Late last week, Variety broke the news that a sequel to the 1989 cult classic Troop Beverly Hills was in the works with Israeli director Oran Zegman. For those not familiar with the original, it’s about a wealthy Beverly Hills mother (Shelley Long) who leads her daughter’s Wilderness Girl troop after her husband leaves her for another woman. The cast is packed with future stars like Jenny Lewis, Tori Spelling, Carla Gugino, and Kellie Martin.
The film begins with an animated sequence set to “Make It Big” by the Beach Boys, which you can see right here. This was just one year after the band’s massive comeback hit “Kokomo” from the Cocktail soundtrack and they were in the midst of a significant resurgence. “Make It Big” was written by Mike Love, producer Terry Melcher, and guitarist Bill House. And while it wasn’t exactly a “Kokomo”-sized hit, it’s practically “God Only Knows” when compared with 1990’s dreadful “Problem Child.”
Information on the sequel to Troop Beverly Hills is very scarce at the moment. We do know that Sony’s TriStar Pictures is releasing it with Greatest Showman producer Laurence Mark and Zegman as director. It’s hard to imagine how they could pull off a proper sequel without bringing back Shelley Long as Phyllis Nefler, but no cast members have been announced yet.
Jenny Lewis played Long’s daughter in the original when she was 13. She’s essentially been retired as an actress ever since Rilo Kiley formed in 1998, but she did don her Wilderness Girl outfit again in the nostalgic video for her 2015 song “She’s Not Me.” In the past few days, she’s retweeted several articles about the sequel, including an AV Club piece headlined “It is our sincere hope that Jenny Lewis will be in the Troop Beverly Hills sequel.”
They really do need Jenny Lewis to make a proper sequel. What plot would make sense other than her own daughter becoming a Wilderness Girl? Grandma Phyllis could help out along with her old friends Chica Barnfell (Carla Gugino), Emily Coleman (Kellie Martin), Tasha Scott (Jasmine Shakar) and Tiffany Honigman (Emily Schulman). If the evil Red Feathers troop are up to their old tricks in the movie, director Betty Thomas should return to acting to play Velda Plendor once again. (Troop Beverly Hills die-hards will be enraged if they dare re-cast any of these roles.)
If they need another song, Mike Love’s current incarnation of the Beach Boys would surely be down to help out. “Make It Even Bigger,” perhaps? They’ll figure something out.