It’s been fourteen years (and two terrible sequels) since Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers nuked and impaled its way into the hearts of action and science fiction fans the world over. Lovers of the great bug-battling franchise will be excited (or terrified) to know that a new installment will be released in summer 2012. MovieWeb debuted the following, sweet poster for the new CGI film, which will be titled Starship Troopers: Invasion and is currently in production in Japan under the direction of Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed, Appleseed Ex Machina, and Halo Legends).
The poster is a bit of a tease. It only shows a disembodied bug limb with an impaled human torso floating in space, with a vaguely Earth-ish planet in the background. The best thing about it, though, is how it plays with/into the propaganda and public service announcements fans will remember from earlier installments. The (sweet) tagline? “When engaging insects, use protection! Penetrating Summer 2012”. Hopefully, Starship Troopers: Invasion will be reminiscent more of Verhoeven’s interesting and darkly funny original film than its direct to video/DVD sequels.
For those unfamiliar with the 1997 film and subsequent franchise (loosely based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein), they are concerned with the military struggles between future humans and the hostile aliens Arachnids – referred to mostly just as “bugs”. The “bugs” are basically what you might imagine: giant, hyper-violent, badass bugs that impale and maim with impunity. Humans go to battle with these crazy creatures during their travels and colonization efforts out in space.
The story is more than just a sci-fi action story, though. There are funny and pointed commentaries on the intersection of war and fascism, propaganda, and the effects of war on soldiers that can be found if you look beyond. It is this aspect of Starship Troopers (along with the sometimes absurdly over the top deaths of bugs and people alike) that has kept the film interesting over a decade after its initial release.
It’s unclear from the plot summary so far, whether the new film will carry through with any of the satire and social commentary of the original (or Heinlein’s novels), but it sounds kind of interesting nonetheless. Here’s the official plot:
In Starship Troopers: Invasion, a distant Federation outpost protected by the Starship John A. Warden comes under attack by bugs and the team on Fast Attack Ship Alesia is assigned to help evacuate the survivors and bring military intelligence safely back to Earth. Before the attack ship can rendezvous with the starship, Carl Jenkins [the slightly psychic character played by Neil Patrick Harris in the original film], now at the ministry of Paranormal Warfare, takes the starship on a clandestine mission and goes missing in the nebula. The battle-hardened troopers are then charged with a rescue mission that may have much more sinister consequences than they ever could have imagined.