Wimmer writing Total Recall
Kurt Wimmer is set to write the remake for Total Recall, now while that might worry some as images of Equilibrium and Ultraviolet appear before their eyes I have to remind you that the news is that he's set to write the film, not direct it, and when you look at his writing career there's something very different there.
A Total Recall sequel has been in discussions since way back in September 2007, but it was February of this year that we heard a remake was definitely under way. This confirms it and tells us that on paper it's going to be strong.
The original Total Recall saw Arnie playing a man who begins to have a recurring dream of going to Mars so he heads off to Rekall Inc. and buys a dream vacation which implants memories of a holiday into his mind while he sits in a chair going nowhere. However the memories seem to break something free in his mind and he believes that he has released hidden memories of a past where he was a secret agent and must head back to Mars in order to complete his mission.
The story was inspired by a Philip K. Dick novel short story called We Can Remember It For You Wholesale and directed by Paul Verhoeven. Arnold Schwarzenegger lead the original with Sharon Stone and Michael Ironside co-starring.
I really liked the original, and while the effects are looking dated, the story still seems very relevant and powerful today. Even many of the science fiction concepts are still very strong, not seeming to be too silly these days.
So the idea of a remake doesn't really fill me with dread, because if done properly it might be okay, however I would much prefer something just taking the core concept of the story and working it into something new, something different from Total Recall so that film can be left as is.
However the previous news that the film was in fact to be a remake was handled pretty badly as the producer, Neal H. Moritz, revealed that:
"...the technological advancements and state of the art visual effects will "help" the Total Recall story to be told in a fresh way"
Note that this is a quote from my original story, not from Moritz himself, I've just paraphrased what he was saying there.
At the time, and I still stick by this, I wasn't impressed. Merely updating the effects will not allow the story to be told in a fresh and new way, that allows the effects to be updated and look more modern, allowing Hollywood to drop in their two favourite words, "bigger" and "more".
You see the amazing thing about stories, and I can't believe I'm lecturing anyone about this, is that their power comes from the writer. Not effects, not explosions, not close-cropped, zoomed in, shaky camera action, no it's from the story, from the written word.
So with the news that Kurt Wimmer is writing the original some people will be leaping up and screaming about how he directed Ultraviolet and Equilibrium and how they were bad films. Well I agree that they weren't great films, but the ideas and the writing behind them were good, and then there's the rest of his writing career to look at.
Now those that were judging him on two films alone are probably sitting up a bit more aren't they? I certainly am now that it's put in those terms.
Oh, and the word on the adaptation is still that it's just a "contermporised adaptation", whatever the hell that means.