If you’d forgotten that a Total Recall remake was on its way, it’s time to remember- the bitch starts filming in May! Collider got a batch of new details about the project through some conversations with Colin Farrell (who was hesitant to confirm his involvement) and producer Neil Moritz (who was not hesitant at all to confirm Farrell’s involvement), so let’s break it down.
Frankly, the biggest news to come out of the two interviews is that the film is genuinely on the cusp of filming. The start date is May 15th, with shooting taking place in Toronto. Both Farrell and Moritz expressed excitement for the film based on the pre-viz and concept work:
“It’s just everything I see on the movie, every pre-vis I see on the movie, every conceptual drawing on this movie that I see just makes me more and more excited. We’re playing it like a real world, but there’s all these technological advancements to the real world, and it’s just really, it’s cool. It’s an awesome movie. I’m dying—as a fan of movies, more than anything, it’s a movie that I’m just dying to see.”
“I saw some of pre-visualizations already, that have been done for the world that they’re going to create and it’s wicked man. It’s the first time in years where I went, ‘Wowww, I could be part of that? In that frame?’ It’s gone back to the original.”
Now keep in mind that Farrell is surely referring to Phillip K. Dick’s story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” when he says “original,” especially since the remake will be dropping Mars and space in general for its story. While I’ve not read that particular bit of Dick (great phrase), I understand the novella doesn’t have the same (ambiguously real) explicitly on-Mars action that Verhoeven’s film added. The script for the remake, written by Kurt Wimmer, gets much praise from Farrell who calls it “cool,” “smart,” and “clever and well written” while Moritz praises the vision of director Len Wiseman…
“I think the world that Len Wiseman is creating is incredible. It’s a real world, a real future world, where the cities have just gotten so overcrowded that the cities are just built up, up, up, up.”
He also makes it clear that the film is a full-on tentpole blockbuster huge in scope, scale, and (presumably) budget. 3D isn’t happening though, which makes me wonder if we really are seeing the tide pull out on the studios forcing 3D on any project that could possibly sustain- if there’s any project I would have pegged as getting a studio-decreed third D, it would have been this one.
It’s a credit to Verhoeven and his 1990 sci-fi classic that I’m not angered or inflamed the least bit by news of this remake, simply because the idea of anything stepping on its toes is ludicrous. Verhoeven tends to make films that simply could not be replicated or replaced, whether the title is appropriated for a similar story or not. Something about his blend of ultraviolence, frenetic direction, blunt but biting social commentary and all of those delightfully tactile make-up effects stands on its own as the rare fusion of Hollywood blockbuster and 80’s mid-budget B-flick. Total Recall especially feels like the ultimate culmination of 80’s sci-fi and horror, all mutated together and released at the breaking of a new decade.
I like Farrell, have a love-hate relationship with Wimmer, and don’t think about Len Wiseman at all, so this film isn’t going to stick to my radar until some kind of promising or damning imagery comes to light. I’m all for well-funded, smart science fiction –as I’m sure most of you are– so fingers crossed there’s something here.
You can catch a few more details in both the linked interviews, and even hear a bit about the Fright Night remake in Farrell’s, if you’re so inclined.