Posted on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 by Hunter Stephenson
Earlier today, /Film’s Brendon Connelly reported on a new Matt Damon movie based loosely on a short story by one of the most important and precocious authors of all time, Philip K. Dick, and now, well, THIS. Columbia Pictures and producer Neal H. Moritz (I Am Legend, The Green Hornet, The Skulls III) have tossed Paul Verhoeven‘s Total Recall on the remake block under the pretense that today’s leaps in special effects will make it worthwhile. What, no 3D bait? No news on a director or writer. The original 1990 film starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone and is regarded as an above-par and faithfully bonkers adaptation of the late sci-fi writer’s short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.” We can still remember it pretty well via Netflix or Wikipedia, thanks anyway.
Set in 2084, Schwarzenegger’s highly quotable character finds himself entrapped in one of Dick’s proto-counterfeit unrealities after an implanted dream vacation to Mars causes an apparent schizoid break (or did it)? In typical Verhoeven fashion, the R-rated film doesn’t veer away from sexuality (look man, three boobs!) or violence, and proved to be a big hit for its time.
So yeah, rehashing sci-fi that was already creatively successful and provocative is just the lowest of the low, and counterproductive to the what the genre and PKD—which Hollywood usually guts for brainless action exercises—adds to society, thought and culture. But there’s something dark, ironic and guiltily enjoyable about witnessing PKD’s previously adapted and chaotic works getting adapted again and again and again.
Update: /Film commenter, Octoberist, points out that Moritz’s production company is called Original Films. Oy vey.
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