ByShane Brennan, writer at
I write, make films, and occasionally teach.
Shane Brennan

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? For many fans, The Breakfast Club is an iconic movie that perfectly depicted life in an American high school during the '80s. The theme of being an outsider is still relevant to today's audience, and the film is widely considered to be a classic. On the other hand, The Breakfast Club is nearly 30 years old and there is potential for it to be modernized to appeal to a younger audience. So is it time for The Breakfast Club to get a remake?

Molly Ringwald, the film's leading actress, gave her answer in an interview in 2015. When asked if they should remake The Breakfast Club she replied, "They definitely shouldn't." However, she added that one problem with The Breakfast Club is that it's "incredibly white," and comments that if someone was to remake the film, it should be more diverse. On this point, we couldn't agree more.

'The Breakfast Club' [Credit: Universal Pictures]
'The Breakfast Club' [Credit: Universal Pictures]

The Need For A Diverse Breakfast Club

Ringwald is right: The Breakfast Club is "incredibly white." Not only are the main five cast members white, but so are the supporting characters. It's no surprise that John Hughes, the film's writer and director, is also a white male. So despite clever dialogue and relatable characters, it is and will always be a limited perspective on teenage life.

Using the classic cult's winning format, but giving it a fresh modern take could result in a more accurate representation of teenagers' issues. There is huge potential for this kind of teen drama to explore issues of ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality and many other reasons why people might feel like an outsider in school.

'The Breakfast Club' [Credit: Universal Pictures]
'The Breakfast Club' [Credit: Universal Pictures]

If anything a reboot should be unpredictable and shake things up a bit. In the original, the good-girl Claire (Molly Ringwald) and lovable rogue Bender (Judd Nelson) surprised us with a blossoming opposites-attract romance. What if this storyline was changed to explore LGBT issues? Perhaps instead of Claire falling for Bender, she falls for Allison instead? This is just one idea — there's any number of ways that they could change The Breakfast Club to reflect diverse issues. If they do, it shouldn't be a half-hearted approach. It needs to be authentic, real, and move us in a way the original film didn't.

Potential Flaws

There is a predicament of the film being set in 2017. The Breakfast Club is about people who wouldn't have otherwise met connecting with each other, but modern teenagers communicate in different ways than their '80s counterparts. The reality of a 2017 Breakfast Club would be that the teens might already be connected on social media. Even if they operate in very different cliques, everyone in today's society has an online presence that gives themselves a platform to be connected with people they might not otherwise speak to.

Similarly, an important part of the film is discovery — over the course of the film, the group of outsiders discover secrets about each other, and they discover that they actually have a lot in common. This might be lost in a 2017 Breakfast Club. Most people have significant personal information shared on social media, meaning there's not much left that people can't find out about us.

'Master of None' [Credit: Netflix]
'Master of None' [Credit: Netflix]

Turned around, however, the use of cellphones could be the film's greatest hook. Imagine modern teenagers having their phones confiscated during detention and being forced to actually talk to each other. A Breakfast Club remake could deliver a valuable message to young people by highlighting the importance of face-to-face interactions. Additionally, the film could play on the fact that the teens think they know each other from social media — but they turn out to be completely different people in real life! The messages would be simple but could resonate with modern audiences: it's important to get to know people and never judge a book by its (online presence) cover.

The Dream Team

Now that we've established how a Breakfast Club remake might work, let's draw inspiration from some of the most successful teen dramas currently running and compose a stellar cast for the potential reboot.

Cole Sprouse playing "The Criminal"

Credits: Riverdale, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Friends

Ross Butler as "The Athlete"

Credits: Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why, Teen Wolf

Brigette Lundy-Paine as "The Basket Case"

Credits: Atypical, The Glass Castle, Irrational Man

Camille Hyde as "The Princess"

Credits: American Vandal, Power Rangers Dino Charge, 2 Broke Girls

Griffin Gluck as "The Brain"

Credits: American Vandal, Just Go With It, Why Him?

A Netflix Exclusive?

[Credit: Netflix]
[Credit: Netflix]

Netflix would be the perfect production company to pick up The Breakfast Club and revamp it. Despite Netflix having a better track record with producing television than film, it's ever-expanding empire means it's equipped to take a risk. The remake would certainly be a risk, as the film has such a loyal cult following, but Netflix might be able to pull it off with the right writers, directors and producers behind it.

To Make Or Not To Make?

Simply copying the original film would result in a terrible remake. The original film had a brilliant concept, but if it were to be remade, it needs to be innovative so that it becomes its own brand. It should borrow some of the original premise, but have a completely unique script and have a message that wasn't in the original film, perhaps about the dangers of social media. We should agree with Molly Ringwald that if the film is remade, it should reflect a diversity of issues to give an accurate representation for the average, contemporary American teenager.

What do you think about remaking The Breakfast Club? Let me know in the comments down below!


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