The first trailer for the animated sequel Starship Trooper: Traitor of Mars is here. In 1997, Robert Heinlein’s science fiction novel Starship Troopers was adapted by director Paul Verhoeven into a much-dissected action movie. On the surface, the film played like a brainless, militaristic adventure featuring a bunch of yahoos slaughtering and being slaughtered by an endless onslaught of alien insects, but underneath the film was actually a sly satire attacking the fascistic attitudes of the movie’s heroic young cannon-fodder and the jaded men who trained them to be unthinking killers.
Starship Troopers did well enough to spawn a pair of sequels, neither of which made any effort to expand on the original film’s themes. There was also a short-lived TV show called Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, and in 2012 a direct-to-video animated film called Starship Troopers: Invasion.
Now, Sony is bringing back some of the original cast of Starship Troopers for a second animated foray called Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars. The new trailer doesn’t give much away: We see a man in tactical armor stumbling across a desert on what appears to be a terra-formed Mars, then some pretty standard action of a drop-ship landing in a ruined city and the soldiers inside immediately being attacked by bugs. More images of disaster ensue and the grim-voiced narrator asks: “Are we losing this war?”
Nothing in the trailer seems to deviate much from the Starship Troopers formula that was established in the 1997 original. The bugs look much the same, the technology looks much the same. The film has direct ties to the original in that it features Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer reprising their roles of Johnny Rico and Dizzy Flores, and was written by the original film’s screenwriter Edward Neumeier.
Of course the original Starship Troopers was more than just an action movie, a fact that seemed to fly right over a lot of people’s heads at the time. Nowadays, the first Starship Troopers is generally recognized as a superior science-fiction movie with a certain wit and point-of-view that has become increasingly relevant over the years. Despite the extra stuff Paul Verhoeven packed into Starship Troopers, it can still be appreciated purely on the level of silly, over-the-top action.
Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars seems to be playing into the original film’s deliberate goofiness with the synopsis:
“C’mon You Apes, You Wanna Live Forever?! I have only one rule. Everybody fights, no one quits. The bugs have breached Mars and the Federation’s Fleet is too far to help. It’s up to us to save the planet. On the bounce, Troopers! The only Good Bug is a Dead Bug! Oorah!”
The movie will play in select theaters for one night only on August 21, 2017. As far as the Starship Troopers franchise is concerned, a live-action reboot of the series with toned-down violence has been discussed, with Baywatch writers reportedly attached.
Source: Sony and Fathom Events