Even though we sort of knew that Underworld director Len Wiseman was making a new movie version of Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" and decided to reuse Total Recall as the title, it was easy to ignore the idea until this trailer showed up yesterday.
The first Total Recall gets remembered as one of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies and one of the last good movies director Paul Verhoeven made before he totally lost his mind on Showgirls. The new version has Colin Farrell taking over for Arnold, Kate Beckinsale in the Sharon Stone role and Jessica Biel taking over for Rachel Ticotin.%embed2%
This new version drops the trip to Mars that appears in both the original story and the first movie and concentrates on the memory replacement part of the plotline. Even thought the Arnold version has long enjoyed a reputation as the second-best movie based on Dick's work after Blade Runner, it now seems kind of heavy on the campy one-liners that were the Governator's trademark during his big box office years. Steven Spielberg's Minority Report (which coincidentally featured Farrell playing opposite Tom Cruise) now seems like a better choice as the other good Dick movie. Fans of The Adjustment Bureau and A Scanner Darkly are welcome to protest in the comments below. Fans of Next and Paycheck will be ignored or banned.
The new movie looks to play things pretty straight with none of the comic persona Farrell showed off last year in Horrible Bosses. Wiseman's Underworld movies have developed quite a following and Beckinsale qualifies as a genuine action star in her own right by now. The cast also features John Cho (Harold from Harold & Kumar) in a dramatic role and Bryan Cranston in yet another of what seems like an endless string of supporting roles he films between seasons of Breaking Bad. No one's gotten it together to make a movie from Dick's greatest novel The Man in the High Castle, so we'll probably give this one a chance when it's released in August.