The women of 9 to 5 are going back to work.
Jane Fonda confirmed Wednesday that a long-awaited sequel to her hit 1980 comedy is moving ahead, with the screen legend poised to again appear opposite Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin.
“My role is as an executive producer, and I’m working with the writers, with Lily, and talking to the writers,” Fonda told reporters at the Television Critics Association panel for her new HBO documentary, Jane Fonda in Five Acts. “Right now, Dolly, Lily and I are all intending to be in it.”
News that a 9 to 5 follow-up could be in the works broke earlier this year, when Rashida Jones became attached to co-write a script with original screenwriter Patricia Resnick. At the time, Parton expressed interest in reprising her role in a sequel that would update the beloved workplace comedy for modern times, reflecting contemporary conversations around the wage gap and sexual harassment.
Fonda suggested that the sequel could explore how technology and corporate voyeurism have complicated modern-age workplace dynamics, adding that it will take place at the same office of Consolidated Companies.
“I’m sorry to say the situation is worse today,” she said, teasing how a follow-up could expand on the story of the first film, in which the central trio went to war with their brutish bigot of a boss (Dabney Coleman), eventually ousting him. “Today a lot of the workforce is hired by an outside company. Who do you talk to if you have a problem?”
The actress was asked at the panel about sexual harassment — key to Coleman’s character in the first film — more broadly, and expressed optimism in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. “I do think sexual harassment will tend to drop,” she said, smiling. “Guys are scared.”
If a 9 to 5 sequel does come together, it will see Fonda and Tomlin heading back to theaters together after starring on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, which is set to return for its fifth season next year. All three actresses have remained friends since joining forces in the first 9 to 5.