'Goonies' Director Plots 'Immersive Theater' Adaptation

Richard Donner says unorthodox version of 1985 adventure-comedy will find audience following actors through warehouse

'The Goonies' director Richard Donner is planning an unorthodox "immersive theater" experience of his beloved 1985 adventure-comedy Credit: Warner Bros/Everett

Director Richard Donner is planning an unorthodox "immersive theater" adaptation of The Goonies, his beloved 1985 adventure-comedy. The Off-Broadway experience, as he explains in an interview with Yahoo! Movies, will be staged in a warehouse with no seats, allowing the audience to follow the cast along the story's epic adventure. The film features a crew of Oregon pre-teens journeying to unearth the treasures of pirate One-Eyed Willy. "You become part of it, and you travel through with actors," Donner told the publication. "It's very popular now... It will take another year or so, but it's going to be wonderful."

The movie, written by Chris Columbus from Steven Spielberg's original story, has earned a reputation as a sleeper classic. But it was a massive hit in its time, grossing $61 million and ranking as the ninth highest-grossing film of 1985. Strangely, though, Donner is not a part of the Goonies cult. "I wouldn't have gone to see The Goonies," he says. "That wasn't my kind of movie. Still not my kind of movie. But it was a great experience making it and living with it afterwards."

Throughout the lengthy interview, the director talks about some of the film's most iconic moments (the 'Truffle Shuffle") and looks back at his frustrations and joys during the shoot, during which he led a crew of inexperienced child actors through their paces. 

"The annoying thing was the lack of discipline," he said. "And that was also what was great because it meant that they weren't professionals. What came out of them was instinct and that was beautiful. But because it was instinct they didn’t have the discipline of a professional actor, a trained actor who knew that on that line or that move they were going to scratch themselves or drink a Coke or eat a slice of pizza, so every time you would make cuts to match, they were all over the place. Never on the same marks. But the reason they weren't is because they were functioning on their instincts, and their instincts at that moment told them to go there and not there. I just had to figure my way around it, but it drove me nuts."

He also offers a vague update about the possibility of a long-rumored second film, saying it could "maybe" happen. "Again, everything takes a long time to get it right," he says. "If you do things fast and quick and easy, that's a disservice. But if there were going to be another movie it would take us a long time to get it right, because we have a lot of history that we're involved with and a lot of integrity that we have to keep to what once was, and lives a life of its own without destroying it. Maybe the powers that be are working on something."