Emmerich Explains Why He Hated Cameron's Fantastic Voyage Remake Script

September 26, 2007
Source: Empire Online

Fantastic VoyageBack in August we ran the news that Roland Emmerich would be remaking Fantastic Voyage, a 1966 sci-fi classic. Now remember, Emmerich is the guy who directed Independence Day, Godzilla, and The Day After Tomorrow, so it's safe to say he's your big summer blockbuster kind of guy. Now here's the funny part: Emmerich explains in a recent interview that James Cameron (The Abyss, Terminator 2, Titanic) sent him an initial script for the remake that he hated. And then he goes on to explain why. Now who do you think is the better filmmaker here? James Cameron or Roland Emmerich?

Now I won't fully claim that Emmerich is wrong, but given Cameron's track record, I think he's a bit more qualified. However, for all I know this could have actually been a terrible script from Cameron and Emmerich's response is legitimate. Either way, take a look at what Emmerich had to say.

"I said why have you put this in the future? I said let this happen now. It's so much more cool and fun when we can say to a normal person from now, 'well we're going to make you microscopic and put you in some submarine which we will shrink down and you have to do this stuff inside a body.'"

He goes on to also nitpick Cameron's militarism.

"There were two submarines in the body. It was like a Navy SEALS film. And then the president of production at Fox – me and my partner and him all go surfing together – says 'Well, will you do it with a page one rewrite and we won't start until you're happy with the script?' So then I said yes. The key is I won't do it unless it's going to be a good movie."

Well aren't you something special, surfing with the Fox president of production? Sounds like they've got their hands in Emmerich's pocket. And given his vacuous, mindless blockbusters have made them millions of dollars, that would unfortunately make sense.

So given that whole debacle, Fox and Emmerich have put Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (who've written National Treasure 1 & 2 and The Shaggy Dog) on re-writing duty. This really doesn't sound like it's heading in a good direction. If anything, I think we're going to end up with a glossy remake of a great sci-fi classic that is good as a popcorn flick once and never again.

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I completely agree with you on this one. And the better filmmaker is Cameron by along mile.

TheGuyInThePj's on Sep 26, 2007


...pretty sure that Cameron put it in the future, because it actually makes SENSE! I dont think even the original was made to look "cool" or "fun", it was made to be a good movie. That's another thing that I'm also sure that Cameron was probably wanting while writing it. This one will, more than likely, meet just the same fate as the rest of Emmerich's "blockbusters". They'll come out, get over-hyped, die out and then get shown over and over again on TV till we're all sick and freakin' tired of even glancing at them again. Chameron wants to make good movies. Emmerich just wants to make good money.

Zach on Sep 26, 2007


I think that James Cameron is a decent filmmaker. Not spectacular though.

Zach on Sep 27, 2007


"Emmerich's response is legitament" Do you mean "legitimate"?

Daniel on Sep 27, 2007


but, but, but, its already been remade! Innerspace anyone? Some Sci-fi concepts work in a contemporary setting, a great example is the way Denzel's Deja Vu handled time travel, but some (such as miniaturization) are just to cheesy. They need to be futurised or comicalised as per Inner Space.

JR on Sep 27, 2007


Emmerich is an ass. He has a long track record of complaining if something isn't exactly his way. When MGM decided to turn his movie 'Stargate' into a television franchise instead of following up with his planned movie sequels, he hated the idea and went on a media tirade about MGM. He even refused to appear in the credits of the televison series, even though royalty checks are still written. Then there was the saga over a sequel to 'Independence Day'. Sheesh. He thinks too highly of himself. His 'monster' movies are enteraining and make money, but they don't exactly have a deep artistic value.

KayMan2k on Sep 27, 2007


Yes, Innerspace was great remake. And that mix of comedy and sc-fi/action elements worked up pretty well. I seen this movie recently and it's still really good flick.

Karl on Sep 28, 2007


1. Setting it in the future makes sense. However you don't have to put a hard date on it, put a few future tech things in it, but don't blatantly say "2017 AD" or some such nonsense in it. 2. "There were two submarines in the body. It was like a Navy SEALS film." Ok. This one I have to give to Roland. It's the Abyss sub chase scene all over again. If you're going to set the film far enough in the future you can cook up anything in the story. How about A.I. controlled nanotech in someones body that needs to be shut down? (If James or Roland uses that idea without writing me a check first I'm gonna be pissed!)

jason_md2020 on Sep 28, 2007


Roland Emmerich's opinion is worth exactly dogsh!t. I've hated every single one of his "blockbuster" movies. Cameron may be a tyrant (some might say he's simply a perfectionist) to film crews, but he usually delivers terrific films (True Lies sucked, though). And Innerspace (1987) is excellent 🙂

Mark on Sep 29, 2007


From my point of view they are both what I like to call "book directors". First, they ask for $888.000.000 trillion zillion dollars to make their movie. They hire the best professionals they can to (re)write the script, set, sound, music, fx, actors, photography, etc. Then they open the book "The art of good film direction, by Steven Spielberg" and follow the chapters to the letter the best they can. Then they go overbudget and over time re-shooting and re-shooting until they get it as perfect as they can with all they money they are allowed to pour over it. Overbudget, overtime, they don't care. Then they walk away with a decent (even great) picture and claim that it's all theirs. Jeezzz. With that kind of money ANYONE can make a half decent movie. Point in case: if I were given $250.000.000 I could make Titanic just as good as Cameron. Wort case scenario, I would HIRE CAMERON (or better yet, Spielberg or Scott) as a "second unit director" and put my name on it. You get the point. A good director is the one that delivers a great picture with very little money and time. Given enough money and time just about anyone with enough talent to hire a good "helping hand" and a good "how to direct" book can do it. I've done it to a lesser scale. I suck at directing, still did a decent job when was given $1m ... the trick: I hired the best I could for the money and $1m goes a long way in some foreign countries and with low-budget films. If I had $10m instead, I assure you the movie would be even better. If I had $250m ... you get the point.

Nobody on Oct 9, 2007


The some kind of remake of this already exist... in Innerspace (1987) why bother with new one...

maxpogues on Jul 14, 2009


Nice bump 🙂

snickers on Jul 14, 2009

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