The remake of 1966 classic Fantastic Voyage has been in the very definition of development hell over the past decade, bogged down in a succession of writes, re-writes and a revolving door of attached stars and directors. The latest director to be in talks is Guillermo del Toro, whose experience and love of body horror could prove a wonderful and tantalizing mix to the project. Based at 20th Century Fox, the film is with Lightstorm Entertainment, headed by none other than James Cameron, a man who makes what he says he will make, even if it does take a long time. This would have been a perfect project for Cameron himself were he not Pandora-based for the foreseeable future. Previous directors linked include Roland Emmerich, Shawn Levy (with Hugh Jackman rumored to be attached at the time) and Jason Bourne helmer Paul Greengrass.
The original film centered around a team of scientists shrunk to atom size and injected into the body of an important scientist to save him from certain death after an assassination attempt and is perhaps as well remembered for star Raquel Welch‘s turn in a wetsuit as for the groundbreaking special effects. Joe Dante gave us something similar in 1987’s much-loved hit Innerspace starring it-couldn’t-be-more-80’s-cast Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Martin Short.
This should normally all be taken with a pinch of salt – Cameron has had Fantastic Voyage on his slate for a decade already after all – but with Pacific Rim 2 now seemingly off the table indefinitely, Crimson Peak under-performing and GdT saying only that he was off to work on a mysterious smaller and more personal project, things could move quick. Any similarities to Marvel’s Ant-Man – now a fully-fledged Avenger – would need to be studiously avoided but if anyone is capable of that, it’s del Toro. Despite the years of development, expect del Toro to go in from the ground up to bring his unique style and vision to the whole thing. Factor in a script and Exec. producing duties by David Goyer, the writer of the wonderful Blade 2 which was directed by del Toro and we have the potential for something wonderful here. A large, tentpole, sci-fi flick that’s somewhat original material, not a sequel, from the director of Hellboy and produced by James Cameron? Sounds good to us.