A lot of characters retain the same name but Kuato (Bill Nighty) is now named Matthias. Are there any additional characters that are entirely new?
Neal: There are many characters. We felt that since Kuato in our movie is not a mutant it would have been weird , it would be something people would be expecting to kind of…
Toby: When we removed that whole story line, at first we didn’t think to change the name, but we realized that a portion of the audience would come with some expectation that he was going to be some sort of supernatural, weird mutant character which he’s not, so we changed the name.
With the mutants gone, is there some sort of alien story in the background?
Toby: No, completely grounded. You know, there are some smaller characters who are new, but it is, you know, you’re recognize some version of some of those characters..
Neal: Or a combination of…
Toby: Yeah, and there’s no Richter, [Michael] Ironside’s character. He’s sort of been combined into the Lori character. She’s a much bigger role in the story than the Sharon Stone part in the original film.
Since there are no mutants and no Mars, what’s the big plot device that’s motivating the characters?
Toby: Space. Overpopulation. That’s what the film is all about on a sci-fi level, is the need for more space.
That’s what forms this resistance led by Matthias?
Toby, Neal: Yes
Is there any studio pressure to do 3D?
Neal: It wasn’t pressure. We talked about it and honestly, when we looked at some of the pre-vis that we had done for the movie, it would have just been overwhelming to the brain. We’re creating this whole world, we’re going through this whole world, and just maybe it would have detracted from what ultimately is a character story about a guy who forgot who he is.
How was Len Wiseman selected?
Neal: We had tried to get him to direct a number of movies. In fact, it’s funny, we were just talking, we have a movie starting shooting Monday in Boston with Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds called R.I.P.D. and I really wanted Len to direct that and we really wanted Len to direct Escape From New York and there was a number of our other projects, so we’ve always kind of been after him. Ever since I saw the first Underworld I have been very impressed with what he had done and then when I saw [Live Free or] Die Hard, very, very impressed with his work. And I really just liked him personally so when this came up, he was actually the second director that read it and he wanted to do it and he wanted to do it and that was it.
Who was the first?
Neal: I shouldn’t talk about it (laughs). I mean it was a very, very established director who wanted to do it but just couldn’t fit it in with what his schedule was.
In terms of merchandising is there a video game coming for Total Recall?
Neal: We haven’t honestly… I always find the timing of these video game movie things is really hard to mesh, especially because it takes so…
Toby: The lead time is so long…
Neal: The lead time is so long and when we’ve done them in the past I haven’t felt that the video games were that great and I don’t really want to do it unless to me, the game is at the level of quality that the movie is.
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.
If you had to choose one Arnold movie to sign up for what would it be?
Neal: I’d probably do Twins.
Who’d you choose as the siblings?
Neal: I don’t know, that’s a good question. I just think it’s a very funny concept.
Toby: How about Jonah Hill and Vin Diesel?
Neal: Okay. There you go. (laughs).
Neal: I just thought that was a very funny concept. I thought Kindergarten Cop was a funny concept too but that would feel very dated to me whereas I could see how Twins could be redone. Maybe you’ll see it at a theater pretty soon (smiles).
You guys are working on Sinbad together?
Neal: Yes we are.
Toby: We are.
Can you tell us where we are with that?
Neal: We are developing a script, it’s called the The 8th Voyage of Sinbad, so it’s kind of like the voyage that’s never been written about. So it’s something we really would like to do, we just haven’t got the script to the point where we are ready to make it yet.
Who’s writing it?
Neal: Right now, (laughs), right now we don’t have anybody writing it. We’re deciding what direction we want to go in. There’s been a lot of movies obviously, Pirates and Prince of Persia, and so we have to be careful that we’re not treading on same territory.
Can you talk about Preacher?
Neal: Preacher is something that we have a script that we really like that we’re developing further. That’s something we’re very interested in.
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.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Total Recall opens in theaters August 3, 2012.