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James Cameron Says 'Fantastic Voyage' Has Been Retooled Into A Love Story

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 31, 2011 at 1:17AM

While it still seems a bit of a way off just yet, the gestating remake of "Fantastic Voyage" is still very much in the works. The film has seen a number of helmers eyeing the director’s chair, but its Shawn Levy of "Real Steel" and "Night At The Museum" fame who is now set to take it on. The original 1966 film follows a group of scientists who are miniaturized and sent into a human body in a submarine to remove a blood clot from a colleague’s brain—a scientist who is invaluable to the CIA. Certainly, there is a lot of room to tell the story again particularly aided with all the special effects tools that are available today, but that's not the only change that's in store for the movie.
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While it still seems a bit of a way off just yet, the gestating remake of "Fantastic Voyage" is still very much in the works. The film has seen a number of helmers eyeing the director’s chair, but its Shawn Levy of "Real Steel" and "Night At The Museum" fame who is now set to take it on. The original 1966 film follows a group of scientists who are miniaturized and sent into a human body in a submarine to remove a blood clot from a colleague’s brain—a scientist who is invaluable to the CIA. Certainly, there is a lot of room to tell the story again particularly aided with all the special effects tools that are available today, but that's not the only change that's in store for the movie.

“I gave [Shawn Levy] my idea about how this should be turned into a love story and he’s really run with it,” producer James Cameron told Deadline about the status of the film. This time around instead the story will center on a doctor who is in the midst of a troubled marriage and shrinks down in size in order save the life of his ill wife. It's an interesting twist and certainly drives up the emotional stakes in the movie.

The movie has a script by Shane Salerno with a polish by Laeta Kalogridis (”Alexander,” “Shutter Island”), and apparently once this love story finds the doctor and his team reaching the brain, that's where things "things really heat up." So like "Titanic" of the body? Guess we'll see. Of course, with Cameron being the advocate for all things 3D, "Fantastic Voyage" will be shot in the format, but when it will actually get moving is not quite certain.

Though Cameron says the film is two-thirds its way through development, there is no word yet on when it will shoot. Currently, Levy is looking more likely to take on "Frankenstein" first -- he told us it could shoot as early as next spring -- and there is still the problem of casting "Fantastic Voyage." During the summer it was reported that Levy is intent on getting an A-list star of his choosing to lead the film, otherwise he'd likely walk from the project. Will Smith had taken a meeting on the project, but he's also got "One Thousand A.E." and possible "Independence Day" sequels to think about as well.

At any rate, it seems this reboot won't just be content with throwing some new effects at an old story, but will give attempt to give it an emotional core as well, which is admirable. Of course, subtlety in that arena has never been a strong suit for either Cameron or Levy so we just hope they use a softer hand than they have in the past. But interesting tidbits nonetheless, for a project that will undoubtedly be a massive undertaking.

This article is related to: Films, Fantastic Voyage


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