It seems that the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger surrealistic space odyssey Total Recall will be the next film to get the remake treatment. Additionally, it seems that the new hero who will be battling the famous frontal lobe-raping travel agents will be played by none other than Colin Farrell. Having been one of the many remakes rumored for a long time now, the official confirmation of the film's status and of Farrell's involvement came when Collider had a chance to sit down with producer Neal Moritz, whose impressive 20+ year resume include soon-to-be-released films The Green Hornet, Battle: Los Angeles, as well as developmental-stage projects like Marvel Comics' Luke Cage. His work on Total Recall has allowed him to dish on a surprising number of details about the film's setting, as well as how it will distinguish itself from the beloved 1990 Paul Verhoeven film, which was based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. Here's a hint: No one will have the opportunity to "get their ass to Mars" in this version. Intrigued yet?
News about this remake project, which were practically nonexistent, have suddenly erupted thanks to a few words from Moritz. As it so happens, this is a film, with director Len Wiseman, that's gearing up to move quickly in a big way. While Colin Farrell had previously been vague when asked about his then-rumored starring role for Total Recall, Moritz would unequivocally state: “We’re doing the movie with Colin Farrell.” Indeed, it would appear that the big name star being locked-in for the film was the main catalyst for the sudden momentum. Additionally, as if the confirmation of this remake's star and greenlit status was not enough, Moritz would then reveal that the film will be shooting in Vancouver starting May 15. This film, therefore, should easily be in theaters by 2012.
Oh, and the plot? Well, the whole basic idea of a man in the future going on a mentally-induced vacation by a shady company, discovering doubts about his life and the very nature of his own existence is all there. In fact, Moritz promises a film that's closer to the vision of the original story by Philip K. Dick, whose works also inspired Blade Runner, Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. However, the idea of going to space and the events on Mars will not be present in this version. According to Moritz the attempt will be to do the same story, while keeping the events terrestrial:
“[I]nstead of it being a spaceship that takes us to another planet, there’s something that takes us from one side of the planet to another that’s really interesting.”
While the interviewer states that he regrets not asking Moritz if the film will feature everyone's favorite sentient body tumor, the Quato, you do get the sense that director Len Wiseman is looking to make the future here on Earth something that is equally alien and dangerous in even its terrain. As Moritz comments:
“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. 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.”
While I get that they could be going for a type of film that substitutes literal alienation with mankind turning into mutants on another planet for the metaphorical alienation and mutation of mankind from its own world and all that happy symbolic stuff, Total Recall without Mars, is going to be a tough sell. The mutants, scenery, and action on the Red Planet was always that eccentric touch which gave the film its sense of identity in the realm of dark escapism. It will nevertheless be interesting to see what kind of imagery this film will be able to conjure.
What about you? How is Colin Farrell sounding as your new Quaid (or whatever they'll be calling him?) Would lack of a trip to Mars be a deal-breaker?