Guillermo del Toro is still attached to the forthcoming remake of Fantastic Voyage - despite his plans to take a year off from directing. The filmmaker is currently enjoying rave reviews (and intense awards buzz) for his movie The Shape of Water. This romantic fairytale features a mute woman falling in love with a humanoid fish creature, and the film is already being dubbed del Toro’s masterpiece.
The Shape of Water is del Toro’s first movie since Pacific Rim and follows the director’s pattern of making a smaller, more personal movie after a big blockbuster. In the past, he’s followed Mimic with The Devil’s Backbone, and Hellboy with Pan’s Labyrinth. The director recently announced he was taking a break from directing and was going to focus on promoting The Shape Of Water for the time being.
He talked about his reasons for taking time off in an interview with Collider, and also gave an update on the status of Fantastic Voyage. He’s still attached to direct the sci-fi adventure, and there’s even a start date pencilled in for the movie:
“That was on the calendar already. I announced the year in September, and if everything goes well and it happens, it would happen next September. We’d start prepping again. We had already delayed it. It is a very difficult movie, technically, and I needed to figure out a bunch of stuff. We’ve been doing R&D and we’ve been building stuff. I never know whether they’re going to happen or not. I’ve learned that, in 25 years. But, we’re still working on it.”
Hopefully, Fantastic Voyage will eventually move ahead with del Toro still attached, but fans have learned its best to be careful. At the beginning of 2017 del Toro announced Hellboy III was definitely never happening, and a reboot starring David Harbour was later confirmed. The filmmaker also spent a year developing a two-part adaptation of The Hobbit, only to leave and be replaced by producer Peter Jackson - and the mere mention of cancelled sequel Silent Hills is enough to bring a tear to the eyes of video game fans.
Fantastic Voyage is a project that’s been in development for years, with directors like Roland Emmerich, Paul Greengrass, and James Cameron attached at different points (Cameron is still onboard the project as producer). Cameron and del Toro have been friends for many years and previously tried to mount an ambitious, R-rated take on H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness starring Tom Cruise. Sadly, the cost involved wound up killing that project before it could begin. Hopefully, Fantastic Voyage won’t end up the same way.