Looks like yet another ’80s film is being lined up for a remake this week, although in this case it is a somewhat forgotten movie that wasn’t a huge blockbuster on its initial release. Explorers, Joe Dante’s follow-up to Gremlins, was released in 1985 and grossed just under $10 million at the time. It was notable, however, for marking the feature film debuts of both River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke and also for having decent special effects by ILM. The story revolves around three young friends who build a homemade spacecraft and embark on an adventure to another galaxy. While it doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that would pass muster nowadays, when I was a kid there was something about the movie that really captured my imagination (I also thought the goofy aliens were pretty funny… go figure). Will today’s audiences respond in the same way? We’re about to find out.
According to THR, Paramount’s low-budget Insurge label is in the process of setting up a remake of Explorers. Geoff Moore and Dave Posamentier (Better Living Through Chemistry) have been hired to write the script while Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) are on board as producers. No director has been hired yet, but as you would probably expect, Joe Dante does not appear to be involved.
While the original film wasn’t an Amblin Entertainment production, it does feel like many of the movies that Spielberg directed and produced in the ’80s. Those kinds of movies are far and few between nowadays with J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 standing as one of the few recent throwbacks (the upcoming Earth to Echo also looks Amblin-influenced). Sadly, they are reportedly looking at the upcoming Michael Bay-produced time travel film Welcome to Yesterday as a possible template for the new version of Explorers. What do you think, is Explorers ripe for a remake?