Movie Remakes I’d Like to See: Flight of the Navigator


Flight of the Navigator captured the hearts of a generation. The tale of a boy pushed forward through time due to a miscalculation of an alien spacecraft and its computerized on-board navigation system was, for many, the movie of 1986. Almost any child of the 80’s will have memories of this film.

1986 was quite a while ago. The actor who played David, Joey Cramer, is now 41 years old. Forty-fucking-one. Feel old yet? I know I do. Or at least my liver does. At any rate, I would say that this movie is well overdue for a remake. Since Flight of the Navigator was released, both the Spider-Man and Superman film franchises have been remade three fucking times. Surely there is enough love out there for a new navigator to take his first flight.

The reason this film would be perfect for a remake is because it deals with time travel. The original started out in the late 70’s, which is subtly understood via music playing on the radio (the Beach Boys) and by the way everyone is dressed. David is then pushed through time eight years into the future. Again it is obvious by the music playing on the TV (Twisted Sister) and the clothes everyone is wearing. Like David’s little-brother-turned-big-brother’s rocking art-décor shirt.

This would work so well as a remake due to the cultural jump that goes along with the jump in time. A child from the late 90’s being thrown into the early 2000’s would be interesting, although a child from the late 2000’s thrown into the late 2010’s would be even better. Those two decades don’t have the stark differences in fashion and music as say the 80’s and 90’s, but I think there would be enough material there to work with. A lot changed between the years of 2005 and 2015. Mostly technological advances, but the cultural landscape also changed.

There is an iconic scene in the original where David tries to explain to the alien craft the concept of music. The craft tries tuning into various stations in an attempt to find something that David would consider good music (or music at all). The craft stumbles upon a radio station playing I Get Around by the beach boys, the same song that was playing on the radio in the first scenes set in the late 70’s. To be honest, I’m struggling to think of a feel-good and easily recognizable track like that from the mid 2000’s, as radio DJ’s seemed to think it appropriate to clog the airwaves with nothing but complete shit. On top of that, I can’t think of anything up-beat that was produced by an easily recognizable group – the music from that area was riddled with one-hit-wonders and very few of them produced anything as uplifting and fun as The Beach Boys. I think the film would lose a lot of its charm if the young hero set out on a fantastic adventure with “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani blasting in the background.



Remake Status

Well, according to Wikipedia there was talk about a remake as far back as 2009, and a script was being worked on in 2012. That doesn’t really mean much other than the film is stuck in development hell, but still, it’s better than nothing. Also, I’m going to guess that it will be a 3D affair – and to be honest, Flight of the Navigator is probably one of the better films to try and implement 3D. It would really make the flight scenes amazing. All I know is that if a remake does get made, I’m going to be all over my local movie theatre like a sumo wrestler on bath salts.

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