the movie meant to me. As I left, he grabbed my arm really hard and said, 'Thank you for this.' It was a really cool moment."
Goldberg's pitches are now just "sitting at home," as Goonies projects remain in limbo. But maybe his ode on The Goldbergs will pave the way for another cinematic adventure?
"That would be the dream!" he says. "Even if [a sequel] never happens, at least I can redo my version of The Goonies with my TV family. I love it!"
The Goldbergs airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC.