When “The Lost Boys” was first pitched, it was supposed to be a family-friendly movie. “It was very much ‘Goonies Go Vampire,’ said director Joel Schumacher in an interview with Empire. James Jeremias had envisioned a script that riffed on the lost boys concept from “Peter Pan,” with a more horror-tinged edge. As he also told Empire, “Since ‘Peter Pan’ had been one of my all-time favorite stories, I thought, ‘What if the reason Peter Pan came out at night and never grew up and could fly was because he was a vampire?'” The idea turned into a full-fledged script meant more for children than for teens. However, when Richard Donner signed on to direct the film, he thought the original idea was a tad bit soft.
Jeremias told Empire that Donner “wanted to make the boys older,” clarifying his statement by adding, “He said, ‘Old enough to drive,’ but what he meant was, ‘Old enough to f***.'” What followed was attempts at getting another draft of the script written, but Jeremias and Jan Fischer (who co-wrote the script with Jeremias) were tied up in other projects and couldn’t assist. Donner was able to enlist the help of Jeffrey Boam but then left the project himself to work on “Lethal Weapon,” instead. Without a director, it seemed like the lost boys were really just that. Lost in a sea of rewrites with no clear sign of ever coming to fruition on the big screen.