On rebooting Fantastic Voyage

Anyone who loves great sci-fi has to be a fan of Fantastic Voyage, the 1966 film where a group of scientists are shrunk down to go inside a man’s body and save his life.

It was a remarkable special effects film for its time, and it still holds up well today. Of course, Fantastic Voyage was also the big film that inspired Sam Raimi to become a director when he was a kid.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, Fantastic Voyage is slated to be remade, with James Cameron producing, and Shawn Levy directing. 

Levy’s the hot director of the moment with the success of Real Steel, and we all know Cameron’s cinematic midas touch, yet there’ve been some stumbling blocks here and there in getting the new Fantastic Voyage remade.


Several months back, The Hollywood Reporter  ran a story claiming that Levy was thinking of leaving the project because casting was going slowly, but if Will Smith was willing to come on, he’d stay with the project. 

Meanwhile, Fox was apparently fine without the movie having a big name, and expensive, leading man. (In addition, Paul Greengrass of The Bourne Identity was tapped to direct before Levy came on board). Levy also had a great time with Hugh Jackman on Real Steel, and would have loved him to lead the film as well.


As James Cameron was showing 18 minutes of his Titanic 3D conversion, he was asked by Deadline about the current status of Voyage. Cameron added a love story into the reboot’s screenplay, and confirmed the script has to be about 2/3 of the way there before it can get a production green light from Fox. This time, instead of saving a diplomat, a man is injected into his wife, and he has to go into her brain to save her life.


In the meantime, the original Fantastic Voyage is well worth revisiting. Yes, there’s a lot more that can be done today effects wise, but the original journey is still a hell of a sci-fi flick, and the effects are still damn good, especially considering what they had to work with then.