At the end of 1994’s Australian rom-com-dram Muriel’s Wedding, small-town escapees Muriel and Rhonda flee their humdrum hometown lives and, quite literally, ride off together over a hill and into the sunset. But where did their happy ending lead? And could another installment of Muriel’s story ever provide the answer?
21 years after the film’s debut, Toni Collette, who played socially inept misfit Muriel, and Rachel Griffiths, who played lively party girl Rhonda, united for EW’s Reunions Issue and offered their guesses as to where the two Australian ABBA fans wound up.
“Rhonda probably had an amazing ‘90s in New York,” Griffiths muses. “She probably got a little political at some point, but then again, she could have been, like, the founder of Etsy.” Griffiths suggests the possibility that wheelchair-bound Rhonda could have married a fireman who was also in a wheelchair, but she favors the theory that Muriel and Rhonda lived together downtown in New York’s East Village, “where they probably had to explain to a lot of people that they weren’t gay, but nobody believed them.” Eventually, Griffiths says, they move to Brooklyn and—
“Oh, dream on!” Collette exclaims. “That’s the hipster version!” Her guess for Muriel’s fate falls more in line with the shy, introverted character audiences met at the beginning of the film. “[She’s probably] in the suburbs. She’s probably got some pet fish and a cat and maybe she’s a preschool teacher.”
To that, writer-director P.J. Hogan giggles, “That’s a bit dismal! I’d like to hope for more for Muriel than being alone with a cat and a fish.”
But Hogan, to his credit, openly admits that he doesn’t have any better idea for where that road outside of Porpoise Spit was headed. It doesn’t matter that he’s had 21 years to think about it — or, rather, 21 years of having to think about it when fans ask about the chances of another chapter.
“I’ve been asked a lot, will there ever be a sequel? And to be honest, I’ve never really… the story felt so complete to me. They drive over a hill and you don’t see them again,” Hogan says. “A lot of people have given me their versions of what happened to Muriel and Rhonda. I’ve heard that Muriel stayed married to the swimmer. I’ve heard Muriel didn’t stay married to the swimmer — she was true to her word and she married Brice, the Matt Day character. Other people have said Muriel and Rhonda are clearly in love and they married each other. And you know what? All could be true! The most important sequel is the one playing out in the viewer’s head.”
That last philosophy might sound like a gut-punch to Muriel fans who may have been holding out hope for a follow-up two decades later. Still, recent reboots and next-gen sequels have proven that no title can ever be discounted from a revival. If Hogan isn’t presently in favor of a sequel, he’s also not steadfastly opposed to one. He speaks about the idea of a sequel with the kind of anything-could-happen uncertainty that may just be his way of saying, not right now.
“The film doesn’t feel like it belongs to me anymore. It was so long ago and whenever I talk about it, I feel like I’m talking about somebody else’s movie,” says Hogan, who penned Muriel’s Wedding based on his own sister. “I do sort of think, well, I’m not sure I should make a sequel! I don’t feel like I would have the answers. But then, I’d probably just go, ‘Well, where’s my sister right now?’”