In 1978, a young boy mysteriously goes missing. In 1986, he reappears having not aged a day. Where did he go? Well, an alien spaceship zipped him around the galaxy so fast time didn’t change for him, but eight years passed on Earth. That’s the set-up for Disney 1986 film Flight of the Navigator and after multiple attempts to bring it back, it’s finally got its champion in Bryce Dallas Howard.
Howard, the star of the Jurassic World franchise who also directed multiple episodes of The Mandalorian, will direct and produce a Flight of the Navigator remake for Disney+, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This new version will put a girl in the main role, though it’s unclear if the story and set up will be exactly the same.
The original film, directed by Randal Kleiser (Grease), celebrated its 35th anniversary last month. The lead was played by Joey Cramer and the iconic spaceship was voiced by none other than Paul Reubens. Gizmodo revisited the film a few years back and you can read all of our thoughts at this link.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney has been trying to bring back the title for over a decade. In 2009, Jurassic World writers Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly reportedly worked on a script, but it wasn’t ready in time and the rights were picked up by Lionsgate. That company then tried to develop its own take from Lucifer’ Joe Henderson but that, again, didn’t work out. Now the rights are back at Disney and Howard is on board.
Flight of the Navigator is a perfect idea for a remake. Even if you grew up in the 1980s, it’s a film you might have missed — so chances are most kids today probably haven’t heard of it. Plus, the idea of a child going missing because he or she has been shooting across the galaxy, only to come home confused and scared, is simply a slam dunk idea. We think Howard will knock this one out of the park.