Could 'Total Recall's' Failure Kill the New 'Starship Troopers' Reboot?
Another day, another remake. Late last year it was reported that Starship Troopers was possibly getting a reboot/remake, thanks to (most likely) the buzz from the recent animated sequel and a general interest in Paul Verhoeven's classic sci-fi work. At the time, Len Wiseman's Total Recall remake was tracking well, it had a lot of good early buzz, but in the end it fared poorly at the box office. The film only earned a measly $58 million this summer and now word from the man himself, Mr. Verhoeven, is that this might've killed off the Starship Troopers remake, too. Good riddance? Or aw shucks? At least Paul Verhoeven is speaking out.
The update and quote comes directly from Paul Verhoeven, the mastermind behind some of the best sci-fi films from the 80's/90's like RoboCop, Starship Troopers and Total Recall. The Playlist interviewed him recently and spoke briefly about the remakes/reboots of all of his sci-fi movies (even though they're adapted from original novels). Here's the pertinent quote from him mentioning Starship Troopers being in trouble:
"I don't know if they're going to do 'Starship Troopers' after the failure of 'Total Recall,'" Verhoeven told us. "Yes, they bought the rights, we know that, but I really thought they made a mistake when they did the remake by making it so serious. I'm not so sure [that approach] will work for ['Starship Troopers'] either. I think all of these films are accepted because they don't take themselves so seriously. There's a lightness, you believe it, but we also know it's not true." Co-signed, Mr. Verhoeven.
I'll tell you what the problem is. His name is Neal Moritz - the producer with the rights for these reboots. This guy needs to stop producing movies that aren't Fast and the Furious. I don't care about his history, Moritz is honestly the guy behind why these kind of remakes/reboots turn out so bad. But because has has such a big name in Hollywood (and money), he can scoop up the rights to anything he wants. I never even saw the 2012 Total Recall because I hate Len Wiseman, the director, and I knew the moment he was signed on it would turn out awful. No marketing, nothing they could do, not even two hot actresses could save it from disaster. Maybe Verhoeven should help get this in the hands of someone who will do a good job with it.
Speaking of more sequels/reboots, Verhoeven comments on those too, explaining why he doesn't do them:
"No, no, I was never going to be involved. There was always a plan to do a sequel at Orion, and it never came to anything [for me -- RoboCop 2 was made, in 1990, with Irvin Kershner directing]. As you know, I'm not a big fan of sequels because I've never done them. I've always escaped them narrowly. I think you better not do them. But sometimes there's so much pressure and so much that they offer you – these actors and this and that, a much bigger budget – but I've always been able to avoid the temptation."
I'm glad we finally get to hear something from Paul Verhoeven, because I really miss him. I recently posted a link to the violent RoboCop ED-209 clip with a tweet message saying "I miss 80's/90's Paul Verhoeven. This is one reason why." No one made movies like he did, and it really seems no one ever can make them like he did. Even when they try, even when they throw over $120 million at it. Honestly, you know who would make a great Starship Troopers remake/reboot? Christopher Nolan. Or David Fincher. Or Neill Blomkamp. But they're probably going to hire someone like Len Wiseman who will, once again, turn out a piece of trash that can't come close to touching what Verhoeven delivered in 1997. They can certainly try, but it won't do well.
I'm a huge fan of the original Starship Troopers, and was nervously looking forward to seeing them try and put together a reboot. I'm still worried and was hoping for the best, but this puts a damper on the situation. Maybe it is good riddance. If they can't do it right, then why do it at all? Seems like Paul Verhoeven agrees.