The first question here is a character/plot spoiler about Ethan Hawke’s role in the film. Skip past the first question on this page if you wish to avoid.
Can you tell us a little bit about Ethan Hawke’s character?
Toby: Not to give away too much, but one of the big differences between the earlier film and this film is that not only do they erase his memory but they change the way he looks, so he has a different face. Ethan plays who he was before they wiped his mind and changed his face.
[Update: Ethan Hawke's role is not in the final cut of the film]
*** End of SPOILER***
Was everyone onboard with bringing back the three-breasted woman?
Neal: Yes (laughs). And it’s really… And they sent me a picture of her with this prosthetic on and you just couldn’t believe it’s not real. It looks incredibly real. In fact, I heard Len ask if he could touch, you know… (laughs).
Toby: But you know, you always go through that conversation when you’re doing a remake. How do you acknowledge the original and as we said, because we were trying to make it really grounded and feel realistic for the audience we didn’t want to go to the cameo of any of the original cast or anything like that. But when you start to read comments online, I would say 90% of them reference the three-breasted woman. So, it wasn’t actually in our original plan but once we sort of got into it, Len was like ‘we have to do that.’ And there are no mutants in the movie either so he found a way that made sense in the world that he created to justify it, and once he did that, once he found a way into it, we figured out how to put it in the movie.
Some of the most iconic scenes include Arnold gasping for air, are there new ‘wow’ moments that will stick with audiences.
Toby: We have a lot of ‘wow’ moments that will stick with the audience. That whole Mars storyline and oxygen and mutants is not part of this movie. So we don’t have any of that but we have other, other things.
Neal: We have a place where his eyes almost bulge but it doesn’t have to do with Mars. When the robots almost crush in his head.
Toby: Yes… For example, we have robots which is something that’s completely kind of original to our story.
Were you fans of the original?
Neal: It’s funny though. I remember loving the movie, and I did love the movie when I saw it, and when we started to embark on this, when we were getting the rights we watched the movie again, like we love the movie, but we didn’t realize how cheesy it was today. But when we saw it originally, it wasn’t cheesy.
Toby: Yeah, it shows you how everything is sort of…
Toby… relative to the context in which you see it. I mean, back then it was incredibly fresh and cool, and when you look at it today the whole filmmaking process has evolved so much that a lot of those sets and production design, and even the effects are rudimentary.
Ever chat with Arnold?
Neal: Nope, we didn’t speak to him about it. Nope. I ran into Sharon Stone though one day. I was sitting a restaurant next to her and somebody said ‘Neal, duh duh duh’ and she said you know, we talked a little about it and I said ‘it’s really hard to find someone to replace you’ and she was very touched. She really liked that.