By Edward Davis | The Playlist August 24, 2011 at 10:35AM
Updated: It's official, Shawn Levy is now attached to this project.
Hmmm, maybe those meetings with Will Smith didn't go so well if they even happened at all? Perhaps it was that faux marriage-split news that rocked the Internet so hard it actually registered on the East Coast.
Last we heard, the "Night at the Museum" director was considering walking away from his potential next filmmaking gig, "Fantastic Voyage" if he and 20th Century Fox couldn't come to terms on an A-list actor to star. Will Smith was one of the actors high on Levy's list. As the studio and helmer can't seem to agree on the matter, it appears that Levy will move to another project he's already been considering, an adaptation of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein."
But before you think Levy has bailed entirely on Fox, "Frankenstein" is actually set up at that same studio, so whatever their disagreements are on the casting angles of "Fantastic Voyage," it appears those conversations aren't too contentious.
Evidently Fox and Levy are eyeing a potential winter or spring 2012 start date and that's likely because there are a whopping seven other Frankenstein films in development at the moment (Shelley's novel is public domain so that's a hot property that any studio can use). They include Guillermo del Toro's version set up at Universal (which frankly won't be arriving any time soon), Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures is producing an adaptation of the novel "The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein" (rumored for director Timur Bekmambetov at one time), Summit Entertainment is currently developing "This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein," Columbia has Craig Fernandez's contemporary re-telling simply called "Frankenstein," Scout Productions and Slasher Films have "Wake the Dead," which is based off a graphic-novel version of the classic tale, and Fox 2000’s remake of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." So yeah, everyone wants a piece of the famous story of a failed artificial life experiment that produced a legendary monster.
As for Levy's version, or the version that Levy could potentially take if he signs on, Max Landis, son of John Landis ("An American Werewolf in London," "Twilight Zone: The Movie"), penned the script. But nothing's a done deal. Levy's also been eyeing Disney‘s Sleeping Beauty tale “Maleficent” and a few other options as his follow up to "Real Steel" which will arrive this fall. Some of them include a re-team with Hugh Jackman on an untitled, Carlton Cuse ("Lost”)-written action-adventure movie, a modern re-telling of “Romeo & Juliet” penned by the “(500) Days Of Summer” writers and a movie that centers on the demise of Kodak’s Kodachrome film. [Deadline]