Every time Winona Ryder does something that interests the movie press (something that doesn’t involve getting arrested) she talks about a Heathers sequel. Listening to Ryder, you’d think there was a packaged project all ready to go, waiting in a studio exective’s office with a white sheet thrown over it, just waiting to be revealed like a classy sculpture. Not so, said original director Michael Lehmann when interviewed by Movieline.
In fact, Lehmann seems totally confused about Ryder’s assertion that a sequel is really, truly, honestly happening. What about her claim that “for some reason the writer Dan Waters and director Michael Lehmann don’t want to talk about it”?
Winona’s been talking about this for years — she brings it up every once in a while and [screenwriter] Dan Waters and I will joke about it, but as far as I know there’s no script and no plans to do the sequel. A couple weeks ago everyone started talking about it and I guess Winona said the movie was gonna get made, and I thought, “I don’t know, maybe they did this without me?” But I got in touch with Dan Waters and he said he didn’t know anything about it. So I don’t think there’s any truth to it.
Heathers was a theatrical failure that blossomed into a true cable and VHS cult classic. It introduced many audiences to Christian Slater’s Jack Nicholson impersonation, coined a page full of teen idioms and was an acerbic, punchy cousin to The Breakfast Club. It’s in the upper echelon of ’80s teen films, and should be left well enough alone. As Lehmann suggests, films that followed (like Clueless and Mean Girls) are sequel enough.
But Ryder evidently holds it as her lifeline back to some sort of spotlight. Lehmann, meanwhile, has been busy in television, directing episodes of Big Love, True Blood, Californication and one of the new HBO series Bored to Death.