Do you like The Lost Boys? Of course you do, what damn fool doesn’t? But do you realize just how close one of your favorite movies came to never existing? Yeah, really close. Damn.
Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. The Lost Boys was going to see the light of day, one way or another. It’s just that it was originally set to be a much different film than the one you know (and love!) now.
It’s all been burned into your brain for a long time (’87 was a while ago, chum): the first team-up of the two Coreys (Haim and Feldman, if you want to get formal); Kiefer Sutherland leading his gang of motorcycle-riding teenage vamps through the somewhat oddly post-apocalyptic streets of “Santa Carla,” California (the “Murder Capital of the World”); Jason Patric engaging in a crossfade-happy would-be sex scene with Jami Gertz.
Hell, you probably even remember the pony-tailed, muscular “saxophone player from The Lost Boys,” a reference made by Kenny Powers in the Season Two premiere of HBO’s Eastbound & Down.
Anyway, that movie came close to never happening. The original script called for something different entirely.
The Lost Boys was originally inspired by the success of The Goonies (and really, what isn’t?), which is probably how Richard Donner got involved in the first place. The script by Janice Fischer and James Jeremias featured “Goonie-type 5th and 6th grade vampires,” with the Frog Brothers (played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) originally described as “chubby eight-year-old Cub scouts.”
That would’ve been a very different movie indeed, one perhaps more in line with the traditional idea of “the Lost Boys” and the Peter Pan story they come from. Like The Goonies, it would’ve been two hours of little kids running around and screaming – apparently, Donner loves that stuff, because he was originally set to direct the film.
Obviously, none of this was meant to be, in the Grand Scheme of Things and all. The script went through a major rehaul by Jeffrey Boam (in which every character aged about five years) and Donner handed directing duties over to Joel Schumacher because all this nonsense was taking too damn long.
So, the next time you revisit The Lost Boys, pause and reflect that it could’ve been a much… louder movie.
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The Lost Boys 1987 (c) Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved.