You'd think with that all of the remakes that have been made in Hollywood, the one for Fantastic Voyage would have either already happened or sunk back to the bottom of the pile of potential revamps. Yet here we are, supposedly on the cusp of the film actually becoming a reality. It's resurfaced in the news with filming potentially beginning sometime in January 2018, and director Guillermo del Toro may still be in the running to helm the project.
News on the remake of the 1966 sci-fi film came from a source in Toronto, Ontario who is supposedly connected to the new Fantastic Voyage project, and their word is that production cycle for the 20th Century Fox-backed refresh will begin in January. It's an idea that certainly has legs, though the project has languished in development hell for quite some time. While James Cameron got the ball rolling, with his interest dating back to 1997, Fantastic Voyage would find itself passing over to a couple other directors as time went on. But now, the almost 20-year journey to production may be over with this fresh round of news.
In Fox's original version of the genre classic, the Cold War saw the U.S. and Russia developing rival programs involving miniaturized warfare. When a scientist defected to the U.S. program found himself in a coma, it was up to the American team to save him via their miniaturized sub, the Proteus. The film acted as part spy drama and part sci-fi thriller, with the bulk of its story taking place inside of the defector's body. So certainly part of the reason Fantastic Voyage has persevered past all of the hiccups in its path is the fact that the story has a premise outlandish enough that it just needs a modern update to be relevant to audiences of today. But the studio's efforts to get this film on track have already been quite extensive.
After James Cameron didn't work out in the director's chair, Roland Emmerich, Paul Greengrass and Shawn Levy would all succeed him as directorial candidates. Cameron stayed on the project as a producer, and he still remains involved to this day, but ultimately each of the other directors tipped for Fantastic Voyage would leave the project for their own reasons. Which brings us to the most recent talks involving the project, which took place early last year and mentioned Guillermo del Toro as the latest potential director and David S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes, who are currently drafting Green Lantern Corps together, as being the latest writers on the project.
While this might just sound like another director and writer team joining the annals of Fantastic Voyage history, the source involved with the project who spoke with Omega Underground is confident that del Toro will be continuing his work in the great city of Toronto with this new project. What also helps sweeten the deal is that Guillermo del Toro already has a film in the queue with Fox Searchlight, as The Shape of Water is currently slated for release this fall. A passion project for the director, he may have made an agreement with Fox proper that secured his participation on both films, allowing this long attempted remake to fast track itself into production.
As it stands now, not only does Guillermo del Toro seem like a perfect fit for a remake of Fantastic Voyage, but it's also a project he's probably excited to tackle. Unfortunately, this is all speculation at this point, and we'll have to wait for official confirmation before celebrating any sort of production curse being broken on the project. Surely this news item will spur some updates on the exact fate of Fantastic Voyage. In the meantime, Guillermo del Toro fans can enjoy The Shape of Water after it starts its theatrical debut in limited release on December 8.