The Breakfast Club opened in theaters in 1985, but the events in the film all happened on March 24, 1984, marking today as the 30 year anniversary of that famous Saturday school session. What would happen if writer/director John Hughes were alive today and presiding over an unholy remake of his troubled teen classic? Well, we'd like to think it would never happen, but since reboots and remakes rule the cinematic landscape these days, it probably would. Heck, it probably will. So, who would be in it?
First of all, let's revisit the original characters. Each of The Breakfast Club teens are very different. There's the "criminal" John Bender, the "athlete" Andrew Clark, the "brain" Brian Johnson, the "basket case" Allison Reynolds, and the "princess" Claire Standish. The simple genius of the film is placing them all together and watching them interact.
Judd Nelson, who played Bender, is the biggest standout amongst the original cast. He has the meatiest role to begin with, but Nelson was able to cut through the character's facade and find a human being. A big reason why the film works so well is Nelson's performance and the arc of John Bender. Who would be able to capture Bender's intimidating stares while remaining intriguingly charming and honest?
We like the idea of Daniel Radcliffe or Jack Gleeson, but our choice is Avan Jogia. The rising star has played the cool kid on Nickelodeon's Victorious and the troubled kid on ABC Family's Twisted, but the main reason is his looks. Like Nelson, he's got the dark and mysterious thing down and is handsome enough to remain charming while insulting everyone in the room.
Next is the athlete, Andrew Clark, played to meatheaded perfection by Emilio Estevez in 1985. The character is a wrestler, so we'd want someone small in stature but built, and with enough swagger to be believable as a bully. Alex Shaffer and Josh Hutcherson come to mind, but we think the better choice would be Moises Arias, the Ender's Game and Kings of Summer star who's got the body type and intensity for the part.
Anthony Michael Hall was in a slew of great '80s movies as a nerdy character and his best work was probably in Breakfast as the brain, Brian Johnson. Who could fill his shoes? Well, picking a young actor who's played a nerd certainly isn't hard. You've got Michael Cera, Jesse Eisenberg, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Jay Baruchel to name a few. But they're all too old and too famous to pull of a teenager. Our pick is Freddie Highmore, the Bates Motel star who seems a natural fit for the socially-awkward Brian.
For the role of Allison, the basket case, we've locked in on Sami Gayle who debuted as a troubled teen opposite Adrien Brody in 2011's Detachment. We know she can handle the blank stares as well as Ally Sheedy did, but can she do the humor? We think so. She also has a very specific look—one that says "stay away"—that's perfect for the role. Honorable mentions: Joey King, Mia Wasikowska, Chloe Grace Moretz, Vanessa Hudgens.
The Breakfast Club's princess, Claire, is probably the easiest to cast from a practical standpoint. She needs to be beautiful, obviously, which places about a million actresses in the front-running. The hard part is finding someone who can capture the character's endearing vulnerability. Molly Ringwald proved, among other things, that pretty girls aren't any more perfect than the rest of us. Who has that ability amongst today's actors? There are the obvious choices: Elle Fanning, AnnaSophia Robb, Hayden Panettiere, Hailee Steinfeld, but our pick would be a young actress we think has a big future: Jennifer Lawrence. Okay, so that last part is pretty obvious. At 24-years-old, she already has three Oscar nominations and is probably one of the top five or ten most-recognizable stars in the world. But she's also a perfect Claire, gorgeous with the capacity to play self-centered in the most likably oblivious fashion.
So there you have it. The Breakfast Club reboot can get underway with these five talented stars and let's throw Jon Hamm in there as the dictator of Saturday school, Mr. Vernon. Whenever Don yells at Sally Draper on Mad Men, I can't help picturing Paul Gleason asking Judd Nelson if he wants "another one."