Columbia Pictures presidents Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach have announced that Underworld director Len Wiseman is in final negotiations to direct their remake of the 1990 Paul Verhoeven science fiction favorite, Total Recall. Though still at a late negotiation stage, a press release was put out by the studio (via /Film) to make the announcement, meaning this is a done deal.
Wiseman is best known as the director of Underworld and Underworld: Evolution. He also directed Live Free or Die Hard and is expected to return to helm Underworld 4. He was at one time attached to bring us the feature adaptation of hit video game Gears of War, but budgetary restrictions have that project facing an uncertain future.
The plan is to create a brand new and modernized take on the story — based on Philip K. Dick‘s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale — which follows a man in the year 2084 who suffers from recurring nightmares involving the red planet, Mars. He decides to go to a company who offers memory implants and get a nice, relaxing exotic vacation burnt into his memory to help him calm down. Something goes wrong during the procedure and memories of being a special agent are uncovered, causing him to think someone has been trying to hide something from him and forcing him to set off for Mars and find the answers he seeks.
Speaking about the announcement, Wiseman had this to say:
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.
The original Total Recall is a total mind-trip, causing you to question if it’s all real or if it’s all just in the mind our hero. The film actually went on to grab a couple Academy Award nominations, and even won one for effects work. The problem here is that it only came out in 1990; we don’t like a lot of remakes being announced but to already be getting into ’90s flicks is crazy.
We can always hope that this project sees the same fate as RoboCop recently did, but not being under MGM won’t help. That leaves us to only hope that maybe, just maybe, a cool new take on the story will be crafted.