Len Wiseman is in final negotiations to direct a “contemporized adaptation” of Total Recall, which was based on the story, “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick – the book that spawned the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film. Last year, Columbia Pictures hired Kurt Wimmer to pen the remake. Neal H. Moritz will produce through his Original Film banner (yes, a company called Original Films is in the remake business).
I’m not one of those people that think a Total Recall remake has to be aweful, but signing Wiseman to helm said remake gives me less faith that it is achievable.
Wimmer is best known as the screenwriter of Equilibrium and Ultraviolet, but more recently worked with the studio on the Angelina Jolie spy thriller Salt, and co-wrote the F. Gary Gray-directed Law Abiding Citizen. Wiseman began his career in the art department on Godzilla, Stargate, Men in Black, and Independence Day. He moved on to direct commercials, which quickly led to a career in music videos. Wiseman made his feature filmmaking directing debut with Underworld, and he went on to helm Underworld: Evolution and Live Free or Die Hard.
Wiseman commented, “I’ve always been fascinated with Philip K. Dick’s short story, and I’m excited at that prospect of diving even deeper into the type of world it evokes and the questions it asks. I love that the most crucial mystery our character is trying to solve is the one of his own soul.”
First published in April 1966’s Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Wholesale (a pun on the 1962 Broadway Musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale) told the story of a ordinary man who pays to go on a virtually implanted vacation. But the implanted memories of being a secret agent on Mars unleashes deleted memories of his secret past. He discovers physical evidence to support his new old memories, and goes on the run from the government.
The book ends very differently from the Paul Verhoeven movie, with the main character making a deal with the government to return to Rekal to have his past memories suppressed with a new set of heroic wish-fulfillment memories. And again, old deleted memories, similar to the to be implanted memories, are once again revealed to be true. The moral of the story is that a man can’t become something he is not. Even if you can delete the memories, your dreams and fantasies would remain the same. Not very cinematic at all. I’m sure this “remake” will be closer to the Verhoeven film, as a screen adaptation of the book just wouldn’t work too well. We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, is available in book stores or on Amazon for around $13.
The art in the header of this article was created by Jeff Ramirez for the Crazy4Cult art show. Previously featured on /Film in Cool Stuff. Read the full press release below:
LEN WISEMAN TO DIRECT “TOTAL RECALL”
CULVER CITY, Calif., July 29, 2010 – Len Wiseman is in final negotiations to direct Columbia Pictures’ Total Recall, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Columbia Pictures. The film will be a new, contemporized adaptation of Total Recall, which was based on the story, “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Kurt Wimmer is writing the screenplay. Neal H. Moritz will produce through his Original Film banner.
Commenting on the announcement, Tolmach said, “Len has an incredible love of the genre and a great gift for action. He’ll bring a contemporary feel to the film while taking care with everything we love about Philip K. Dick’s original story.”
Moritz said, “I have been trying for years to work with Len and fortunately we finally found a great project that he loves as much as we do. Len is terrifically talented and we know he is the right director to re-imagine Total Recall for a new generation of fans.”
Wiseman added, “I’ve always been fascinated with Philip K. Dick’s short story, and I’m excited at that prospect of diving even deeper into the type of world it evokes and the questions it asks. I love that the most crucial mystery our character is trying to solve is the one of his own soul.”
Toby Jaffe will oversee production on behalf of Original Film. Tolmach and Sam Dickerman are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio. Columbia Pictures secured the rights to Total Recall from Miramax. Wiseman is represented by ICM and attorney Howard Abramson.
LEN WISEMAN began his career in the art department on the blockbuster films Godzilla, Stargate, Men in Black, and Independence Day. With his natural visual flair and eye for design, he was soon behind the lens directing commercials for PlayStation, Time Warner, Oracle, Intel and Activision, which quickly lead to a career in music videos, working with such artists as Quarashi, Rufus Wainwright, Megadeath, En Vogue, Static X, Paul Oakenfold, and Brooke Allison.
Wiseman went on to write and direct Underworld, which was so well received that he went on to direct Underworld: Evolution, a film he also executive produced. He went on to produce Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. His next directing project was the blockbuster hit Live Free or Die Hard.
He most recently directed the pilot for “Hawaii Five-O” and is co-writer and producer of the upcoming Underworld 4.
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