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It's not uncommon for major Hollywood projects to find themselves in development hell, but the Fantastic Voyage remake has languishing there for an especially long time. Ever since James Cameron expressed interest in helming a new version of the miniaturized adventure in 1997, the remake has passed through various hands, but ultimately hasn't been able to get off the ground. That finally seemed to change recently when it was reported that Guillermo del Toro is indeed directing the Fantastic Voyage remake, with production set to begin early 2018. While del Toro is still set to helm Fantastic Voyage, the news has dropped that the cameras won't start rolling as originally planned due to his work on The Shape of Water.
Guillermo del Toro's next movie is premiering at the Venice International Film Festival next Thursday, and the wide release will follow in early December. In order for del Toro to focus on launching The Shape of Water between now and the last month of 2017, Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment have delayed Fantastic Voyage's production. Once The Shape of Water has come and gone, then del Toro will dedicate his full focus into the remake before the studios start spending money on sets. Fantastic Voyage doesn't have an official release date yet, but when production was still scheduled to begin in 2018's first few months, it looked like it was aiming for a 2019 release. Now the the delay pushing the preparation period to the spring and the main shoot to the fall (or earlier), it's possible Fantastic Voyage won't be seen until 2020.
Even though the Fantastic Voyage remake won't take off as soon as previously expected, it's good to hear that the project is still on firm ground rather than sent back to the pits of development hell. Guillermo del Toro is one of Hollywood's most talented directors, so it's important that this remake has his complete attention so he can churn out the best product possible. If that means hitting the pause button to guarantee that The Shape of Water is properly launched and to handle any awards attention that might come his way, so be it. The Fantastic Voyage remake has waited more than two decades to become a reality, so what's a few months more?
The original Fantastic Voyage movie followed a team of five who boarded a special submarine and were shrunk so they could venture into the body of a scientist on death's door and save his life. That same miniaturization premise will obviously still be kept in the remake, but so far there are no details on how the new version will differ from its predecessor, other than it likely being set in contemporary times rather than being another Cold War tale.
We here at CinemaBlend will keep you updated on what's happening with the Fantastic Voyage remake as more updates come in. In the meantime, you can always re-watch the original (which just celebrated its 51st anniversary), and The Shape of Water will hit theaters on December 8. Don't forget to also look through our 2017 movie guide so you can schedule your theater visits for the remainder of the year accordingly.