Cary Fukunaga and David Lowery Team for ‘Explorers’ TV Pilot Based on the 1985 Film

     November 6, 2018

cary-fukunaga-sliceWhat’s old is new again, especially on TV. Perhaps it’s thanks to the popularity of Netflix’s Stranger Things, or just revivals from 80s and 90s properties in general, but the 1985 film Explorers is now getting its own TV reboot on the Paramount Network — because starting with your own IP is always a savvy move.

As Deadline is reporting, Cary Fukunaga and David Lowery are teaming to write a pilot script and show bible for the series, based on the the coming-of-age sci-fi film that originally starred Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. Either Fukunaga or Lowery will then direct the pilot if it’s picked up.

As noted in the piece, both directors have been very busy lately, with Fukunaga having just helmed the trippy Netflix series Maniac as well as directing the upcoming 25th James Bond film. Lowery is coming off of The Old Man and the Gun, and has signed on to direct the fantasy The Green Knight for BRON Studios and A24. He also directed the first two episodes of CBS All Access’ Strange Angel.

Photo by Bret Curry, courtesy of A24

Photo by Bret Curry, courtesy of A24

Explorers followed the tale of a boy obsessed with ’50s sci-fi aliens movies, and who — after having recurring dreams about a blueprint — draws it for an inventor friend. With the help of another buddy, they end up building a spaceship.

For those who watched Maniac, you’ll know that even though it took place in the future, it had a distinct analog vibe that felt more in line with the practical effects of 80s fantasy and sci-fi films. It was also one of the elements of that series that I loved the most, so if Fukunaga brings that aesthetic to Explorers, it could be the next (non-horror) Stranger Things.

The Paramount Network (formerly SpikeTV) has been looking for a hit since its rebranding, unfortunately burying The Shannara Chronicles in its second season, but seeing some modest interest in its original miniseries Waco. Yellowstone, which stars Kevin Costner, has also had mixed reviews, and of course the Heathers reboot has been something of a mess. Explorers is something a little different for the network by potentially looking to engage a younger audience, as it continues to experiment with its programming. However, in this dynamic duo I trust! (And you can check out our recent interview with Lowery here).