Derek Connolly

Flight of the Navigator

We recently found an interview with Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow where he proclaimed to be prepping a movie in a universe we all knew and loved while promising not to make it suck. Which was nice of him. Of course, snagging that in the middle of Episode 7 Fever 2k12 placed him squarely in the rumor bin for the new Star Wars, but he quicklydenied that possibility. Now, according to Variety, we know what he was talking about. Trevorrow and his writing partner Derek Connolly have been hired by Disney to rewrite a remake of Flight of the Navigator, and Trevorrow may eventually direct it. The original film came out in 1986 (and is one of my earliest movie memories). It told the story of a 12-year-old boy who disappears, and reappears 8 years later without having aged, and the UFO that crashed nearby definitely had something to do with it. It was a fun coming-of-age story that featured a sort of Mini Pee-Wee’s Playhouse of cool alien creatures (and the ship was voiced by Pee-Wee himself), but it’s the perfect kind of candidate for a remake. Even though it hit at the right time and a lot of kids fell in love with it, Navigator is now a bit dated, and the effects could certainly use a boost. Mr. Trevorrow, just don’t make it suck.

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If the lo-fi charms of Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly‘s Safety Not Guaranteed are set to herald in a new boom of sweet, smart, funny, and original sci-fi romances, than we’re all lucky. And if Trevorrow and Connolly are going to continue in that wheelhouse forat leastone more feature, we’re doubly lucky. Deadline Uranus reports that the filmmaking team (who met all the way back when they were NYU students) have set up another project with Big Beach, the producers from Safety. For the currently-titled The Ambassador, the boys will pen the script together (for Safety, Connolly is the lone screenwriter credited) for Trevorrow to direct. The film sounds like a very lovely cousin to their previous indie smash, as it again brings together, as the duo explain, “a pair of emotionally dysfunctional people forced into a situation beyond their control.” Smacks of Safety, no? But Trevorrow and Connolly aren’t content to remain earthbound with The Ambassador – this time, they’re going to space.

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A man places an ad in a local paper looking for a partner to go on a journey with him – but this particular man is not looking to make a love connection, he is in need of a companion to travel through time with him. He’s done it once before, but you’ll have to bring to your own weapons because, as he tells it, “safety not guaranteed.” From this seed of an idea, director Colin Trevorrow and screenwriter Derek Connolly have crafted Safety Not Guaranteed, a low-fi romance that benefits both from charismatic performances and the intriguing background that the time travel element provides. The film is loosely based on a true story – an ad did appear in a Seattle paper, exactly as it appears in the film, but Connolly and Trevorrow have taken their film in a different direction – stuff mentioned in the ad (payment, that it’s been done before) never comes up after its first read, and no one ever says anything else about it. Instead, the film focuses on a trio of intrepid reporters (really just one mild douchebags and two interns who don’t have a choice in the matter) who decide to craft a piece about the man who has placed the ad. A fluff piece, something silly. Of course, they find much more than they bargained for once their investigation commence.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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