Michael Lehmann Administers Cup of Liquid Drainer to Heathers Sequel


When Star Trek came out earlier this year, Winona Ryder's elevated press profile brought with it a fresh new wave of chatter about a potential sequel to Heathers. "Whatever you hear, there is a sequel in the works. I swear to God," Ryder told Empire. "But for some reason the writer Dan Waters and director Michael Lehmann don't want to talk about it."

However, when we interviewed Lehmann about the Sundance Labs, he was entirely willing to talk about it, even though his prognosis was one Ryder might not be happy to hear. Read on for Lehmann's thoughts on the matter:

Recently, there's been a huge resurgence of Heathers sequel buzz. Is that rooted in anything real?

No. 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. 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.

Is it gratifying at least that so many people appear to want a sequel?

It's funny to me. I love Heathers and I loved doing that movie. I'm very proud of it, so if it gets brought up, I'm happy. Generally, though, I don't like sequels at all. If the movie's good the first time, why bother? With something like The Matrix, for example, it feels like a trilogy, or with a comic-book movie, those movies were based on something that was created in a serial format. So a movie as specific as Heathers, which took place in a specific time and specific place and in which many of the characters got killed off, I never thought it made sense to see a sequel.

Maybe we've had some spiritual sequels instead, like Clueless and Mean Girls.

Sure, absolutely. It spawned a bunch of copycats. I'm all in favor of people -- myself included -- going into the same territory if there's something that can be done with it. But if somebody says, "Make a sequel to Heathers," I feel like, no, someone should make a good movie that's a dark, satirical comedy that has that sensibility. ♦