At the end of Heathers, the 1989 black comedy about homicidal teenagers and figurative chainsaw intercourse, Veronica (Winona Ryder) makes herself the school’s new alpha dog and chats with neck-braced Martha Dumptruck (Carrie Lynn) as the screen fades to black.
But if Ryder had her way, that wouldn’t be the last we saw of Veronica.
For the past few decades, the actress has been lobbying for a sequel based on a treatment by original screenwriter Daniel Waters. “It’s Veronica, years later, she’s in Washington. She’s somehow erased her past. And she’s being blackmailed,” explains Ryder, who chatted with EW for a 25th-anniversary oral history of Heathers.
In the sequel scenario, the ultimate Heather is the First Lady of the United States — and Ryder knew just the actress for the role. “At the time I was working with Meryl on 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 Ryder suspected Streep was just humoring her. “What else are you going to tell a panting 19-year-old? We were in rural Portugal living in huts, playing Chilean refugees. She could’ve been just waiting for me to shut up,” she says with a laugh.
Ryder is less bullish on a Heathers sequel these days, although she hasn’t entirely given up hope yet. “Veronica Sawyer is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever played,” Ryder says. “And I never, ever felt finished with her.”
For more from Winona Ryder about Heathers, check out EW’s oral history.