Months after the Disney/Lucasfilm merger, indie director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) was one of the top-rumored candidates to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. As it turned out, Trevorrow was busy working on another geek-favorite property: a remake of 1986’s Flight of the Navigator. But why did Trevorrow decide to make Flight of the Navigator his follow-up to Safety Not Guaranteed? He wanted to expand the themes of his debut to his sophomore effort.
“We touched it a little in Safety Not Guaranteed and I want to keep pushing in that direction,” says the 36-year-old director. In an interview with SciFiNow.com, Trevorrow and his writing partner, Derek Connolly, opened up about their new project. The pair previously worked on the screenplay for Safety Not Guaranteed, and they are taking the same approach to Flight of the Navigator. Connolly explains how the original Navigator impacted him as a child:
I acknowledge that Navigator is not a perfect film and that’s not why I loved it, it’s because when I was a kid at that particular moment that movie had a fear embedded into it, a nightmare scenario; what if everyone grew up around you and you’re still a kid and your parents are old? It’s child horror and one of five VHS tapes that I had and therefore watched a thousand times.
The original Flight of the Navigator took place in 1978. It followed a 12-year-old boy named David (Joey Cramer), who is knocked unconscious and wakes up in 1986. David later discovers that an alien craft nicknamed Max (voiced by Paul Reubens) was responsible for his journey through time. Together, David and Max have to find a way to return David home.
Trevorrow wants to make the new movie more about the family relationships than the film’s visuals. In that way, it will be a more touching and more personal narrative, much like Safety Not Guaranteed. Trevorrow explains:
The thing I love about those ‘80s films is that there was absolutely no fear of being hokey, and often times they got away with it and they would say straight up ‘Look this person is an alien and these people are gonna fall in love, deal with it.’ I think that there’s something scary in trying to tell stories like that but approached from a naturalistic and very real place I think there’s a new tone that’s very cool.
There isn’t much more concrete info on the Flight of the Navigator remake at this point, but stay tuned to GFR for more when it arrives.