Explorers Movie Poster Classic SciFi River Phoenix Jason Presson Ethan Hawke


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Teens from Earth and teens from outer space discover that life here among the mountains and there among the stars is very much alike. The aliens are Neek and Wak. The humans are Wolfgang (River Phoenix), Darren (Jason Presson) and Ben (Ethan Hawke), the Explorers. Explorers is a 1985 family-oriented science-fiction fantasy film written by Eric Luke and directed by Joe Dante. The film starred Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix in their film debut, as teenage schoolboys who built a spacecraft to explore the outer space. The special effects in the movie were produced by Industrial Light & Magic, with makeup effects by Rob Bottin. The film was rushed into production and was unfortunately never finished. Director Dante revealed that he was demanded by the studio to stop editing and rush for the July release. Despite being a box office flop upon its release, it has enjoyed a cult following as do many of Dante’s films. While watching late-night science-fiction movies, Ben (Ethan Hawke) has a vivid dream of flying over a space-like circuit board and shares his visions with his best friend Wolfgang (River Phoenix) a young scientific genius who is able to translate his dreams into a complex circuit board that actually works. After numerous experiments, they discover the circuit board creates an electrically generated sphere. By using a computer to steer it, they can make it move anywhere in three dimensions, even as far as slamming it through solid walls. With the help of their new friend Darren (Jason Presson), they create a homemade spacecraft out of an old Tilt-A-Whirl car naming it the Thunder Road and embark on an adventure to another galaxy where they find that things are not always as they seem. This was the feature film debuts for both Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. Phoenix, who had grown up in communes in South America, was somewhat unfamiliar with popular culture of North America. During rehearsals it became a running joke when he would attempt scripted well-known words and phrases and usually pronounce them incorrectly. Phoenix was originally considered to play Darren, but when Dante chose Jason Presson to play him, Dante thought he was good enough to play another role so he casted him as Wolfgang. A nerdy opposite to the roles Phoenix is popular for. Dante and his editing team submitted a rough cut by the late spring of 1985, but Paramount wanted to take advantage of the busy summer market. They change the initial release date of late August to early July. “They said “just stop editing the picture, we’re gonna put it out, and we got a perfect date for it and we know it’ll make a lot of money,” said Dante. There was about an hour and a half worth of footage that was left on the cutting room floor. “There was a lot of spiritual kind of stuff in the movie that didn’t make it in at all,” Dante said. “There’s a theory that was around at the time about the world mind and it was a concept I thought was interesting. We started to get into it and there was no way to make any sense out of it, so we just dumped all that. Now the only picture where that theory is even mentioned is Exorcist II unfortunately.” The missing and cut scenes are presumably lost, as Dante tried searching for them in recent years. Robert Picardo plays Wak and Leslie Rickert plays Neek.

Near mint condition.