It's been a while since we've heard back from Shawn Levy's Fantastic Voyage remake, although it may not be Shawn Levy's much longer. Levy and 20th Century Fox are at loggerheads over casting for the remake of Richard Fleischer's sci-fi classic, in which a team of scientists shrink to microscopic size to travel inside the body of an dying man to save his life. The remake has been in development hell for years, and was reportedly once considered as a follow-up to Independence Day, and would have featured Will Smith entering President Bill Pullman's body for some alien-related reason.
Now, Will Smith's name is once again being touted for the project: Real Steel director Shawn Levy wants to cast the bankable star in the lead role for Fantastic Voyage, and if he doesn't come on board, Levy is likely to leave the project altogether. Hollywood Reporter reports that Levy is firm about signing a major star to headline Fantastic Voyage, but 20th Century Fox doesn't want an A-list star (or at least, they don't want to pay their salary). It's an intriguing reversal of the usual behind-the-scenes shenanigans: for once, a studio doesn't want a name actor for financial reassurance, but the director does.
If Shawn Levy walks, it will be open season for directors on what is clearly intended to be a major blockbuster. Previous names either attached or rumored for the project include Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum), Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans), Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) and Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan). One of those things is not like the other, isn't it?
And of course, if Will Smith doesn't sign up for a Fantastic Voyage, Coolio is probably free.
CraveOnline will return with more Fantastic Voyage news as it embiggens again.