Posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 by Russ Fischer
I’ve written a bit in the past about the effort by David Cronenberg and Dino De Laurentiis to produce Total Recall, a movie based on Philip K. Dick‘s story We Can Remember it for You Wholesale. The short recap is that prior to making The Fly, Cronenberg cranked out a dozen drafts of a Total Recall script and realized at the end of that process that he and Dino were never going to be on the same page. So he moved on, eventually made The Fly, and years later Paul Verhoeven directed the Total Recall that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.
As is often the case for a development project from major players that is many drafts into the process, concept art was created for Cronenberg’s Total Recall. We’ve just never seen any of it, until now.
io9 got this art from Ron Miller, the artist who, with his wife Judith Miller, worked for Dino in Rome developing Cronenberg’s version of the film. Miller says “I produced scores of drawings and paintings while Judith created models of sets and spacecraft, mostly of paper and balsa wood,” all under the direction of production designer Pierluigi Basile.
Miller explains some of the differences between this early, scrapped version, and the one that Verhoeven made:
What eventually became Pyramid Mountain in the Verhoeven version was originally a prehistoric Martian sphinx excavated from the Martian desert, and a good deal more screen time was have been allotted to Kuato, including an elaborate dream sequence where he morphed first into the sphinx and then into a kind of phosphorescent vagina. Cronenberg had some very Cronenberg touches, such as agents with guns hidden within their bodies, but absolutely my favorite idea of all those we came up with was to have camels imported from earth to haul freight across the Martian deserts. This would, of course, have been after significant terraforming had already been done…but not so much that the camels didn’t have to wear respirators!
How awesome is the camel idea? And why has no one done that yet?
Here’s some of the art. io9 has the rest.