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SDCC 2011: ‘Total Recall’ Panel & Footage Description
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Week of Geek: SDCC 2011 Coverage - San Diego Comic Con

SDCC 2011: Total Recall panel: Jessica Biel

The Total Recall remake is still over a year away, but the cast and crew were on hand in hopes of building a solid buzz for the movie early. Director Len Wiseman comes out, joined by stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, and John Cho.

Wiseman says they’re only halfway through filming (and probably shouldn’t be showing anything off yet), but they’re going to show off something anyway. Hooray for pleasing the masses!

Continue reading for more from the panel and descriptions of the footage shown.

A portion of the footage shown was just animated storyboards, and a lot of shots were without the visual effects completed, but nevertheless, you can still get a good feel of where they’re going with the movie.

The footage begins with Farrell as Douglas Quaid talking to someone, asking them if they’re happy with the way that their life turned out. He then asks about a place called ReKall, with a response warning him to avoid it.

But as anyone who’s seen the original Total Recall (or the 1966 Phillip K. Dick short story for which the two movies are based, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale) knows, Quaid does in fact go to the company, where you can be whatever it is you want to be to escape your average life.

When Quaid arrives at ReKall a woman reminds him to “have a good time” before being welcomed in by McClane (John Cho), who owns the place. McClane explains that your any fantasy can become a reality—you can be a professional athlete or a superhero or whatever you want—and that virtual experience will remain with you as an actual memory. He’s also sure to warn Quaid that he can’t be hiding anything: doing so could lead things to go horribly wrong, and the person’s brain could be fried. Quaid assures McClane that he has nothing to hide.

Quaid is hooked up to the machine, but before they can really get started McClane notices something wrong and orders one of the assistants to yank the needle out of his arm, saying Quaid is hiding something and that he’s a spy.

Things get chaotic as a confused Quaid tries to explain that he’s a nobody and has nothing to hide as white–armored men enter the room shooting. At his pleas they hesitate for a moment and Quaid springs into action, taking every one of them out with ease. He looks shocked at whatever it is he just pulled off, saying “holy shit” before trying to escape. More armed men show up, however, and he’s forced to retreat back into the room he was just in and locks the door.

The armed men then shoot an “eyeball” device with red and green blinking lights into the room, hitting Quaid in the arm. He pulls it out and steps on the device before going through the men he had taken down earlier to try and find something useful. He finds an explosive and uses it to escape as the men enter the room. This is where it flips over to animated storyboard and we see Quaid sliding down a chute and jumping over a platform in some sort of airplane hangar–type setting before jumping out a window, showing the city in the background.

After that, it’s back to live–action with some quickfire shots of Beckinsale and Biel fighting each other, and a bit at the end of Farrell saying “If I’m not me, then who the hell am I?” to Cranston’s character, who responds “You don’t have the most reliable of memories, do ya?”

The cast then explained who they were playing to those who may not be so familiar with the original or who’s playing who in the remake. Farrell jokingly describes himself as an Austrian bodybuilder who becomes a big star and eventually gets into politics before answering more seriously that he’s Douglas Quaid, a man who’s “living the dream,” not sure what his life is supposed to be, and that he gets a rude awakening about 15 minutes into the movie.

Beckinsale shares that she’s playing Lori, Quaid’s wife (once played by Sharon Stone) who actually works for Vilos. Biel says she’s playing Melina (played originally by Rachel Ticotin), a government agent who doesn’t know what’s going on, but intends on finding out.

Cranston says he’s playing Vilos, a general and friend of Quaid’s who believes the seemingly evil things he does are actually for the much more important “greater good.”

Not in attendance was Bill Nighy, who’s playing Kuato, and Ethan Hawke, who’s playing a smaller unidentified role.

Images

[Photos by Dave3; additional reporting by Empress Eve.]

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