James Cameron won't direct the microscopic sci-fi adventure, Fantastic Voyage, but he is producing the project and reportedly wants Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) onboard to direct.
Paul Greengrass passed on directing Fantastic Voyage earlier this year and left the door open for another filmmaker to tackle the project, which revolves around a group of scientists who shrink themselves in order to enter the body of an injured man and (hopefully) prevent him from dying.
Darren Aronofsky met with Cameron to discuss possibly directing Fantastic Voyage, but is now signed on for Wolverine 2 instead. Timur Bekmambetov was also approached to helm the project - which is expected to feature a lot of cutting-edge CGI and 3D visuals - but is unavailable for the near future, now that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has been greenlit. Both Cameron and 20th Century Fox officials want shooting on Fantastic Voyage to commence in early 2011, so they're looking for someone who would be available to start pre-production ASAP.
That's where Leterrier enters the picture. He's already handled big-budget, FX-heavy films before and - as Cinematical has pointed out - is essentially a director-for-hire who has worked on franchises heralded by production powerhouses like Luc Besson and Marvel Studios in the past. Leterrier's name has been dropped in connection with a number of upcoming tentpole pics of late and Fantastic Voyage seems like one that would be a good fit for him.
Cameron's Avatar production team helped designed the gorgeous world of Pandora and will lend their talents to Fantastic Voyage by creating a photo-realistic CGI version of the interiors of the human body. If Leterrier does sign on for the film, he will also get to work with Cameron's 3D film equipment, which guarantees that the movie won't suffer from the sloppy 3D conversion that plagued Leterrier's Clash of the Titans.
Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) is currently doing work on the script for Fantastic Voyage, which revolves around a pretty standard sci-fi premise (i.e., humans encounter problems on a journey through unexplored territory). The film still has the potential to be an exciting cinematic adventure full of eye-popping visuals - especially since Cameron is involved.
Expect to hear an official announcement about either Leterrier or another director signing on for Fantastic Voyage in the near future.