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Paul Verhoeven Is Not A Fan Of Hollywood Remakes

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Paul "The Man" VerhoevenDirector Paul Verhoeven has certainly had his share of success in the science fiction genre. His sci-fi films such as RoboCop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers have made him a cult icon, and his films ushered in a new era of science fiction movies in the late 1980s. Considering how popular his SF flicks have been, they’re also ripe for the Hollywood remake machine. We’ve already seen one in the abysmal Total Recall remake from director Len Wiseman, and we’re slated to get another one next year with Jose Padilha’s remake of Verhoeven’s 1987 classic RoboCop. Needless to say, Verhoeven is not a fan of this trend.

In an interview with the Huffington Post’s Mike Ryan, the Dutch director opens up about Hollywood’s remakes of his early films. Wiseman’s Total Recall also adapted Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” but the two directors’ approaches couldn’t be more different. Verhoeven succeeded in making a sci-fi classic largely by not taking the source material too seriously. Verhoeven says:

It’s too serious. They took themselves very seriously and didn’t realize that the big story is also strange. And impossible, of course. But, I felt that it was strange. I felt the movie, in some way, should not take itself too seriously. In fact, ultimately, the casting of Arnold — he was already cast before I was there. So I had to take Arnold. I liked the script already, but Arnold was playing the main part. So, take it or leave it. I said I wanted to do it with Harrison Ford, like in Blade Runner. But I might have made a mistake because Blade Runner is also very serious.

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Paul Verhoeven Sounds Off On Total Recall Remake

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There was some anticipation for Len Wiseman’s Total Recall before it was released. Could this movie live up to Paul Verhoeven’s original 1990 film? Could the movie benefit from an update? Could a realistic approach to Total Recall be just the thing it needed to work for a modern audience? After the film was released last month, the answer to these questions was a resounding “No.”

Movieline.com reports that director Paul Verhoeven recently watched the Total Recall reboot and shared his opinion of it at a special screening of his original version in Los Angeles, California. Verhoeven said of the remake:

I think if it would have been done in a straight way, I’m not so sure that it would have worked – at least, not at that time. And recently [in the Total Recall remake], it did not. I get to say that because the producer of the new one said that this was cheesy or something. And Colin Farrell called it in an interview ‘kitschy.’ So I dare to say that his version was not good.