Fox is fast-tracking the pic now that the Man Of Steel and Dark Knight trilogy veteran is aboard. David S. Goyer will write a treatment for Lightstorm Entertainment’s remake of Fantastic Voyage and executive produce alongside James Cameron, Jon Landau, and Rae Sanchini. The 1966 camp classic followed a group of scientists who are reduced to microscopic size inside a submarine and injected into the body of an sick colleague. The Cold War-era pic starred Steven Welch, Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasance. The updated version will take on a new dimension. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr first reported on the remake more than three years ago, when Shawn Levy was attached to direct, and we got an update about eight months later. But there’s been radio silence since. Now Fox is eyeing Fantastic Voyage — no relation to the Coolio hit for you old-schoolers, or the Lakeside classic for you graybeards — as a tentpole. No release date is set. Goyer is busy producing Sandman for Warner Bros, and created and writes for Da Vinci’s Demons, which is in its second season on Starz.
EXCLUSIVE: Although James Cameron was at Paramount today to show off his 3D conversion of Titanic, I had to ask him and his producer partner Jon Landau about the progress of their planned remake of the campy but fun 1966 sci-fi hit Fantastic Voyage. Despite some terrible acting (from the likes of Raquel Welch and Stephen Boyd) and wooden dialogue, it did manage to win five nominations and a couple of Oscars for Art Direction and Special Visual Effects.
The original story, about a group of scientists who are reduced to microscopic size inside a submarine and injected into the body of an ill colleague, is taking on a new dimension in the version now in active development at 20th Century Fox. As first reported by Deadline, Cameron, busy with two sequels to Avatar among other projects, does not plan to direct — Shawn Levy (Real Steel) is attached as the helmer. “I gave him my idea about how this should be turned into a love story and he’s really run with it,” says Cameron, who noted that the script (originally written by Shane Salerno) with its complex premise has to be just right before it can get to the production level. Cameron says it’s about two thirds of the way there in the development process. Much like Titanic the new Voyage has a real emotional core to it, basically dealing with a doctor going through troubled times in his marriage who finds himself injected into his gravely ill wife in order to save her life. Apparently, once he gets to the brain, things really heat up. Compared to the original, the possibilities of this re-imagination are quite intriguing. Of course, with the massive advances in filmmaking technology in the 45 years since Richard Fleischer’s version, Fantastic Voyage is truly ripe for a reboot.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Hugh Jackman is director Shawn Levy’s first choice to star in 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Voyage, the James Cameron-produced 3D tent pole film. It’s early days, but this would give Jackman a big movie to do while he and Fox sort things out with The Wolverine. The film was on a fast track to start production this year, until Darren Aronofsky dropped out as director. They’ve considered such helmers as Source Code‘s Duncan Jones and David Slade, but haven’t yet hired a helmer. There has also been complications because the Christopher McQuarrie script is set almost entirely in Japan, a country still dealing with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Pushing the picture back wouldn’t hurt Fox that much, because expectations are high for this summer’s X-Men: First Class, which would keep the franchise vibrant. It would also keep Jackman and Levy in the Fox fold at a time when their recent collaboration, Real Steel, looks like it could be a big hit for DreamWorks in the fall.
Deadline revealed in February that Levy had come aboard Fantastic Voyage, the re-imagining of the 1966 original about a team of scientists shrunk into a ship in an attempt to save a colleague’s life. Fox and Cameron are planning an ambitious 3D film with a script by Shane Salerno and Laeta Kalogridis, and the new …
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has set Shawn Levy to direct Fantastic Voyage, the James Cameron-produced 3D tent pole film. I’m told that Levy has boarded the re-imagining of the 1966 original about a team of scientists shrunk into a ship in an attempt to save a colleague’s life. Fox and Cameron have been moving cautiously on a big budget film that, from early in the script once they go inside the body, is almost exclusively CGI. The script is by Shane Salerno, with Laeta Kalogridis working on a polish.
The directing job has been one of the big open slots out there since Paul Greengrass ended a flirtation with the picture last year. I’m told that helmers like Darren Aronofsky, Timur Bekmambetov, Jonathan Mostow and Louis Leterrier met with Cameron. Levy is an unexpected choice, but he is a Fox favorite who is broadening beyond comedies into bigger fare.
He has a strong commercial instinct, and made Fox a fortune with the Night at the Museum franchise and before that Cheaper By the Dozen and What Happens in Vegas, which led the film to re-up his 21 Laps banner last year for another 3 years. He last directed the Tina Fey-Steve Carell comedy Date Night for Fox. Levy most recently directed the hi-tech action film Real Steel for DreamWorks with Hugh Jackman and recently signing on for another action adventure …