back to article Total Recall rehash – exit Martians, enter Jessica Biel

Those film fans among you who were sitting in darkened rooms, trembling at the prospect of Hollywood's re-imagining of Paul Verhoeven's 1990 sci-fi romp Total Recall, should rest assured that things look promising for the latest interpretation of Philip K Dick's We Can Remember It for You Wholesale. First up, Arnold …


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  1. Dick Emery

    Leave it be!

    Seriously this rebooting of old movies has got to stop. The Arnie version is perfect the way it is. The TV series was dull and boring and it sounds like the reboot is just as dull and boring. Plus will there be Jonny Cab?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      I can see where you are coming from, but re-creating a movie doesn't suddenly delete the old one from all history does it?

    2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      One of my fav Arnie films...

      Can't see why they would do this. So much going for the original.

      Ah well, I thought the BSG remake would turn out to be total shite (the last season was) but on the whole it wasn't too bad.

    3. Chris Hainey

      Re: Leave It Be

      Jonny Cab is rumoured to be played by Ed Miliband

      / The one with the mutant friendly pockets

    4. T J

      Not a reboot as far as I can tell?

      If they are calling it 'Total Recall' then I guess they are rebooting the title. But otherwise this looks like an attempt to actually re-tell the book, which is all anyone should care about.

      The Arny film was an utter, utter, steaming abortion. Not even a PKD plot could save it.

      So let's see what they come up with.

      When you tell a PKD story 'straight', or an approximation of straight, you get a good result.

      Screamers was brilliant despite being very low budget, Minority Report survived having Tom Cruise in it, and we all know about Blade Runner.

      Now if they want to get real, they should tackle 'The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch'.

  2. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    OK but...

    I welcome this one this open arms, especially if Mr Nighy is along for the ride, but please stop using the word "re-imagining".

    Happily skipping along the sentances, reading the article then you hit "re-imagining" and it's as if a giant bee as flown into your mouth and your choking while being stung!!

    1. Steve Gill

      it is what it is

      Re-imagining is a perfectly accurate description of Hollywood's current attempts to cover up the fact that they no longer do original work.

      1. Chris 3

        Nope, the accurate word is:


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I could spend all that money to go and see it in the cinema...

    or maybe I could just pay someone to inject an artificial memory of having seen the film.

    Then at least I will have enjoyed the experience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      seeing the trailers often enough and reading the positive reviews, might do the trick..

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Consider it a divorce

    Can we actually file for divorce with Holliwood? The Quaid way?

  5. DF118

    It will be difficult to beat Verhoeven's

    It's the only movie I can think of where not a single frame is wasted. There is always something happening, and for that reason alone (never mind all the others) it is easily one of the best sci-fi action movies ever made.

    Now, compare and contrast with the Twilight franchise...

    1. tony

      A Title,

      Good Idea! That's what was missing from Total Recall, sparkly vampires!!1

      Twilight Recall at Wizards school! Best movie eva!

      1. Scott Marshall

        Or we could do it as a Clint Eastwod "Dirty Harry" mash-up

        Of course, if we can get "Dirty Harry" Callahan in the movie, we would have to call it "Total Recoil"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Now I know i'm old. FFS, they're remaking movies that were made when I was in my twenties.

    Either that or they really are completely out of ideas.

    1. Oninoshiko

      this is a title!

      it's the latter, kid.

  7. Mike VandeVelde

    could they make it any cheesier than the original?

    all signs point to yes

  8. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    And only last week...

    We had a perfectly good list of science fiction films that haven't been made yet.

    What is it that makes Hollywood think the best way to make a film is to find a film already released, cut its head off, pee down the hole, stir well, and glue the head back on backwards to make some sort of shambling imbecilic monster? Does no-one in the 'creative industries' actually have any imagination?


  9. David Hicks

    This is why we can't hve nice things

    First the AHNULD version, and now the Underworld version! Great! Why not lets just go piss on Phil's grave?

    OTOH, Bill Nighy is a good move, he was in Sean of the Dead so he can do no wrong.

    1. Smallbrainfield

      I still can't believe John Woo made such a fcukup of Payback

      The original short story is fast paced and actually reads like a treatment for an action movie, yet the film was tedium incarnate. They should try remaking that instead as the original (unlike Total Recall) is a crime.

      1. Alien8n

        Book version

        Agreed, when I saw they were making a film of the story I thought "great!" until I actually saw the film. That's not to say it was total hash, but I felt the original ending of seeing the USA turning into a totalitarian state and the main character's attempts to join the good fight would be a much better ending than "seeing the future causes end of the world". Although the book would probably have been seen as too close to a documentary than science fiction nowadays...

      2. defiler

        John Woo / Payback

        I think you're talking about Paycheck. Payback was (shock!) an excellent movie with Mel Gibson, directed by Brian Helgeland.

      3. Chimp

        Your old mother

        John Woo hasn't made a decent movie in 25 years.

  10. stucs201

    See icon

    see icon

  11. Anonymous Coward

    big fan of the original

    especially the quote....

    Come on, Cohaagen! You got what you want. Give those people air!

    where "air" is pronounced "Ay-errr" by arnie. cracks me up.

  12. MrMcginty

    Ditch Mars?

    I thought this was supposed to be harking back to the PKD story, the way Carpenter did with the original source material for The Thing? Why get rid of Mars? Damn the 1990 film, it was in the bloody Philip K. Dick story.

    1. Marvin the Martian

      Quaid? Quail! Please come back, all is forgiven!

      I think that's what's actually happening, that harkening. IIRC, there's the memories of Mars in PKD but no actual Mars trip --- and as I read it this movie will stick to that instead of what the 90s movie did.

      The proof of the pudding will be in the name of the lead --- Quail (as per PKD) or Quaid (as per Verhoeven).

      /"It will be difficult to beat Verhoeven" and there may be laws against it; but I think it's worth a try, he definitely deserves it for Showgirls. Years ago he said he'd like to film the life of Jesus; that I would definitely want to watch -- it'll probably become a facistoid movie like Starship Troopers; I'm sure the church will hate it even more than The Life of Brian! Let's go slaugter some holy cows!

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


        Verhoeven completely fucked Starship Troopers up...

        But.. Total Recall... excellent.

        1. Sooty

          @sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

          Nothing wrong with Starship Troopers, it's a pretty good film. It just doesn't have very much to do with a book that has the same name

    2. Tom 13

      Similar thoughts from me.

      After finishing the article my first thought for a comment was:

      So, that will be less to do with the book than even the Arnie version....

  13. James Foreman

    But ...

    New Shanghai and Euromerica? Does that mean they've excised the totemic, iconic, utterly wonderful "Get your ass to Maaass" line? Oh woes!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      But this does open up deliciously cheesey replacement dialouge!!

      Such as:

      -Get your ass to EuroDisneyland!! (product placement of the year!!)

      -Oh, so Euromerican??

      -Euromerica was formed after Simon Cowell won the reality TV wars.... (backstory!!)

  14. lglethal Silver badge

    Well at least no ones going to confuse it with the original...

    Still if its going to be so different, why not give the movie a new name? And let it try to rest on its own laurels rather then trying to piggy back on a classic?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Get ur arse back to MARS!!!

    That is all......

  16. Annihilator Silver badge


    I kept reading that as "replaced by Colin Firth" and was utterly baffled at the misplaced casting efforts. Friday - beer.

  17. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Get your ass to...

    ...where, exactly?

    TR without Mars is like Jaws without the shark!

  18. Jim 59

    Oh no

    Why don't they remake a rotten movie instead of one that was well made the first time ? Could it be that they just want to use the Total Recall link to drag people into the cinema, rather than actually making a good film ?

  19. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Kate Beckinsale

    How can you mention that Bill Nighy and Len Wiseman are from Underworld, but completely ignore Kate Beckinsale in the film in black leather?

    God there's no way I'm going to get any work done today now...

  20. koncordski

    Ah yes, but will there be...

    ..a woman with three tits? Special effects have come a long way since the time of the original triple latex jubfest.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


      ...can get Daniella Atencia

      Or they could try Sellafield/Windscale swimming club.

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      How about...

      If you want to see a film with a girl with 3 tits , how about watching "3 men and a baby", Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson.

      1. CmdrX3

        That was fookin funny...

        Most amusing comment of the day goes to you Mr Krakenfart.

  21. neverSteady
    Thumb Down

    How original

    Running out of ideas again. Hollywood?

    1. Ian Yates


      Hollywood can't even remember what ideas are to know how to run out of them

  22. Velv


    "starts shooting in June"

    That would be... Two Weeks

  23. Anonymous Coward


    Why oh God why. Just keep the original as one of the best movies ever.

  24. Richard Jukes


    I think what we all really want to know, nay, NEED to know, is; Will there still be that bird with three tits in the remake?

  25. Francis Boyle

    How can I

    upvote the subhead?

  26. Dave B 1


    Speaking on behalf of myself as well as all 15 year old boys everywhere, as long as the chick with three boobs is in it again, I'm happy.

  27. nigel 15

    Three Boobed Hooker

    Is anyone else looking forward to seeing the three-boobed-alien-hooker rendered in up to date CGI?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      And Real3D!!


  28. RainForestGuppy

    But will it have..

    The bit about the additional memories of the alien encounter.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    We could save them some money

    ..and just say its going to be a crap rehash now.

  30. Jimboom

    I have to wonder

    Since they are changing the setting and some of the premise then why not just change a few names and the name of the movie? I mean it sounds half decent, I just don't get why they HAVE to call it total recall?

  31. MrCheese
    Thumb Down

    So Hollywood are totally giving up on new ideas then?

    See above :(

  32. Ian Yates

    Naively hopeful

    True, the original film (despite its late 80s graphics) was a reasonably good adaptation of Dick's attempt to confuse the concepts of memory and reality.

    The re-imagining, apart from highlighting that Hollywood has no more imagination, has plenty of leeway to play with the same concepts and make something good.

    Should be interesting to keep an eye on.

  33. Conrad Longmore
    Big Brother

    So is it..

    So is it an adaptation of "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" or a remake of "Total Recall". Those are not quite the same thing..

    (Big Brother because PKD teaches us that there's always another layer of conspiracy behind the one you think you know).

    1. graeme leggett

      From the sound of it

      A remake/adaption of Total Recall.

      "We Can Remember it for you wholesale" was a short story, a few pages if memory serves.." about the right length and content to make an original Twilight Zone episode not a two hour film

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      e.g "Faith of our Fathers"


  34. Smallbrainfield

    So in essence, it sounds less of a remake and more like an enitrely

    different film in all but name, with a vague nod to the original concept. Why call it Total Recall? It's irksome to fans of the original story and the film and means nothing to the kids they're expecting to pay to watch it.

    Is it in 3d?

  35. Da Weezil

    inspiration fail!

    And yet the tired hacks in the industry refuse to believe there is any correlation between this rehashing and the fall in ticket and dvd sales?

    "Retelling". Some of your audience is more intelligent than to fall for that spin.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dino De horrendous must be dead

    At least we seemed to have moved beyond the 'action films must star a pile of muscles/no need for acting era'

  37. Jan 0

    I remember it by the bushel

    In spite of the execrable special effects, I thought the Verhoeven flick did an excellent job of conveying some of Philip K Dick's ideas. Nonetheless, for once, here's a remake that also sounds promising.

    I'll keep some Rökporter back for the occasion.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    PKD getting recognition at last

    As well as the Total Recall remake, there are movies of "Ubik", "Flow my Tears the Policeman said", and "The Man in the High Castle" in the works. Go PKD, fame at last!

  39. Peter Clarke 1

    Great Title

    If it's a re-boot with alterations then surely it should be called PARTIAL RECALL!

    I'll leave if you stop calling me Shirley

  40. Anonymous Coward


    Whenever I hear people complain about this I get Lister from Red Dwarf in my head saying:

    "Ohh No! they've remade Casablanca, philiistines!, the version with Myra Binglebat and Peter Beardsley was definitive!!"

  41. Big Al

    @AC "Go PKD, fame at last!"

    What, so Blade Runner, Minority Report and The Adjustment Bureau didn't generate enough newsprint for you, or something?

  42. Lamont Cranston

    I worry

    that my kids will grow up with nostalgia for some really shitty films. Perhaps I should nip this in the bud and show them the original whilst they're still toddlers?

    1. hplasm
      Thumb Up


      It's the best way to keep them sane!

  43. Putonghua73

    Lars Von Trier

    I might have been interested in the concept if Lars Von Trier was directing (or Alejandro Amenabar). Verhoeven's effort for pure pace, style and verve was almost perfect. I remember going to see Total Recall in my late teens and my expectations were low (a bit like the Matrix, many, many years later). So I was completely blown away by the frenetic pace, action, sheer violence (the body count in the early stages is staggering - but often gets missed), interwined with the plot.

    Agree with the majority of the comments, that there are plenty of Sci-Fi films that could be made (Neuromancer demands to be done right - without overblown Lawnmower Man style effects - although I don't think any version will come close to the stylistic, downbeat feel of Bladerunner re: drizzling rain, skyscrapers with images of Japanese women 'geisha' make-up, and the throbbing crowds), so am perplexed but not surprised at yet another re-working. Especially when there is no need.

    It's been a long time since I've shown any interest in Hollywood. That doesn't look like it's about to change.

    Neuromancer or Snow Crash - without Keanu Reeves. That's all.

  44. Brian 59

    Could always watch

    Iron sky! After seeing the trailers I'm so looking forward to it!

  45. David Kelly 2

    Original Stinker

    I thought the original Total Recall movie was a Mind F***ing waste.

    Thats supposed to be a joke as it seemed to me anytime they thought need of filling space with dialog they would say "mind f***". Only movie to have ever offended me with language, and only because it was never appropriate and always gratuitous. Wasn't the language that offended but the script.

    OTOH I got a chuckle from some of their futuristic kitchenware. The Mrs serves Arnold breakfast pouring the drink from a white thermal carafe out of a late 1980's Black & Decker Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker. I still have two of the things, still working.

  46. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @It will be difficult to beat Verhoeven's

    But Mr Verhoeven's oeuvre lacked the important feature of any modern scifi movie - Ms Beckinsale in tight black leather cat suit (replacing the previous requirement of Carrie-Anne Moss in TBLCS)

  47. Joe User

    Title of the next rehash?

    "Total Crap".

  48. montyburns56

    Casting Couch Blues

    I heard a rumour that Kate Beckinsale only got a part in this film because she slept with the director.....

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    all these posts

    and no one has said

    'enter jessica biel - given the chance, but only in my dreams'

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