20th Century Fox's Fantastic Voyage remake appeared to have lost yet another director a couple months back, when currently-attached helmer Shawn Levy signed on for a new film adaptation of Frankenstein. However, while the latter project is reportedly moving ahead full steam, Levy remains set to call the shots on the former (ie. producer James Cameron's latest 3D project).
Cameron opened up recently about the status of the Fantastic Voyage reworking, providing both an update on the status of the project - and revealing that certain aspects of the plot will differ significantly from its 1966 predecessor.
The original Oscar-winning Fantastic Voyage movie is a Cold War-set tale that revolves around a Soviet scientist who has determined how to perfect miniaturization technology so that it shrinks objects indefinitely. However, before he can reveal the scret, he is shot and left dying from a blood clot in his brain when he attempts to defect to the U.S. Thus, a team of American scientists have only a limited amount of time to shrink themselves down to microscopic size, enter the dying scientist's body, destroy the clot in his brain, and get themselves back out.
Deadline has been informed by Cameron that the Fantastic Voyage remake switches out the sociopolitical narrative angle for more of a purely emotional one. That is, the plot will now involve a doctor whose marriage is on the rocks - when he is injected (in miniaturized form, naturally) into the body of his dying wife.
Cameron also revealed that Fantastic Voyage is also about "two thirds of the way there in the development process" - though, he did not give any sort of indication as to when cameras are expected to start rolling.
Levy's most recent directorial effort, Real Steel, has been given an overall good critical reception and done well enough at the box office. Hence why it makes sense enough for Levy to employ a similar approach with Fantastic Voyage as he did with Real Steel: namely, one where he strives to successfully blend state-of-the-art effects with fantastical sci-fi genre elements, slick action set pieces, and heartfelt human drama.
While neither Levy or Cameron are universally-renowned for being emotionally-subtle storytellers, there are certainly a lot of people who would be interested in seeing them join forces to create a new effects-driven tentpole pic with "heart". Plus, the promise of a tweaked plot and contemporary 3D visuals being used to realize the interior of the human body on the big screen could also entice longtime fans of the original Fantastic Voyage to give this remake a shot.
It looks like the next step for the new Fantastic Voyage is to lock down a respectable A-lister as its star. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), sci-fi blockbuster megastar Will Smith appears to have passed on the opportunity. Levy also previously expressed an interest in reuniting with Jackman on Fantastic Voyage, but only time will tell if that's actually a feasible option...
We will continue to keep you posted on Fantastic Voyage as the story develops.