James Cameron has been searching for a filmmaker to helm his latest 3D cinematic expedition into an exotic world, a remake of the 1966 sci-fi venture Fantastic Voyage, and has at last found his man in the form of Night at the Museum and Real Steel director, Shawn Levy.
Levy has been recruited by 20th Century Fox and Cameron to direct the motion picture – a project that will require copious amounts of CGI to realize its extravagant setting: the interior of a human body.
Deadline has confirmed that Levy is onboard for its new-and-improved Fantastic Voyage, which Louis Leterrier was previously in contention to direct. Levy has a strong background in mainstream comedy and humorous, F/X heavy blockbuster fare, but seemingly broadened his horizons a bit with his upcoming boxing robots with heart flick, Real Steel. That in combination with Levy’s strong record at the box office likely made him too enticing a candidate to pass over for Fox and Cameron alike.
For those unfamiliar with the original film, Fantastic Voyage follows a group of scientists who use advanced miniaturization technology to shrink themselves so that they may repair a blood clot in an ailing colleague’s brain by literally entering his body. Screenwriting duties for the remake were taken up by Shane Salerno (Armageddon), and his script is currently being fine-tuned by Shutter Island scriber Laeta Kalogridis.
Unlike the currently-playing 3D exploration pic produced by Cameron, Sanctum, Fantastic Voyage will be shot primarily on location in a sound studio and require its stars to interact largely in a green screen setting – so that animation technicians can later create a world of human blood cells and organelles around them. Expect Levy’s new sci-fi project to otherwise be of a similar blend and also feature characters in a high-octane race against time as they struggle to survive in a harsh, dangerous environment.
Fantastic Voyage is certainly a film that stands to benefit from the immersive nature of the 3D format and should deliver some dazzling, photo-realistic visuals that capture the illusion of traveling inside a living and breathing being as well as any practical set could. The quality of the flick will also depends on Levy’s ability to get moviegoers emotionally invested in and rooting for the people on this quest, which is where things get trickier. If Real Steel ends up having as strong an emotional core as Levy says it does, there’s a good chance he’ll be able to balance style with substance again in Fantastic Voyage as well.
What do you think of Levy being brought on to direct Fantastic Voyage?