Len Wiseman to Direct Total Recall Remake

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?

  • Wisemen? Seriously? I just barfed in my mouth.

  • Darren Aronofsky should have moved from Robocop to this.

  • Kasper

    While I like Wiseman, I don’t think this project suits him.

  • Ben

    We’ll see. Wiseman has potential. Given the right film (this one possibly) he could develop into a great director.

    The thing that most people seem to not be discussing about this film is that it’s possible that what they have in mind is going to be a more direct adaptation of the book, rather than a remake of the movie. Let’s all keep in mind, even the Verhoeven was originally intended to be much much different than it ended up. Richard Dreyfus was meant to be the lead before Arnold came on board, for example.

  • Maopheus

    It would be cool to see this movie with upgraded effects. The original was awesome, but is a bit dated of course with both the visual and makeup effects. However the 15 minutes from when Arnold leaves the recall place and then escapes to Mars is one of the most awesome action sequences I’ve ever seen.

  • TheAllKnowingGod

    Verhoeven should bite this hack’s cock off!

  • HFD

    Sean you are totally correct, this movie does not need an update. And who the hell do they think can replace Ahnold and Sharon Stone, who was at her hottest for this film. “Consider this a divorce!”

    Just shows Hollywood is out of ideas, it’s all sequels, remakes, reboots, or 3D.

  • Ben

    HFD, again, you miss the point. The Verhoeven film differed immensely from the source material. Unless it becomes obvious that they are doing a remake of that movie rather than a new adaptation of the book, your argument remains asinine. All these assumptions, by bloggists and commenters alike, that this is going to be a remake are just that, assumptions (ones that actually go against what the people involved are saying about their plans).

    Like I said, my only concern here is if Wiseman can pull off something more than what we’ve seen from him thus far.

    Also, I find it ironic how unoriginal the statements that hollywood is unoriginal are.

  • HFD

    Why is my argument asinine that I like the Ahnold and Sharon Stone movie. Did you not like the movie? Don’t get your panties in a twist because I like the original and don’t care to see a remake/reworking.

    And please edify me with your list of original studio movies that have come out this year.

  • MJS

    Len Wiseman sucks, he’s right in the middle of that Brett Ratner/McG/Louis Leterrier caliber of filmmaking. He’s basically a front for films made by committee.

    Expect a 3D PG-13 film that claims to be “dark” and “realistic” but isn’t, starring the likes of Justin Long. And don’t even dream of it featuring something like a three tittied alien, that would require a director with a modicum of creativity and courage.

  • Steve

    Baby, you make me wish I had three hands.

    This remake should not be made. It’s part of a uniquely hammy action phase hollywood went through a few decades ago that should stay the way it is. This remake will just be a lot of CGI and slo-mo. There’s no way they can capture the spirit of the original and still make it watchable.

  • Duke Togo

    The Underworld movies were just so boring to me, the first film, I could hardly pay attention to the dvd, often looking away from the screen. Underworld two seemed to have more action, but it wasn’t even up to VanHelsing ‘standards’.

    How about a Verhoeven podcast, check out Spetters, 4th Man, Flesh+Blood etc. People think Verhoeven is pushing boundaries, to him it’s just his normality, no need to do any pushing. Miike is also a Verhoeven fan.

  • HFD

    You guys are slamming Wiseman too hard. I mean, he gets to see Kate in that Underworld goth leather outfit EVERY NIGHT. The guy rules. :D

  • Maopheus

    What is with directors marrying their lead action movie actresses? Especially those who like to wear black leather outfits? First you had Wiseman nabbing Kate B. and now you have Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla J.

  • Maopheus is onto something.

    James Cameron and Linda Hamilton

    Robert Rodriguez went off with Rose McGowan around Grindhouse.