Where “Napoleon Dynamite” Characters Would Be 20 Years Later, According to Its Stars: 'Not Looking Very Good'

Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Jon Gries pondered what a 'Napoleon Dynamite' sequel could look like, ahead of the comedy classic's 20th anniversary

<p>Michael Hurcomb/Shutterstock</p> From L: Jon Gries, Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez at a screening of <em>Napoleon Dynamite</em> (2004) during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 24, 2024

Michael Hurcomb/Shutterstock

From L: Jon Gries, Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez at a screening of Napoleon Dynamite (2004) during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 24, 2024

Two decades later, Napoleon Dynamite is still serving sweet moves.

Earlier this year, three of the movie's stars — Jon Heder (Napoleon), Efren Ramirez (Pedro Sánchez) and Jon Gries (Uncle Rico) — appeared at the Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida, where they hosted a screening of their 2004 comedy.

Napoleon Dynamite follows Heder's titular character, an awkward-yet-confident high-schooler in Preston, Idaho, dancing his way through life while navigating social perils.

Made on a budget of $400,000, the independent film went on to earn $44 million at the worldwide box office and has grown into a comedy classic, thanks to its quirky characters, ridiculously quotable off-the-wall dialogue and a finicky llama named Tina.

The cast pondered what their characters would be up to during a Q&A at their Orlando stop in March, with Heder, 46, joking, "I think it's not looking very good for most of them."

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<p>Aaron Ruell/Access/Mtv/Napoleon Ltd/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Tina Majorino and Jon Heder in <em>Napoleon Dynamite</em> (2004)

Aaron Ruell/Access/Mtv/Napoleon Ltd/Kobal/Shutterstock

Tina Majorino and Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Related: The 'Napoleon Dynamite' Cast: Where Are They Now?

"Napoleon is probably paying child support to two different moms, with two different kids ... maybe Trisha was a fling. Like, 'Let's give it a go ... no, I was right the first time,' " he added, referencing his character's school-dance date gone wrong.

As for what could have transpired between his and Tina Majorino's characters, Heder said, "It didn't work out with Deb, but he really wants to make it work with Deb so he's like, 'I've gotta get some political sway to pull some cool favors.' So he goes to his best friend, who's in some high places."

Ramirez, 50, has big dreams for his big-dreaming character, saying he thinks Pedro would own a bakery with his (unrequited) crush, Summer Wheatly (played in the 2004 film by Haylie Duff), who is now Pedro's wife.

"And they would have like, five kids. Maybe even twins! But I would also say he'd be running for city councilman," Ramirez said, referencing one of Pedro's most famous lines in addition: "And he'd want to make everyone's wildest dreams come true."

"But not only that — he'd probably have a law firm, Sánchez and Sánchez, along with Summer, and they're working together as a team," Ramirez continued. "And they'll say, 'I'll build you a case or something.' " (The latter line is a hilarious nod to Pedro's quote, "I'll build her a cake or something," when he is trying to win Summer's affections in the movie.)

Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock Efren Ramirez and Jon Heder in <em>Napoleon Dynamite</em> (2004)
Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock Efren Ramirez and Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Related: 'Napoleon Dynamite' 's Jon Heder, Haylie Duff and More Reunite in Epic Throwback: 'Gosh!'

Gries, 66, believes his character Rico would still be up to his old "entrepreneur" ways, but now with more social-media reach 20 years later.

"He started his own YouTube channel, Backyard Teenage Wrestling," the White Lotus actor said. "He's [had] some subpoenas, 'cause kids have broken arms and broken ankles from jumping off of roofs onto tables and things."

"But he has a good plan," Gries continued of Rico. "Anyway, he might go to Sánchez and Sánchez, to get him out of trouble."

A potential sequel, Gries said, "We do feel like this film would be shot, yes, in real time, 20 years later — maybe in winter, so that we could kind of show that life sometimes isn't always sunny and summery and sweet and blue skies."

"The film took place in their youth, when there's charm and there's no responsibility," added Heder. "But now that they're adults and they've got weights on them ... Napoleon has braces."

Napoleon Dynamite is streaming on Hulu.

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