The Fantastic Voyage movie remake has added The Shape of Water production designer Paul D. Austerberry to its crew. Guillermo del Toro remains attached to the sci-fi project as director despite his stated desire for a year-long sabbatical from directing. The film may begin production as soon as September 2018.
Released in 1966, the original Fantastic Voyage was a landmark effects film that become something of a cultural touchstone. The outlandish story follows a microscopic submarine and its miniaturized crew as they journey inside the body of a comatose scientist. Younger fans may be familiar with the scenario via Archer, which parodied the film in its classic two-part "Drastic Voyage" episode. Plans for a proper remake have been gestating for awhile, with James Cameron at one time attached to direct. Cameron remains on-board as a producer.
Omega Underground reports that del Toro has nabbed Paul D. Austerberry as a production designer on Fantastic Voyage. Austerberry will share that task with previously named production designer Tom Meyer (Spectral). The split production design role seems to indicate a large-scale production. However, it's notable that del Toro tends to keep the budgets down on his movies. The Shape of Water, for instance, cost only $19 million. For that tiny sum, del Toro made a movie that looks better than many huge-budget productions.
Before The Shape of Water, Paul D. Austerberry worked on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 30 Days of Night, and Pompeii, among others. Fantastic Voyage marks his second time working with del Toro, a director who has helped him kick his work up a notch. It would shock no one to see Austerberry receive an Oscar nomination for his work on The Shape of Water. Guillermo del Toro will also bring back Shape of Water cinematographer Dan Laustsen for his Fantastic Voyage.
After the success of The Shape of Water, a serious contender for Best Picture at the Oscars, studios would do well to put more faith in Guillermo del Toro. The director has done amazing things working with small budgets, and his work on Pacific Rim showed what he is capable of visually when given a bigger budget to draw from. Unlike many directors who get handed unlimited money to play with, del Toro possesses real storytelling skills and real heart.
With Fantastic Voyage, del Toro may yet succeed at delivering a very unique big-budget experience. If it's a success then who knows, he may one day even get to realize his dream of a R-rated At the Mountains of Madness adaptation.
Fox has yet to announce a release date for Fantastic Voyage.
Source: Omega Underground