The Heathers sequel that never happened almost co-starred Meryl Streep
While HEATHERS may not be as recognized as other 80s movies, the film definitely has a cult following that has been rabid for a sequel for the past 25 years. So, with BEETLEJUICE getting a follow-up, why not revisit another Winona Ryder classic?
Entertainment Weekly has reported on the possibility of a HEATHERS sequel for years, including the prospect of Christian Slater's character returning as a ghost. But, their updated history of the 1989 film includes a new fact that we had not heard before. According to Ryder and screenwriter Daniel Waters, HEATHERS 2 almost included an Oscar-winning co-star. See the excerpt below.
DANIEL WATERS I did come up with this crazy, cockamamy Heathers 2 where Veronica becomes a page for a senator named Heather, played by Meryl Streep. The ending is her assassinating the president and getting away with it — and it’s a good thing.
WINONA RYDER First of all, I don’t know what their problem is with not wanting to make a sequel. I mean, I get that it’s a special movie, and the pressure of a sequel, and it’s a moment in time that you can’t recapture. But my theory was: There are Heathers after high school. And there are Kurts and Rams. Dan came up with: It’s Veronica, years later, she’s in Washington. She’s somehow erased her past. And she’s being blackmailed, there’s like men in suits who know about the Westerberg murders. And I’m like, “What if Christian comes in as the Obi-Wan guy and explains to me…” And I remember the First Lady was Meryl Streep. I’m like, “Guys, this is genius!” Every time I [mentioned it to] Michael and Dan and Denise, they would snicker! Like, “Aww, that’s so cute.” I’m like, “Guys, this is genius! This is such a good idea!”
WATERS I told Winona the idea without any more elaboration than I’m giving you, and a year later I hear from her: “So I talked to Meryl. She’s in!” I’m like, “What?!”
RYDER I was working with Meryl on The House of the Spirits. I was pitching her the whole thing in the makeup chair one day. She was very sweet about it, and she was like, “Oh, that sounds really great!” But what else are you going to tell a panting 19-year-old? She could’ve been just waiting for me to shut up. [Laughs] You have to understand: We were in rural Portugal living in huts, playing Chilean refugees. There were only dirt roads. I’m like, this looks like those Agnes B ads —you know where they’re in a field and there’s a farmer with like a pitchfork?
Wow, Meryl Streep in HEATHERS 2? That would have been something to see. Streep hit a patch of unique roles in the early 1990s that included DEATH BECOMES HER and THE RIVER WILD. While this HEATHERS 2 role sounds a lot like what she did in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, I feel like we almost did see her give this performance. But, where that movie was PG-13, a dark and R-rated Streep as a vicious politician would have been something to see.