Total Remake of Total Recall!


I should be worried about the day she starts dating, or when she finally gets her driver’s license, but quite honestly, the only thing of concern in my daughter’s future is, well, what films she’ll be watching – and loving.

Is my my daughter going to grow up thinking Rob Zombie made “Halloween”, Michael Bay created Freddy and Jason, Brittany Snow starred in the original “Prom Night”, Will Smith’s son is-the-one-and-only ‘Karate Kid’ and nobody was hurt on the production of “The Crow” ?  The way it’s looking, what with all these classic films being remade, that’ll be exactly the case.

“Really Dad? John Travolta was in a Grease movie!? But how could anyone but Zac Efron ever play Danny Zuko! I can’t imagine the old man from Wild Hogs dancing!?’

“No, I’m not watching that version of “NeverEnding Story”! It looks old! The Rock Monster looks like he’s made of styrofoam! I like this one – with Hilary Duff!”

“Dad, did you hear Shia LeBeouf is making a time-travel movie where he goes back to 1985 and gets his parents together. It sounds so original! I can’t wait! Weeeeee!”

It’s actually quite sad. To think that Charisma (my daughter) will only know of the ‘remakes’ of so many of the great films we grew up watching – films like Poltergeist, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (which I heard today is full-steam ahead), The NeverEnding Story, Child’s Play, The 39 Steps, Adventures in Babysitting, Footloose, The Evil Dead, Pet Sematary, Oh, God!, Predator, Porky’s, RoboCop, Spies Like Us, Sharky’s Machine, Smokey and the Bandit, Vanishing Point, The Stepfather, Romancing the Stone, Weird Science (only recently heard about this one – grrr!) and now, Total Recall.

Like so many of those abovementioned films, ”Total Recall” isn’t that old – let alone is it need of a rehaul! But thats not going to stop Columbia from remaking the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring classic!

There’s probably not one person reading this column who doesn’t remember rushing out to see “Total Recall” when it opened in the Summer of 1990.  I remember the day fondly – I was as giddy as heck. That year (and the next, with “T2” opening) was the ‘Year or Arnold’ – he had the best science-fiction film of the year on release, and followed it up with a terrific little action/comedy called “Kindergarten Cop” (which I imagine will be the next film to be remade). I also remember it as one of the last films I saw with a good friend of mine before he died. A big time movie-buff, my late friend was killed a couple of years later in a bus accident – traveling home, of course, from a movie. I remember he went nuts for “Total Recall” – as most 15-year-olds would at the time – and sent me his ‘ review’ (never to be published, of course; I didn’t have a website back then), by mail (again, no Internet either back then), within the week. But I digress, the movie had such an impact on us – it was probably the first Schwarzenegger film that had many of us seeking membership into the Oak club. I still have the block-mounted “Total Recall” poster hanging up… in my shed.

I recently watched the film on Blu-Ray (What a shitty Blu-Ray that is though, Lionsgate!) and found it to be just as entertaining, and pack just as much punch, as it did fifteen-odd years ago. Schwarzenegger’s lines are gold, Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox are still as credible as ever as the merciless villains, and Sharon Stone – wow! – kicks mucho butto in that pink number.

There’s been talk of a sequel over the years. I believe The Weinstein Company had the rights to make one at one stage – and even toyed with the idea of bringing Schwarzenegger back. It didn’t happen. And now that there’s a remake on the way – never will. Bob and Harvey sold the rights to the film to Columbia when they left Disney.

The original, based on the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” follows a man haunted by a recurring dream of journeying to Mars who buys a literal dream vacation from a company called Rekall Inc., which sells implanted memories. The man comes to believe he is a secret agent and ends up on a Martian colony, where he fights to overthrow a despotic ruler controlling the production of air.

Calling Dick’s story “prescient,” Producer Neal Moritz said he hoped the advancements in technology and state-of-the-art visual effects can help tell the “Recall” story in a fresh way.

So… who do you think will get a look-in to play Doug Quaid this time ’round? I wouldn’t be surprised, since Moritz is producing, and he’s worked with the guy on several occasions, if Vin Diesel’s asked to headline the picture. Could probably see John Cena being on that wish-list too (depending on how well “12 Rounds” does); maybe even Jason Statham. Suppose there’s a bunch of names – – – none of which will ever help erase the beautiful memories of Schwarzenegger’s face melting on the Red Planet.

The Hollywood Reporter has this sad, sad report…