Exclusive: Colin Trevorrow on Star Wars & Flight Of The Navigator
Here's a snippet from our chat with director Colin Trevorrow, about his next film, Star Wars and his Flight Of The Navigator remake...
In late November, the Internet went on high alert as a rumour broke that filmmaker Colin Trevorrow was quietly signing up to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. But in what may be one of the greatest mix-ups in geekdom's brief history, it turned out that when Trevorrow briefly mentioned his attachment to a much-loved cinema mythology in a June interview, he wasn't referring to Star Wars, but a remake of Disney's Flight Of The Navigator.
It says a great deal about the quality of Trevorrow's debut cinematic feature, Safety Not Guaranteed, that he's not only been given the opportunity to remake one of Disney's best-known 80s films, but was even attached to the unfeasibly successful Star Wars franchise.
Safety Not Guaranteed will be released in the UK later this month, and it was during an interview for the film that Mr Trevorrow spoke of his plans for Flight Of The Navigator, which he's writing with Safety screenwriter Derek Connolly.
"All we're trying to do is find a story that we care about and that will work," Trevorrow told us. "Our question is not, 'what is the Flight Of The Navigator remake', it's 'why is Flight Of The Navigator being remade?'"
Inevitably, there's a certain amount of cynicism and distrust around any movie remake - particularly one that evokes as many childhood memories as Flight Of The Navigator does for a generation of cinemagoers. But Trevorrow and Connolly are a logical fit for the remake, given that Safety is not only a sci-fi movie about time travel, but also a gentle romance and comedy about 80s childhoods and past regrets - and that's something Trevorrow has every intention of bringing to his retelling of the story.
"The best of all kinds of movies are character-driven," Trevorrow said, "and I definitely don't want to lose sight of why Derek and I started to write movies together in the first place. I feel like we've found an interesting little corner of the sandbox here as far as the way we're telling sci-fi stories. I don't think it's limited to sci-fi - I think anything fantastic can co-exist with people you and I know, and not these hyper-real movie people. That's something you really have to struggle against."
One thing Trevorrow did make clear is that Flight Of The Navigator won't be his next film. Before that, he'll be directing a movie called Intelligent Life, again written with Derek Connolly, which he describes as a mixture of sci-fi, thriller, romance and comedy.
"It exists in the real world, but there's an element that we're extrapolating out a little bit," Trevorrow explained. "It takes place around the Office for Outer Space Affairs at the U.N., which is a real thing. They claim that this office is for regulating the uses of outer space between nations. The conspiracy theory is that they're preparing an ambassador to represent Earth when first contact is made. So we're telling a story that's not about that ambassador, but is in that world."
As for the "interesting couple of weeks" where he found himself in the middle of a huge Star Wars: Episode VII rumour story, Trevorrow had this to say.
"The reason why I had to come out and say something about it was because it had entered this phase where I'd said something that applied to Flight Of The Navigator, which began to be applied to Star Wars," Trevorrow said. "The headline was something like, 'Colin Trevorrow will make Star Wars not suck.' That's such a loaded statement, and not something that I said. And I certainly didn't want that kind of misinformation to be attributed to me.
"I feel like, on a more macro scale, there's started to be a relationship between filmmakers and people who watch their films - you know, on Twitter and on the Internet. That relationship's based on honesty, so the minute I knew that I was definitely not in the game, I made sure that I made that clear. Because I don't want people to think I'm out there pulling strings on this thing. I don't have a PR rep. I live in Vermont. It's just me on my computer, seeing these things catch fire."
We'll bring you our full interview with Colin Trevorrow in a couple of weeks, in which he talks in greater detail about the making of the film, writing Flight Of The Navigator, remakes, and his thoughts on the huge weight of interest on Star Wars: Episode VII.
The magnificent Safety Not Guaranteed is out in UK cinemas on the 26th December.