Disney is continuing to dig into its back catalogue for remakes, and they’ve now seized on the 1986 family film Space Camp. THR reports that SNL writers Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell will write the script for the remake. The original film focused on an astronaut saddled with a group of kids at Space Camp when they accidentally get launched into space (if you were a kid in the mid-1980s, you thought this could happen; you also thought NASA had an anti-gravity room and were very bummed to discover that such a thing does not exist). The astronaut and her students must then work together to safely get home.
As silly as the premise is, it’s not particularly bad material for a remake if you’re looking for a lighthearted family film, especially when you’ve got talented comic writers like Day and Seidell on the project (Day and Seidell were two of the three writers who penned the beloved David S. Pumpkins sketch; the third was Bobby Moynihan). If you just leaned into how silly the whole thing is and pointed it towards a fun kids adventure movie, there’s no reason a Space Campmovie couldn’t exist today. Honestly, the biggest difference would probably be moving it away from NASA and towards some billionaire’s private space project.
If you haven’t seen the original Space Camp, it’s kind of cute and charming for what it is. The film is pretty corny, but it’s also kind of delightful to see a cast comprised of Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Tate Donovan, Tom Skerritt, Terry O’Quinn, and a young Joaquin Phoenix who was still going by “Leaf” at the time. The movie isn’t going to change your life or anything, but it’s cute for what it is. The original never really found an audience at the time since it was released in the wake of the Challenger disaster, so fun space hijinks were kind of off the table. But now that enough time has passed, I assume folks will give the premise a shot, especially if it’s on Disney+.