Len Wiseman In Final Negotiations To Direct ‘Total Recall’

Here’s some news that’s hot off the press release. Len Wiseman, who you may remember as the director of “Live Free or Die Hard” and the first two “Underworld” movies, is in final negotiations to direct a remake/adaptation of “Total Recall.” The 1990 classic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger remains one of the more entertaining cult sci-fi hits of the ’90s. The older movie and this upcoming one are both based on the Philip K. Dick short story, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.”

Columbia Pictures president Matt Tolmach said that Wiseman will “bring a contemporary feel to the film” while sticking to the core of Dick’s story. “Salt” scribe Kurt Wimmer is still handling the script, as was announced last summer. For Wiseman’s part, he said that he looks forward to “diving even deeper into the type of world [the short story] evokes and the questions it asks. I love that the most crucial mystery our character is trying to solve is the one of his own soul.”

I’m pretty torn by this news. I happen to think that Wiseman is a pretty talented guy and I’m curious to see how his treatment of “Total Recall” turns out. That said, the original ranks among my very favorite sci-fi flicks. That film is a loose adaptation of the short story, but the fact that it is a short story means that some liberties are going to be taken.

Which leaves me wondering what direction Wimmer and Wiseman will take. How much will they be looking to the Schwarzenegger film, if they do at all. If we’re going to get another treatment of this Dick tale, it is my sincere hope that they completely ignore the Paul Verhoeven film and strike out in a different direction. Of course they’ll stick with what the original author laid out. But Dick is known for his smart sci-fi; if this new “Recall” is less ’90s-era action and more “I need to scratch my head and ponder what I just saw,” I’m okay with it.

What do you make of the news? Have you read the original story? Are you a fan of the Schwarzenegger film? What do you hope to see in this new adaptation?