It has been confirmed that director Guillermo del Toro’s next feature will be a new take on 1966 science fiction classic, ‘Fantastic Voyage.’
First announced all the way back in January 2016, ‘Fantastic Voyage’ will team the ‘Hellboy’ and ‘Pacific Rim’ filmmaker with producer James Cameron, with a screenplay from David Goyer, who previously penned one of del Toro’s mainstream breakthrough movies, 2002’s ‘Blade 2.’ It will be the 52-year old Mexican director’s first remake.
While little had been heard on the matter since its initial announcement, Deadline report that ‘Fantastic Voyage’ had initially been scheduled to start shooting in early 2018 with an eye to opening in cinemas late 2019. However, it seems now the plan is to hold off production until later next year and open at some point in 2020.
The original 1966 ‘Fantastic Voyage’ was directed by Richard Fleischer, and centred on an ensemble of scientists – among them Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasance – who board an experimental submarine which is miniaturised to a microscopic level and injected into the body of a fatally injured scientist, in order to destroy a blood clot in his brain.
Hugely influential, the film spawned a ‘Fantastic Voyage’ animated series, and later inspired Joe Dante’s 1987 comedy adventure ‘Innerspace.’
James Cameron has been attached to a ‘Fantastic Voyage’ remake since 1997, and had initially hoped to direct it himself. Over its many years in development, directors Roland Emmerich, Paul Greengrass and Shawn Levy have all been linked to the project.
Cameron and del Toro have worked together before; the ‘Avatar’ filmmaker had been attached to produce the director’s passion project, HP Lovecraft’s ‘At the Mountains of Madness,’ which had Tom Cruise attached to star, before studio Universal pulled the plug over budget concerns.
Deadline tell us del Toro is “firmly committed” to ‘Fantastic Voyage,’ but is delaying pre-production in order to “focus on the launch” of his latest feature, ‘The Shape of Water,’ an original 1960s-set fantasy drama starring Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon. Something of a return to the director’s lower-budget, independent roots (‘Cronos,’ ‘The Devil’s Backbone,’ ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’), it seems hopes are high that the ‘The Shape of Water’ may be a real contender come awards season.
No release date for ‘Fantastic Voyage’ has been confirmed at present, but ‘The Shape of Water’ will open in UK cinemas on 4 December; watch the trailer below.