Two decades ago, a fabulous fivesome joined together to create the pop culture juggernaut of the Spice Girls. Ever since, girl groups have been trying to rise to the heights that the Spice Girls once claimed. But their high only lasted a short two years: first Geri “Ginger” Halliwell bowed out of a concert tour in 1998, and then the remaining four — Victoria “Posh” Beckham, Emma “Baby” Bunton, Melanie “Scary” Brown and Melanie “Sporty” Chisholm — ended up choosing to go on an indefinite hiatus, which has turned into an unending break.
While they all pursued solo paths, some in music (Halliwell and Mel B) and some in fashion (Beckham), they’ve popped up intermittently over the years to rekindle hope for a reunion. And yet, nothing more than a few photos and a group appearance at the London Olympics in 2012 have been mustered from these tantalizing moments of potential. Here’s a recap of all the hints they’ve dropped about a reunion — and everything we know about what might happen coming up.
In 2007, they put on a reunion tour
The Spice Girls came together in December 2007 for a 45-date reunion tour in North America and Europe, starting off in Canada and including 17 nights at London’s O2 Arena. (The first London date sold out in a record 38 seconds.) It was the first time they’d joined up as a fivesome since Halliwell parted ways with the group back in 1998, and they added a few new songs to the mix, although mostly stuck to their greatest hits. By the end of their three-month touring schedule, they canceled a number of international dates to return to their home commitments.
They made an appearance together at the 2012 Olympics
With the 2012 Summer Olympics taking place in their London hometown, the five ladies were persuaded to join up as part of the star-studded Closing Ceremony performance. Riding in atop Mini cars, they struck a pose for an adoring audience — and sang two of their biggest hits before calling it a night.
In 2014, rumors of a new reunion abounded
News stories popped up in 2014 about a possible Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys joint reunion tour. But even though Victoria Beckham reportedly gave her blessing for the rest of the group to go on without her — she has long maintained her disinterest in reviving her singing career — nothing further materialized of the dream late-’90s reunion tour.
A three-person Spice Girls was floated
Geri Horner, Emma Bunton and Mel B sparked viral excitement in 2016 when they shared a YouTube video celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the release of “Wannabe” — and teasing a potential three-person group, “GEM.”
After thanking their longtime fans, their message continued: “We want to celebrate, and have a party. And when we do, you’re all invited!” They even registered a website in their new group’s name, and plenty of media were certain that this heralded the beginning of the GEM reign. But with no follow-up, the hype quickly faded — and even the website no longer exists.
As for the other two? Beckham continued to focus on her fashion career and family, while Mel C penned an essay explaining that reuniting just didn’t feel right at the time.
A recent selfie ignited rumors
When Victoria Beckham posted a group photo of the five women enjoying a casual day at Halliwell’s home together in February with their old manager Simon Fuller, fans went wild. Her cryptic caption fueled the fire: “Love my girls! Kisses! Exciting!” she wrote, adding the hashtags “#friendshipneverends” and “girlpower” to double down on the nostalgia. Commenters immediately jumped to the conclusion that a reunion must be imminent if there were “exciting” plans in the works. A statement obtained by news outlets seemed to echo that potential. “The time now feels right to explore some incredible new opportunities together,” it read in part. But in further interviews, Beckham was quick to note that one thing was definitely out. “I’m not going on tour. The girls aren’t going on tour,” she told Vogue UK.
Mel B stoked the fire with Royal Wedding hints
When Mel B appeared on a U.S. morning talk show, she couldn’t seem to resist spilling some hints about the upcoming royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Although Beckham was the only Spice Girl who attended Prince William’s nuptials back in 2011, Mel B suggested that all five of the girl group had gotten the coveted invite for this spring’s big day at Windsor Castle. Whether or not they would grace the royal couple with a performance remained unclear, although Mel B did seem to allude to it happening.
However, just a few days later Mel C had a response to Mel B’s assertions that they’d all be in attendance for the party. “I think Mel was just kind of having a bit of a joke,” she told media, to fans’ collective disappointment. “There are no plans to go to the wedding at the moment.”
A superhero movie is in the works
In late March, information popped up that the ladies have signed on to at least one big Spice Girls reunion project: an animated superhero film based on the group, bringing their personas to the big screen for a new generation. The project is reportedly being shopped around Hollywood, with the original Spice Girls ready to serve as voice actors for each of the roles of Posh, Scary, Sporty, Baby and Ginger. A source told Variety that the women are “fired up about the idea” and are “thinking big in terms of a franchise on a global scale.” So while a reunion tour seems less and less likely with each passing year, a reunion of another sort is definitely looking plausible in the near future.