‘Starship Troopers’ Reboot: Less Violence, More CGI

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:57 am,

Starship Troopers Reboot Less Violent ‘Starship Troopers’ Reboot: Less Violence, More CGI

One of the first things most people think about when it comes to 1997’s Starship Troopers is its over-the-top violence. Yet, if such gore is a hallmark of the film – which spawned a pair of direct-to-video sequels and an animated TV series – then fans will surely be disappointed with the latest development regarding the forthcoming reboot.

Producer Toby Jaffe – who is also producing this summer’s Total Recall remake – told Empire that the Starship Troopers remake will feature less of the original film’s signature violence. Not surprisingly, the decision was largely a financial one.

According to Jaffe:

“The more expensive a film is, the harder it is now to make it that violent.  With ‘Recall’ in particular, we made a conscious choice to keep it tonally closer to something like ‘Minority Report.’ It gives the studio, and us as producers, the opportunity to reintroduce it in a new way.”

Paul Verhoeven’s original film – in addition to its extreme battle scenes between humans and giant, bloodthirsty bugs – is renowned for its satirical take on war and the politics inherent in waging it. However, Jaffe said the new version will stick a little closer to the source material, Robert Heinlein’s 1959 novel.

“Verhoeven made his movie a critique of fascism, whereas Heinlein was writing from the perspective of someone who had served in World War II. Y’know, one man’s fascism is another man’s patriotism…”

Fifteen years have passed since Verhoeven’s film, and Jaffe mentioned that advances in visual effects will likely make it easier to bring some of the more futuristic elements of Heinlein’s novel, such as the armored battle suits, to life.

The producers’ decision to tone down the violence seems to signal that the new Starship Troopers will aim for a PG-13 rating, something of a double-edged sword when it comes to established franchises. While tamer violence can attract a broader audience, it risks alienating the existing fanbase. Both Terminator: Salvation and Live Free or Die Hard attempted to do this, with the former suffering a steep decline in box office receipts as a result.

'Total Recall' by way of 'Minority Report'

With Total Recall set for a PG-13 reboot and Starship Troopers likely going down the same route, all eyes will surely be on the upcoming Robocop remake, which is reportedly going to retain its gritty tone. All three were originally directed by Verhoeven, and it will be interesting to see how the new versions fare with both existing fans and fresh viewers.

Are you interested in a toned-down Starship Troopers that sticks closer to Heinlein’s novel? Let us know in the comments.

Keep your eye on the main page for further updates on the Starship Troopers reboot.


Source: Empire

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  1. oh nooooo! don’t get me wrong im all for the new and improved CGI lately (as i want to be an animation designer myself) but that gritty feel in the first 3 (including the 1997 one) needs to stay. Make it a little less comical of course but how are you going to have giant arachnids ripping people apart without gore??? I’ll be seeing it in theaters regardless i will just be let down if it gets shaved to pg-13. i think it will kill a lot of the original fan base.

  2. The original 1997 ST was an amazing film, even though it wasn’t true to the novel.
    If by any chance the new reboot will come close to the original, and add some more dark elements, providing some Heinlein material and a pack-full of action scenes, that is the only way a new ST film will live to its current fanbase expectations.
    Is the violence and gore necessary?

  3. When I think of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers I think of a cross between StarCraft Marines and the Warhammer 40K Imperial Marines. I chose to read Starship Troopers In Jr High school, It was an amusing romp for a starry-eyed Tween. I had to read it and give a critical essay in High School and was attracted to the “Mobile Infantry” concept of “Federal Service” before becoming a Full Citizen. I was Encouraged to read Starship Troopers in USMC Boot Camp as part of the required enlisted Marines reading material. It is widely known that (The Navy) “Fleet” does the flying, (Marines) “Mobile Infantry” does the dying. The one good line in the movie was from an actual US Marine, Sargent Major Daniel Daly (1874–1937), Gunnery Sergeant, (At the time) Spoken at Belleau Wood, France WWI June 4, 1918. , “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” during the Battle of Belleau Wood. It was the battle that the German Machine Gunners gave the Marines the Nickname Tuffel-Hunden or “Devil Dogs”. Daniel Daly is one of two Marines EVER to win two Navy Congressional Medals of Honor. Heinlein quoted “Come on you apes ! You wanna live forever ?”

    I think the Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers was a total disservice to the Novel by Heinlein, who tried to enshrine the Nobel aspects of Military Service. The concept of a small minority of well trained elite protecting the homeland, The “band of brothers” who rely on each other with their lives, and Fight to keep the Majority protected. It is one rooted in the History of Humankind. Sparta had the 500. Rome had the numerous Legions Of the Empire. The Catholic Church had the Templar Knights. The French LPN was established under Napoleon. The U.S.MARINES since 1775. The thought of reward for Victory after a useful service, other than Full Burial Honors, is rather lacking in the Post 9/11 United States. Full Citizenship for Honorable Service is not a hollow award of some distant Utopian Society, it is Quid Pro Quo for services rendered.

  4. While I enjoyed the Verhoeven take on Starship Troopers, I afterwards read the novel. I tend to read the novels that films are based on after, not before, so as to not go in with as many expectations. I noted a distinctly more dark tone in the book than the film. I understood what those who had read the book ahead of time were complaining about. The bootcamp portion in the book far exceeds the film, especially since only the strong survive to graduation. I can see how the attitudes by Heinlein could be seen a sympathetic to fascist ideals, which can be shocking. There is no romance in the book, the Fleet is so foreign from the Mobile Infantry, even though they have a working relationship. Certain other elements would have been nice to have included (which the cartoon show did include) such as the “Skinnies”, and the drop pods, and the exoskeletons (which were shown briefly in the last direct-to-video release).
    The one thing I didn’t get upset over was the “over-the-top” violence Verhoeven displayed. The theme is a war. Bad things happen and some of the “over-the-top” stuff isn’t necessarily so unrealistic. In 1947 the best picture was “The Best Years of Our Lives”. One of the lead actors, Harold Russell, was a WWII Veteran. He lost both of his hands in the war. This sort of thing happened over and over then. War being filled with extreme violence is not “over-the-top”, rather it is the norm. There are stories from wars the world over that make the scenes portrayed in Starship Troopers look tame. Custer’s Last Stand or Pickett’s Charge anyone? I say that a remake needs to stick closer to the source material, but the violence of the original film was spot on for a war film.
    Robert E. Leed was quoted as saying, “It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it.” I this age of distanced, CNN wars, the more that story tellers depict the horrors of war, the better. I have yet to hear a war veteran say that the war wasn’t as bad as Hollywood made it out to be. Maybe if Hollywood got the level of violence right, we wouldn’t be so anxious to get into real wars.

  5. Having read the book and seen the original movie, I’d love to see them do a remake and keep it closer to the source. Don’t get me wrong, the original ST was a great a action movie. But the book wasn’t about the action, or people getting dismembered by giant insects. I really need to reread the book but it was about war on a personal level. And power suits. The original needed way more power suits.

  6. Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers was the most disappointing movie experience I have ever endured. So little was used from the book that if the title and characters had been renamed, I don’t think anyone would have connected the movie to the novel. A less action based, more true to the source movie would be great. The movie should be approached as a “coming of age” story and not an action adventure movie, similar to Full Metal Jacket. Starship Troopers could be a truly great thought provoking film or just another scifi shoot the aliens action movie. I hope for the former, but expect the later.

  7. Robocop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers – the films are good as they have been made. Period.
    Starship Troopers is one of the most underrated movies ever. Dutch born (1938, during Nazi Germanys occupation) and therefore fascism experienced Verhoeven knew exactly, what he was doing. Also, why it shows that level of gore.
    But I see it going down the drain, together with awful Total Recall-Remake (which has already made it to the sewer of instantly forgotten movies) and upcoming Robocop-Relaunch (which will follow – so sure).
    Starship Troopers and Robocop follow the smoothly padded path down the softie way, like so called Spielberg or Lucas action sequences (“Yeah, my characters shoot people alright, but there ain’t no blood” and “Yeah, my characters are hunting people, but when I re-re-re-release the flic, I replace their weapons with torches”).
    I prophesy: Some chicks out of the “Jessica-Biel-Kate-Beckinsale” league will act as the Dizzy/Carmen female team (‘cuz you got to have some nice butt for eyecandy in a remade movie), they got the PG-13, they get rid of that satiric tone, when the Sky Marshall speaks and Boom(!) – there is your soft-washed box-office success. And everyone, who goes and sees this “thing” supports that extreme lack of creativity, integrity and responsible awareness in supid-ass Hollywood.
    Next thing, I wait for, are the less than unnecessary Relaunches, Remake and Reboots of JAWS, ALIEN, METROPOLIS, HARRY POTTER FRANCHISE, TWILIGHT FRANCHISE, APOCALYPSE NOW, HULK and BUFFY – VAMPIRE SLAYER.

    • obviously you have never read the book.

  8. Ok, I am an avid Robert Heinlein fan. He is/was considered a Grandmaster of Sci-fi. I also read Starship Troopers a few months ago and although, it is a difficult read for all the military talk was still a great book. I am ALL for a movie that is closer to the book than the laughable movie that, at best, only had aspects from the book. Wish they would turn more Heinlein books into moives

  9. I’ve seen all three movies, but I most liked the first one. Even today it’s my favourite movie and I liked it the way it was, same as original Robocop. The gore, the blood, that’s what made it what it was and I really don’t want to see it degraded like this. First movie doesn’t need a remake, IT NEEDS A SEQUEL.

    • you should read the book, it will completely change your mind.

  10. and HOPEFULLY will ACTUALLY be based on the book maybe???? instead of a mash up between a WWII propaganda film and an episode of 90210

    • If you have not read the book, then please don’t post about the remake. The original movie was an awful adaptation, and should not have used that title or claimed to use the source material.

      If they stay true to the book, the remake could immediately be in the pantheon of some of the best sci-fi films.

  11. There is no “toned down” way to display war. and creating a pg-13 version of this movie will do it no favor it terms of pleasing original fans. and the original fans will be the ones dragging people to see this film.
    “over the top violence”? more like realism to me.

  12. And still another atrocious watered down reboot/remake with a lazy production. They will claim an high budget like the upcoming awful Robocop reboot that claim $100million budget but it clearly is a $4-5million movie at best (tv shows with a far lower budget look so much better). Just like The Amazing Spider-Man awful reboot too.. there the marketing managed making a fool of people that were sheep enough to make it a financial success, so now the managers involved in these frauds believe to be able to get rich and/or richer the easy way with a few money and no effort and no risk.
    Enough with these studios managers stealing money from investors first and people immediately after.
    Enough is enough! FBI should take a look into this stuff.. a lot of dirty money in Hollywood!

  13. ssss

  14. The concept of a space traversing humanity having trouble with any planet stranded breed, is ridiculous. “I say we nuke the entire site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure..”you know what I hint at right? WE HAVE NUKES. And by the time STARSHIP TROPPERS will be set in, we have the robots from Oblivion too- but built out of titanium, and with lazer cutters so strong they could slize through cliffs and panzer buggs alike(can you imagine those drones spinning?), like slizing through butter. Hundreds and thousands of them.

    I want all the gore to be there, it should be R rated. People are to be cleaved in half, cut in two and mutilated beyond disturbing- that is to say, should the script be stupid enough to leave infantry troopers outside their overpowered combat walkers, hover tanks etc. Radar devices to detect seizmic/atmospheric disturbances, that turns any burrowing and flying bugs into easy targets- is a must have in any troopers arsenal, strapped onto a BIG assault rifle. Tony Stark’s impenetrable super suits should’ve be dwarfed by the standard equipment of any grunt at this time of our civilization. Those rubber vests from STARSHIP TROPPERS 1997, is NOT to make their way in this time!