Director Len Wiseman's upcoming Total Recall is one of those projects that straddles the often fine line between remake and reinterpretation. It's not a scene-by-scene refashioning of Paul Verhoeven's 1990 film; however, if early descriptions are accurate, the new Total Recall also deviates significantly from Philip K. Dick's original source material, the short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale."
Wiseman's Total Recall will be a fairly a straightforward sci-fi adventure, in comparison to that of Verhoeven's creation - which was largely just a violent Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle. It is also expected to focus more on the metaphysical themes and implications of Dick's literature... and probably borrow a few tricks from Inception's playbook, when it comes to the art of mixing brains with brazen set pieces.
Previously-released photos from the Total Recall set revealed hovercars and cops wearing futuristic armor - the likes of which are fairly reminiscent of previous sci-fi titles (ex. Demolition Man, Minority Report, etc.) while still being sufficiently unique and imaginative in design, on their own.
The latest batch of set pics reveal some additional familiar, but satisfactory, visual sci-fi tropes - including more technologically-advanced vehicles, Colin Farrell dressed all in black, and Jessica Biel looking ready for battle in a form-fitting costume. A little something for everyone, in other words. ;-)
Check those out Total Recall set photos (via Coming Soon) in the gallery below:
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Here is a semi-official plot synopsis for Wiseman's Total Recall:
The film's new story involves the nation states of Euromerica and New Shanghai, with Douglas Quaid (Farrell) a factory worker in the latter who begins to believe he is a spy, although he doesn't know for which side. Vilos Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) is the leader of Euromerica who, under the cover of protecting his people, is secretly readying an invasion of New Shanghai.
The absence of the Martian setting (imagined and/or real) won't be the only additional difference between the new and old Total Recall movies. Wiseman spoke with Collider a while ago and revealed that his film will be Rated PG-13 - unlike Verhoeven's originally X-Rated mix of gory violence and nudity (which infamously included a three-breasted mutant woman on Mars). While an Unrated cut of Wiseman's Total Recall will be released when it hits DVD/Blu-ray, it's hard to tell at this point whether the theatrical release will really suffer for it (re: feel like it's been noticeably-edited down, to avoid an R-Rating).
Wiseman is a pretty competent action filmmaker and his Total Recall was scripted by a trio of writers - Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), Kurt Wimmer (Salt), and James Vanderbilt (The Losers) - who have all worked on decent, if unspectacular, PG-13 rated thrillers in the past. Total Recall also sounds like it could boast some fairly interesting philosophical subject matter (touching on the nature of identity and memory) and possibly contain some thought-provoking contemporary geopolitical overtones.
So, all in the all, most of the ingredients necessary for this to be an exciting and intelligent sci-fi blockbuster are present - and the writing/directing talent involved seem to compliment (rather than overlap with) one another fairly well. Whether or not Total Recall will end up more (or less) the sum of its parts is another matter.
Total Recall is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. on August 3rd, 2012.
Source: Coming Soon
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