We still have a while to wait for the August 3 release of the new “Total Recall,” but now that we’ve seen and obsessed over the official full-length trailer, we have a better idea of what to expect from Len Wiseman’s re-telling of the classic Philip K. Dick story, as well as how it compares to the 1990 cult favorite starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by Paul Verhoeven.
In addition to providing MTV News with his expert commentary about the well-received trailer, Wiseman also gave us some in-depth insight into how he’s handled the precedents and expectations set by Verhoeven’s film, how closely the 2012 film sticks to Dick’s original story, as well as what fans can appreciate and expect from stars Colin Farrell and a villainous Kate Beckinsale.
MTV: How much fun has incorporating all the new technology been?
Wiseman: It’s great. And, I will be honest: It’s a blessing and a curse for me, because I’m so of a school of practical effects and practical stunts. And when you develop a movie like this, which is an entire world you’re creating, you can only build so much, and then you go into your effects world. And actually, there’s a lot of practical elements in here that people assume are CG, because CG is used so often. In the trailer, we did this really complicated shot of Colin doing a fight sequence shootout. The camera is spinning around, it’s 100 percent practical. And it’s funny when I really kicked the “how much time and how expensive” nightmare kind of math in to figure that all out and everything to put in, and what surprised me is a lot of people think that is CG. I think because you maybe don’t immediately process how that’s being done. But it’s funny, because I look at that and go, “That’s actually the shot that’s entirely 100 percent practical.” So I really do find it a blessing and a curse, because I started as a prop guy. I actually started building models initially and then went into the prop department, and I’m so much of a practical mind. But then you get into a point where, “OK, now we have to build a world that is 100 and some odd years in the future.” And your construction budget, that’s a surprise.
MTV: How will fans be impressed by Colin’s performance?
Wiseman: I think they’re absolutely going to love him. It’s a very different take on the character. It’s much more of the internal struggle that he’s faced with, and he did such a great job with this mystery of his own soul, really. It’s such a mystery, this film. It’s got the action and sci-fi, everything hovering on the perimeter of what makes it feel like a big action film. But in its core, it’s a mystery, and it’s a mystery of himself. And I just think people will be really captivated by following his journey. He really does allow you to be him. So I really think they’ll be excited by him.
MTV: What about seeing Kate Beckinsale playing a villain?
Wiseman: It’s fun for us as well. She’s never done anything like that. So to be able to have some fun with playing a villain — and she had fun doing it too, because she’s always like, “You have to be so earnest when you’re saving the world. Wow, you can actually just loosen up and just, the bad guys have more fun.” I would love to get, I’ll probably put this out on the DVD, but these girls are just kicking each other’s asses and really brutal. We wanted to attack it. It was just a really vicious brawl, and in between the cuts, they both get so girly. Right on “cut.” There’s plenty of times when Kate actually just nicked Jessica [Biel]’s nose or same thing with Jessica, and they immediately just go from these vicious badass lethal killers to immediately very apologetic and very polite and girly. It’s great to see.
MTV: Will we see Mars?
Wiseman: We won’t see Mars. And I got to say, it’s one of the things that attracted me to the script, because I really, I along with a lot of other people, I really loved the Verhoeven film. I was very skeptical on just the reboot, just the idea. And until I read the script, with a lot of speculation going, it takes it in such a different direction from that film. Because it didn’t go to Mars, funny enough, is why I was interested. And it’s also just like I said: It plays a little bit into the threat of what the Philip K. Dick story had of, much more of bringing the threat back, really Doug’s mission to save Earth, not Mars.
MTV: What can you tell us about getting Bryan Cranston?
Wiseman: He’s got one really fun personality. I think a lot of people, if you’ve seen him in his prior TV show, I’m sure, I happened to be introduced to him through films and then “Breaking Bad” as well. I’ve never seen “Malcolm in the Middle,” and I was taken by how fun and charming and funny the guy is. I probably came late to that game. That’s no surprise to anyone else. He really has a balance of evil and charming, which I really like. He plays off great [with Colin]. I wish they actually had more scenes together. It’s a bit of a weird structure, where the villain is kind of split between Kate and Cranston. So when they’re together, though, it’s great. He’s really got a good balance there, where when there’s a pure tendency that a lot of people have to play just very villainous, he has a little bit more passion for what he’s doing, where you actually believe it is the right thing, rather than twirling your mustache a bit too much.
It’s Summer Movie Preview Week, and MTV News will be bringing you exclusive interviews, clips and photos for the most anticipated summer movies . Get ready to gorge on inside looks at “The Avengers,” Robert Pattinson’s “Bel Ami,” Kristen Stewart’s “Snow White,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and more!