It’s apparently only a matter of time before director Paul Verhoeven’s entire filmography (not to mention, every cult sci-fi title from the 1980s and ’90s) gets rebooted for the 21st century.
Case in point: besides there being new cinematic versions of both RoboCop and Total Recall, yet another cinematic sci-fi series that originated with a film by Verhoeven is getting rebooted – namely Starship Troopers, which tells the tale of a futuristic war between humankind and a race of deadly, giant, insect extraterrestrials.
The Starship Troopers property began as a novel written by Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1959. Verhoeven’s 1997 film is a pretty loose adaptation that cost over $100 million to produce, and initially divided critics over both its quality and what sort of narrative it was aiming to be (a militaristic sci-fi satire? An action flick that glorified fascism? A silly gore-filled bit of popcorn fluff?). It subsequently earned a cult following and inspired a couple of direct-to-DVD sequels, along with a TV series and video game spinoffs – not to mention, it featured a memorably hammy supporting turn by Neil Patrick Harris, prior to his career resurgence as an adult actor.
Vulture says that producer Neal H. Moritz (who is also behind the new Total Recall) has recruited writing duo Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz to script a reboot of the Starship Troopers franchise. Miller and Stentz have previously worked on the screenplays for comic book flicks like Thor and X-Men: First Class, along with TV shows such as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Andromeda, and Fringe.
Those scribes’ collective resume also includes the 2003 Frankie Muniz-Hiliary Duff (failed) franchise starter, Agent Cody Banks – but, hey, nobody’s perfect.
Chances are good that (like just about every other reboot out there) the new Starship Troopers movie will be sold as grittier and more grounded in tone than its cinematic predecessor. However, similar to the Total Recall and Logan’s Run “updates”, this project could be designed as a more loyal interpretation of Heinlein’s original source material – rather than a strict remake of Verhoeven’s movie (check out the Wikipedia page for a quick rundown of some of the major differences between the Starship Troopers book/film).
Once again, it goes without saying that a Starship Troopers reboot is not really what you would call “necessary” and that there will be plenty of negativity directed towards this project from the get-go, based solely on the principle of the matter (ie., general dislike for Hollywood’s current love affair with remakes/reboots).
All that said: if this specific reboot does indeed end up coming to fruition, then at least there’s some genuinely solid writing talent working on it. That’s better than nothing, right?
We will keep you posted on the status of the Starship Troopers reboot as the story develops.