Outside of the usual slasher formula, one of my favourite ‘killing teenagers’ movies from the eighties was Heathers, a black comedy which introduced audiences to the coolest pair from the ‘brat pack’ – Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. Released back in 1989, the movie was directed by first-timer Michael Lehmann and penned by Daniel Waters (who would later work on Batman Returns).
The film told of a group of spoilt students at Westerburg High School in Columbus, Ohio, known as the ‘Heathers.’ These include Heather Chandler (the late Kim Walker), Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk) and Heather Duke (Shannon Doherty), who have invited former nerd Veronica Sawyer (Ryder) into their ranks. Disillusioned with her new fake life, she finds comfort in the arms of rebel J.D. (Slater), and when she starts to develop the urge to rid the school of their negative influence, J.D.’s methods turn somewhat homicidal.
Over the years, there has been talk that a sequel may one day be in the works. On the documentary Swatch Dogs And Diet Cokeheads that was included on the Anchor Bay disc, the principal cast members and Waters all expressed interest in making a second Heathers film. And with both Slater and Ryder’s careers not what they were twenty years ago, perhaps this what they both needed to regain some credibility.
But recently Lehmann was asked during an interview if there will ever be a new movie, sadly his response was not very positive. “Winona’s been talking about this for years – she brings it up every once in a while and 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,” says the filmmaker, who followed Heathers with a string of disappointing efforts (Meet the Applegates, Hudson Hawk, 40 Days and 40 Nights).
“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.”