In a day and age where the majority of blockbuster films are extensions of established brands, and sequels, prequels and remakes dominate the market, very few films are designed to be one-offs. With the Total Recall remake coming later this summer, is it being positioned to launch a franchise for Sony and Columbia Pictures?
Yes and no. Producer Neal Moritz is no stranger to franchising, having successfully spawned a long-running series from the Fast and Furious brand, but with Total Recall that’s not the goal. Although if it does well, he and fellow producer Toby Jaffe would certainly be up to it. Who wouldn’t?
The following is a snippet of a conversation I had with Neal Moritz and Toby Jaffe while on the set (read our Total Recall set visit report).
The original Total Recall had a sequel get as far as the script stage, is this a one-shot remake or is there potential to continue the story?
Toby: We hope so.
Neal: We hope so. We never set out to make a movie that has a sequel. Anytime we’ve maybe tried to do that, it hasn’t necessarily worked and luckily, during the Fast and Furious movies and a lot of other movies we’ve made, we’ve made a lot of sequels, and my feeling is that if the audience likes it, we’ll make a sequel.
So, I mean, we’d like to. It’s a great world to be in. It’s fun. Plus when you make a sequel, audiences already know the characters, so it’s a lot easier to get a movie going.
The obvious conclusion we could all come up with is that if a movie banks well, somebody will want to make another, but in this case it’s a tad more difficult. Whether the audience is familiar with the world and characters of Total Recall or not, what story would a sequel tell and would it tarnish the intrigue of the original’s ambiguous conclusion?
The original Total Recall almost had a sequel that was to be based on another Philip K. Dick short story, but that of course became its own film as Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. Due to the grounded nature of Len Wiseman’s Total Recall, the Minority Report plot involving clairvoyants who could predict crimes before they happen would be an unlikely source of material for a modern Total Recall 2.
For more from the producers, read our complete Total Recall set visit interview with Jaffe and Moritz.
Total Recall stars Colin Farrell, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy, Ethan Hawke, John Cho and Bokeem Woodbine. It is directed by Len Wiseman off a screenplay by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback.
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Total Recall opens in theaters August 3, 2012.