‘Fantastic Voyage’ Producer Explains Why Paul Greengrass Won’t Helm 3-D Remake

Last December, shortly before “Avatar” started its blue-hued, multibillion-dollar journey toward box office glory, James Cameron told us exclusively that he was ramping up plans for a different sort of sci-fi expedition: a 3-D remake of 1966’s “Fantastic Voyage.”

By the next spring, as “Avatar’ approached the $1 billion domestic threshold, word dropped that “Bourne Ultimatum” director Paul Greengrass was in talks to take on directing duties for the Cameron-produced, Shane Salerno-scripted “Voyage.” Jump cut to late-May: suddenly, Greengrass was out of the running.

So what happened? “Fantastic Voyage” producer Jon Landau told MTV News that, in the end, the film and the director just weren’t the right fit.

“We definitely met with Paul. We had several conversations with him,” Landau said recently. “Ultimately, it was a very mutual agreement that this was not the arena that Paul wanted to venture into next — this type of movie.”

While Greengrass won’t be taking this cinematic trip with Cameron and Landau, the producers are still in active development on the project, meeting with unnamed directors in an attempt to find someone who can deliver something akin to what Cameron accomplished on “Avatar.”

“We’ve been talking to other directors,” said Landau. “We want to find the right person. It’s somebody to elevate the property. Why Jim’s movies work — the ones that he directs — they have themes that are bigger than their genre. We want to do ’Fantastic Voyage’ where it’s about something and it’s not just putting effects up on the screen.”