The absence of Rick Moranis from the silver screen in the last few decades has been one of the quiet, sad stories of the comedy genre. Moranis, the classic comic actor known for everything from Ghostbusters and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids to Strange Brew and Little Giants, last appeared in a live-action feature film in 1997—the direct-to-video sequel Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. After that, the actor quietly stepped out of the Hollywood limelight to spend more time with his family, only rarely dabbling with occasional vocal work despite the desire of fans to see him on screen again.
That wait may now be over. News broke today that Moranis will be appearing on an upcoming episode of ABC’s The Goldbergs, which is set in the 1980s. Reportedly as part of a dream sequence of young Adam Goldberg (Sean Giambrone), Moranis will appear as none other than galactic tyrant “Dark Helmet,” the Darth Vader parody he memorably portrayed in Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs. According to ScreenCrush, “the scene in question will feature Moranis’ voice in a dream sequence when Adam Goldberg imagines Dark Helmet storming his bedroom to battle with the Schwartz. The sequence also sees Goldberg promising to get a sequel to Spaceballs made, which itself is a real-life goal of show creator Adam F. Goldberg.”
Indeed, Goldberg has spoken before on his desire to bring Spaceballs back, and Moranis with it, saying the following:
I truly think Rick Moranis gave the most underrated and brilliant comedic performance in any ‘80s movie as Dark helmet. I’ve been a lifelong fan of his work and became obsessed with having him reprise the role on my show. As an added bonus, maybe this even gets ‘Spaceballs’ back in the conversation and I can get my dream of helping make a sequel!
Considering that Brooks is 91 years old and hasn’t directed anything since 1995’s Dracula: Dead and Loving It, it seems like any Spaceballs sequel would likely be passed on to a younger director. Perhaps Adam F. Goldberg is stating his intentions here?
Other questions abound: Will we actually see Moranis’ face in this, and will he be the one in the Dark Helmet suit? Or will he simply be providing the voice? Could this be the beginning to a later-career Moranis-sance? Perhaps there’s even a new project out there (rather than a sequel to one of his ‘80s or ‘90s films) that might scratch the actor’s creative itch in a return to acting.
In the meantime, you can see the promo for the episode (which is titled “Spaceballs”) below. Unfortunately, it contains no Moranis. Guess you’ll have to wait a few more days.