Sometimes you win one battle in Hollywood only to lose another. Earlier this week we reported that the MGM reboot of Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop was officially dead, but alas, another unnecessary remake of a Paul Verhoeven film has moved in to take its place. Sony has been developing a new take on the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi flick Total Recall for a while now, but things went fairly silent ever since Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium, Salt) was hired to write the screenplay last year. Now the project has suddenly sprung back to life with the announcement that Len Wiseman is in final negotiations to direct.
Wiseman had been previously attached to direct a remake of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York and also a movie based on the Gears of War video game series, but he hasn’t actually been behind the camera since Live Free or Die Hard in 2007. While he’s a competent action director, I really can’t see him bringing anything new to the table here. I smell another paint-by-numbers remake — one that won’t have the benefit of someone like Arnold in the lead role.
The great thing about Paul Verhoeven’s films is that they still hold up today. I really don’t think Total Recall needs to be updated or modernized in any way, and yet they are promising a “contemporary feel…while taking care with everything we love about (the) original story.” Is it a coincidence that this announcement comes just a week after Christopher Nolan’s Inception, a movie that has somewhat similar themes? Probably. What do you think, does Total Recall need a new sheen of paint, or is this just another totally superfluous redo?