As many of you already know, Sony Pictures is dusting off the 80’s sci-fi action flick Total Recall directed by Paul Verhoeven (Starship Trooper, the original Robocop) and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film was an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, about a man who goes to a company that implants life-like memories of vacations you were never on only to uncover that his memory has already been altered to cover up his past life as a government assassin. The studio has released a teaser trailer as well as posters to gear up for the late summer release. Colin Farrell takes over the lead role from the govenator and is supported by Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bill Nighy, Bryan Cranston, and Ethan Hawke. Len Wiseman, of Underworld fame directs.
PKD has been a favorite for Hollywood studios looking for sci-fi action fodder since Ridley Scott adapted Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? into the Harrison Ford hit Blade Runner, the only film Dick saw before dieing months after its release. The most recent, aside from the currently in post-production Total Recall, was the Matt Damon vehicle The Adjustment Bureau. Very rarely do these films follow his stories closely as studios are more interested in the sci-fi aspects and less the questions of reality and main characters who, though they may perform heroic acts, aren’t typically Hollywood heroes that PKD liked to infuse his stories with. Minority Report and Paycheck are perfect examples. I would advise those who aren’t willing to pick up and read a PKD short story collection to try the film adaptations Blade Runner, Impostor starring Gary Sinise and Vincent D’Onofrio, Screamers starring Peter Weller, and A Scanner Darkly starring Keanu Reeves and Robert Downey Jr.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-Jt9RCy4v4]