Recent breakout filmmaker Colin Trevorrow shot down rumors that he’s up to direct Star Wars: Episode VII a week ago, saying that “there is another film we all love that I’m currently trying not to mess up.” It turns out that project is indeed another gestating Disney sci-fi movie based on a cherished property – namely, a remake of Flight of the Navigator.
For those who aren’t up to snuff on kids movies from the ’80s: Navigator is a 1986 film about a young boy (Joey Cramer) who vanishes in 1978 and reappears eight years later not a day older (and with no memory of what happened). NASA scientists recognize a connection between the boy and a crashed spacecraft, which is controlled by a visitor from another world (voiced by Paul Reubens, with almost no trace of Pee-Wee Herman in his performance).
Variety is reporting that Disney has hired Trevorrow and Derek Connolly (the writer for Trevorrow’s breakout hit Safety Not Guaranteed) to revamp the current script draft for the Flight of the Navigator remake, to serve as a potential directing vehicle for Trevorrow (who is simultaneously developing an original project for the studio, with the logline currently under-wraps).
Brad Copeland (Arrested Development, The In-Betweeners) penned the previous draft back in 2009, but this particular remake has failed to get off the ground since then (no pun intended). Of course, seeing how Copeland’s feature-length writing credits include Wild Hogs and Yogi Bear, there’s probably a good reason for that…
There are no details yet about how Trevorrow and Connolly are approaching the original story for Flight of the Navigator – or how they plan to update the film to make it ‘fresh’ and ‘unique’, as is now the common lingo in Hollywood. However, the latter did offer Variety the following food for thought:
“‘Flight of the Navigator’ wasn’t a seminal movie of my childhood but I remember liking it and the original meant a lot to Colin as a kid, so it’s really his baby. It’ll be good to have some balance so it’s not two fanboys writing the movie.”
That’s actually encouraging to hear, seeing how when the main creative forces behind a remake/reboot of an established property are fanboys, you tend to end up with something less like Star Trek and more, well… Dark Shadows, sorry to say.
Moreover, Safety Not Guaranteed has received lots of praise for being imaginative, yet grounded, in its examination of time-travel, which bodes well for having the duo behind that film work on Navigator. Here’s hoping that Trevorrow and Connolly don’t lose their way during the jump to studio fare.
Screen Rant will keep you posted on the Flight of the Navigator remake as more information is released.