Now that Crimson Peak has come and gone, and Pacific Rim 2 has been put on the back burner for now, Guillermo del Toro is currently looking for the next film he can sink his teeth into. And he might decide to remake one of science fiction’s classics.
The Hollywood Reporter says that the director/writer/producer is in talks to direct and develop a re-telling of Fantastic Voyage. The film would be done in conjunction with 20th Century Fox and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. This project would reunite him with David Goyer, the writer of his 2002 film Blade II.
The original Fantastic Voyage, which was released in 1966 and starred Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasence, among others, told a tale of sci-fi adventure filled with wonder. The story focused on a crew of doctors who are shrunk to atomic size, along with a pilot, a federal agent and an assistant of one of the doctor’s. The group is miniaturized, along with a submarine, in order to journey into the body of an inured scientist to repair his damaged brain. That film was set during the Cold War, and the scientist in question was a defector who landed in a coma after an attempt on his life.
Their mission is, of course, fraught with the kind of obstacles that make stories like this even more intriguing. The screenplay was turned into a novelization, which was written by Isaac Asimov and released six months prior to the film’s release. The movie spawned a 17 episode animated series and a comic book was based on that show.
We don’t know yet what the exact structure for the story of the new version of Fantastic Voyage will entail, but, considering the fanciful plot of the original film, it sounds like exactly the kind of movie that lies right within Guillermo del Toro’s wheelhouse. The filmmaker prefers dark fantasy, gothic horror and action movies, and updating Fantastic Voyage would surely be something he could really enjoy working on.
Guillermo del Toro’s films lean toward the wonderfully weird and visually stunning. He’s had a lifelong obsession with fairy tales and monsters, so I can easily see him turning floating blood cells and microorganisms into deadly beasts out to destroy the submarine crew and thwart their mission. He’s known for helping to create some of the oddest, creepiest creatures that are still hard to look away from. And, I can imagine that, in his hands, the inner workings of the body would be both beautiful and grotesque.
No release has been set for the new Fantastic Voyage yet, but many of Guillermo del Toro’s fans will be waiting with baited breath to see what the filmmaker does with it. His creative track record tells us that the wait will almost certainly be worth it.