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Flight of the Navigator is gearing up to soar for Disney once again.
Bryce Dallas Howard is attached to direct and produce a female-led reimagining of the 1986 kids sci-fi adventure movie for Walt Disney Studios.
The project, which is intended for Disney+, will also be produced by John Swartz, Howard’s partner at production company Nine Muses, and Justin Springer.
The original movie told of a 12-year-old boy who is abducted by a UFO and reappears eight years later at the exact same age and with no memories of what happened. When NASA officials spot a connection between the boy and a recovered UFO and try to ensnare him, the kid attempts to unravel the intergalactic mystery while trying to reunite with his family.
In the new iteration, the protagonist will be female, although it is unclear if the age bracket will change as well.
Randal Kleiser, best known for directing 1978’s Grease, helmed the movie, which was released by Disney although the company did not make it. It was, rather, produced and financed by now-defunct Producers Sales Organization, which found success in the 1980s with The Outsiders and The NeverEnding Story.
Disney tried reimagining the title in 2009 — at one point, Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly worked on the script — but lost the rights to Lionsgate in the 2010s. The latter tried to develop a version with Lucifer showrunner Joe Henderson. The version didn’t achieve liftoff and the property is back at Disney.
While Howard is known for her work in front of the camera — she is one of the stars of the Jurassic World franchise and starred as Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3 — she has been slowly making moves to build a new career as a director.
After helming several shorts and a documentary, Howard made her TV debut directing two episodes of Star Wars series The Mandalorian, made by Disney-owned Lucasfilm. She also has an episode of The Book of Boba Fett under her belt as well; that will stream on Disney+ this winter. Navigator would serve as her feature directorial debut.
Howard is repped by WME, Management 360 and attorney P.J. Shapiro.
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