‘Total Recall’ Trailer: Colin Farrell’s A Futuristic Super-Spy On the Run

3 years ago by  

This summer’s Total Recall marks Len Wiseman’s first time in the director’s chair on a feature-length production since 2007′s Live Free or Die Hard. Actress Kate Beckinsale’s husband has been keeping busy since then by helming the pilot for the rebooted Hawaii Five-0 TV series and co-writing the last two entries in the Underworld franchise, including this past January’s Awakening.

Wiseman and Beckinsale are back and working together again (professionally) on this summer’s Total Recall, which is part remake of director Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle and part re-interpretation of the Philip K. Dick short story that inspired the latter. As promised with last week’s trailer preview, today we can offer a full teaser trailer for Wiseman’s film.

Total Recall does away with the Mars aspect of its predecessor to offer a relatively more grounded representation of the year 2084, in which a seemingly ordinary factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) decides to take a “virtual vacation” by undergoing a process where false memories of life as a secret agent are implanted into his mind. However, the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred when the treatment reveals that Quaid actually is a covert agent, forcing him to go on the run in the hopes of taking down the supreme leader of the free world, Chancellor Cohaagen (Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston). Or is all that simply what Quaid imagines to be the truth?…

A shortened version of the Total Recall teaser trailer premiered during today’s NBA game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, which aired on ABC. The extended version of said promo is now online for viewing (no April Fools, we promise):


Head over to Apple for the HD version


This trailer makes the Total Recall reboot/remake look a bit like Minority Report (also a Farrell-starring movie based on a Philip K. Dick short story) – had that flick been directed by Wiseman. Farrell as Quaid-the-spy very much bears the hallmarks of a stereotypical rogue agent in the post-Bourne Identity era of filmmaking. Similarly, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel – taking over the roles played by (respectively) Sharon Stone and Rachel Ticotin in Verhoeven’s film – also appear to posses some of that contemporary “super human” sort of fighting capability.

Overall it appears that Wiseman’s movie boasts a Fifth Element-inspired future setting (albeit, darker and less cartoony), along with improved set pieces, effects work, and action/stunts thats are more stylized (see: the sequence shot of Farrell taking down multiple police officers), but lack the R-Rated bloodiness found in Verhoeven’s Total Recall. Hence, it’s not entirely fair to call this updated Recall flick a “grittier” version of the story.

On a side note: does anyone else notice the numerous “lens flare” shots on display in this footage? It’s somewhat reminiscent of both the cinematography in Minority Report and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, at different times. Moving on…

For a better look at the world and players of the new Total Recall, check out our trailer image gallery:


Early consensus? Wiseman’s Total Recall looks like a potentially fun time at the movies. Our continued excitement for this flick also stems from the enduring hope that it will indeed tackle those heady philosophical issues about memory and reality which are inherent to its sci-fi storyline, while also sufficing as a visceral thrill ride. Wiseman and his Total Recall cast appear poised to hold up their end of the bargain, so here’s to hoping the screenplay – co-written by Mark Bomback (Unstoppable), James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) and Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium) – likewise delivers the goods.

Total Recall hits theaters around the U.S. on August 3rd, 2012.


Source: iTunes Movie Trailers

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  1. I was just about to start the revolution because it hadn’t premiered yet. Looks amazing. Len Wiseman…bravo

  2. i know this is probably a sin in some circles, but i must admit i have not seen the original Total Recall in its entirety….

    is this the sort of movie i should see the original before i see the reboot?

      • While I haven’t seen this version yet, I do know they deviated heavily from the original story. I would even say more so that the Arnie version because they have totally removed the Mars part which I thought was pretty important.

    • never mind, after watching the trailer i am just gonna watch the original haha

    • Honestly I’d say you are not missing anything. If you typically like cheesy Arnold films and don’t mind his bad acting you may enjoy it, but ultimately it’s really not very good.

  3. Makes me want to watch the original

  4. this could’ve been even better if it was rated R.

  5. The concept design work on this looks amazing similar to Minority Report, love the soldier helmet with the tinted black face shield. The Art will be the only reason I see this but we all know the original did not need a reboot so in my mind the title is far removed. I think I’ll call it ‘Colin Farrell 2099′

  6. Looks good but what’s troubling me, is the fact that there isn’t a single shot of Mars…is this only set on Earth?

    • the article above says no Mars angle

      • oops, didn’t read it carefully…but at least now I know I’m not going to waste money on this bull****!

        • As has been stated before, this is based on the story, not the previous film version, so Mars may have a minimal thematic influence (if so it has not been mentioned yet) but nothing is actually set on Mars. Phillip Dick has so many movies based on his stories these days, and they are all philosophically and thematically rich material, even if they are not the best movies in the past few years (such as The Adjustment Bureau, Next, and more arguably A Scanner Darkly) so I think we should all give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt, or at least wait until we get some early reviews before making too harsh a judgement.

        • This isn’t a remake of the Arnold movie; they are going back to the source material. So, I don’t know how you could make the “b*******” value judgment merely based on the fact they don’t go to Mars.

  7. Yeah, with an R-rating i *might* have seen that movie in the theaters as I *really* liked the original one with Arnold. But seeing that “action” when killing the police officers, I know it’s just too tamed town and made for kids :( Not going to spend money on it.

    • I love the original. That movie is a freakin’ classic…

  8. I loved Arnold’s version but I’m really excited to see this .

  9. i have a feeling all that spy stuff is just a dream. gosh i hope im wrong.
    also i hope jessica biel or kate beckinsale have 3 breasts (each) in this!

    • I assume everyone knows about the Arnie version but I will give a
      ******* SPOILER WARNING ********
      just in case.

      In the Arnie version, it could all be Rekal. He wanted a memory about Mars and even the woman he chose looked just like the contact on Mars. The program did exactly what he paid for. Unfortunately, he is lobotomized.

  10. I don’t get it. Besides not going to Mars, what is the difference between this and the original Total Recall?? It pretty much has almost every one of the same plot points as the original. If Colin Farrell shoots his wife and says “Consider this a divorce.” That will just seal the deal that this is just a simple remake with nothing different, lol.

    I still would prefer Arnold over Colin Farrell though. Can’t stand him…

    • Arnold is an awful actor….. you can barely understand him. And I think colin farrel was amazing in fright night

      • To each his own, but, Arnold does have amazing charisma.
        Think about it, the man stands out in a crowd. Aren’t movie starts supposed to stand out? Even now that he is shrivelled and pudgy, you still recognize the man.

        • He stood out because he was a bodybuilder and had a thick accent. His image got him through Hollywood’s pearly gates not acting.

          • Takes way more than standing out to make yourself mega successful. He wouldn’t have an image, if there wasn’t something more there that just an accent and muscles.

  11. This looks awesome. There are so many awesome movies coming out this summer I wish I wasn’t broke!

  12. awesome.. oh yeah hows the judge dredd remake going? why dont they make a fifth element remake too? blade runner! a bit of sarcasm, but the cgi would look cool

    • A fifth-element remake? Bight your cursed tongue!

  13. Lemme know when there is a non-QT version.

  14. Looks great!!! havent seen the arnie version yet but i want to.

  15. Looks amazing. Add this to the long list of films to see this year.

  16. kate beckinsale vs jessica biel????? hell yes!!

    • Exactly!

  17. Too bad the original has not held up well. This version of Total Recall will be the shizzle. How about a remake of The Running Man?

  18. i know it’s to early to judge but from what the trailer showed it will basically be the same deal as the arnie one minus the cheesy jokes, over the top blood/gore (something i will miss), more professionally choreographed fight scenes and way better visuals and no aliens or intergalatic bs.

    i can deal with little blood and gore and copy/paste of the story if the visuals and fights scenes are well done (no shaky cam, quick cuts and boring action segments) and decent acting – anything > arnie.

  19. This trailer reminded me of mass effect.

    • add some red eye slits to those armored guards/police and you have yourself some cerebrus soldiers lol

  20. This looks so generic and what not.

    This and Battleship seem the same and I’m not impressed. I’ll watch Total Recall with Ah-nuld.

  21. You know,I don’t get the dislike about the simplistic nature of some 80′s films…that’s what was actually great about them.

    You had a douch or a group of douchbags,that acted like such,then some hero would save the day and in true 80′s fashion,would blow them away…not needed for a good ending but for some it was

    they were fun entertainment movies that would not leave you with bad taste in your mouth because some douchbag got away or because the so called good guy was acting like some wimp,like say in the dark knight where batman started to worry about fcc regulations instead of the more important mission of saving the whole city.

    • Call me a youngster but I enjoy more than one dimensional characters

  22. This looks awesome. But, with updated technology and a huge budget from Sony it better look that way. Otherwise, where did the money go?
    That is on a production design aspect.
    Watching this trailer, I thought they were going to stick more closely to the original story but it seems this is more of a blatant remake.
    I’m sure there is room for two versions of TR.
    I mean, look how many versions there are of Hamelt? You got Brannagh’s, Gibson’s, etc.

  23. I think a more generic, paycheque summer blockbuster I could not find. This will come out, get average reviews and disappear from the box office and our memories within a month. How did Mr Wiseman get a job like this anyhoot? Did he just describe how ‘cool’ he was going make the camera moves look? Or did his sterling work on the utterly other generic/pointless/soul crushing Die Hard 4.0 cement his cinematic genius? Ugh. The conversations between him and his wife must be intolerable.

    “Did you like my acting, honey?”
    “Yes. Genius. Did you like my directing?”
    “Yes. Like, totally cool and stuff.”
    “We are good, aren’t we?”


  24. For all of you ‘confused’ people. Pick up a book and stop comparing it to that other movie.

    Also so if it doesn’t have an R rating it is not gritty or grittier.

    “possessing or displaying courage; able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching; “Familiarity with danger makes a brave man braver but less daring”- Herman Melville; “a frank courageous heart…triumphed over pain”- William Wordsworth; “set a courageous example by leading them safely into and out of enemy-held territory”

    Gritty does not mean bloodbath.

    • @aknot

      It’s hard not to compare it to the other movie when it pretty much follows each and every plot point from that movie to the letter… Unless the book is exactly like that too, then I’d have to say I’m surprised a movie from the 80′s followed it that closely as well…

  25. It looks just like Toronto…. where it was filmed.

    The Don Valley Parkway and Highway 401 are just packed with hover cars and darkness.

  26. Blech, the first shots released of this I saw on SR some time back confirmed my suspicions this would be nothing but a slick cgi-fest. This trailer solidifies that confirmation in cement. This will suck.

    • The fact that your name is Morpheus makes your comment THAT much more epic

  27. Looks like a cool video game.
    When’s the movie trailer coming out?


  28. Haven’t read any of the comments.


    I think this looks awesome. Nice trailer.

    Haven’t seen the original with Arnold (heresy?). But I have read the original short story by Philip K. Dick and I love that. So I have high hopes for this!