[UPDATE: SONY HAS PULLED THE TV SPOT.]
We were moderately excited about Len Wiseman's Total Recall reboot/remake for most of last year, thanks in part to the casting of fan-favorites like Bill Nighy (Underworld) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) in pivotal supporting roles - along with the promise that the film will adhere more closely to the tone and themes of Philip K. Dick's source material (the short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale") than director Paul Verhoeven's enjoyable, yet undeniably cheesy, 1990 adaptation did.
Our expectations rose all the higher after seeing some early footage screened at the film's New York Comic-Con 2011 panel, which hinted at a Total Recall movie that could indeed deliver a healthy helping of brains to go along with the (nowadays) requisite darker/grittier action and improved effects work.
A portion of that early Comic-Con footage from Wiseman's Total Recall has now been made available for the wider viewing public - in the form of a TV spot that is part fake promotion for the futuristic (fictional) Rekall Company featured in the film, but also part truncated sizzle reel.
Here is the meat of the plot for the new Total Recall (followed by the first TV spot):
Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he’s got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man.
Video removed by studio request
As illustrated by the above footage, Wiseman's Total Recall will certainly benefit from the advancements in both CGI and practical set design made over the past two decades since Verhoeven's adaptation hit theaters. The former is also expected to more openly embrace the grand notions about our perception of reality - and how we define our existence through unreliable memories - present in Dick's source material, while also playing things more seriously than Verhoeven did (re: no Arnold Schwarzenegger one-liners).
For "proof" of that: Wiseman's Total Recall is based on a screenplay penned by Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium, Salt), James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Losers), and Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard, Unstoppable). That complimentary mix of writing talent does indeed seem positioned to help deliver a solid film which effectively balances out visceral thrills with lofty sci-fi concepts and dramatic subject matter.
Total Recall is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. on August 3rd, 2012. Expect an actual trailer for the movie to drop in the near future.