It was the movie that seemed to embody the current #MeToo movement — 9 to 5 had a horrible sexist boss who made life miserable for the women who worked for him — and that was released back in 1980. While there have been hints before that a sequel is in the works, recent comments from star Jane Fonda, who appeared in the original alongside Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, has it looking like it’s really moving forward, according to the Hollywood Reporter. They caught up with the busy actress Wednesday morning at an event promoting the upcoming HBO documentary about her life.
“My role is as an executive producer, and I’m working with the writers, with Lily, and talking to the writers. Right now, Dolly, Lily and I are all intending to be in it.”
This comes as welcome news to fans of the film, which had the three women teaming up against Dabney Coleman, who played their boss, Franklin Hart, Jr., to get revenge for the horrible way he treated them all. The story was the brainchild of Patricia Resnick, who also wrote the screenplay along with director Colin Higgins. The title hit song from the film garnered an Oscar nomination for Parton and became a classic anthem for workers everywhere.
Hints about a sequel broke earlier this year when Rashida Jones was brought on to join original writer Pat Resnick for the 20th Century Fox project. It would seem like the perfect time to revive it, considering the current climate and the #MeToo movement that addresses harassment in the workplace. While that was the focus of the original, Fonda implied the continuation will be a little different. She implied that technology and corporate voyeurism may serve as the bad guy this time.
“I’m sorry to say the situation is worse today,” she said, remarking on the almost 40 years since the first film. “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 also asked if she thought that sexual harassment, like that perpetrated by Coleman’s character, is as bad today, and she responded with a hopeful tone.
“I do think sexual harassment will tend to drop,” she said, smiling, “Guys are scared.”
The film remains one of the highest-grossing comedies of all time, having pulled in $356 million adjusted haul (103.3 million in 1980), according to THR. In 2009, a Tony-nominated Broadway musical version was made, with a score from Parton. Currently, Tomlin and Fonda can be seen in the Netflix comedy Grace & Frankie.