Colin Farrell is no stranger to science fiction. He played Bullseye in "Daredevil," of course, which went on to influence the look of the character in the comics. But his stand-outs have both been roles in Philip K. Dick adaptations, including "Minority Report" - which broke him into the mainstream - and the upcoming "Total Recall." So it’s no surprise he’s not scared of the genre.
“The quality of the script isn’t dictated by the size or the scope of the film it’s going to be made into,” said Farrell reflectively when we caught up with him in LA in advance of the "Total Recall" premiere. “Look at Fritz Lang’s 'Metropolis,' and 'Blade Runner'... These are classic science fiction films made with an incredible amount of craft. I just want to do a lot of different things... Comedy, drama, science fiction...documentary.”
Okay, he may be joking about the last one (we think), but that doesn’t mean he didn’t take a little pause to do yet another remake after his starring role in "Fright Night." “'Fright Night,' I had a whole ego thing,” said Farrell. “Oh, the whole remake thing, that’s so uncool, I loved the original, I can’t do the Chris Sarandon part... And then I read it, and everything was different. I liked it, I enjoyed. And then I thought, oh, two remakes? Uncool squared. And then I read the script, and the same thing happened. I don’t think I’m going to do a third. Cut to, ‘Well, when I first saw 'The Goonies'...'”
And then, no joke, Farrell said “Hey you guys,” in the Sloth voice, and we kind of lost it a little. Once we regained our composure, though, we asked Farrell whether there was anything in Philip K. Dick’s writing that made him come back for a second helping.
“He’s a man of brilliance,” said Farrell, searching for the right words. “He’s a man of brilliant intellect, and one of the most potent imaginations ever to grace the literary world; and thereby the world of cinema. His stuff just seems really cinematic. The stuff he explored, and created, and imagined. The idea of the three pre-cogs in 'Minority Report,' and the idea of the District of Columbia being set up politically in the way it was, and the way these pre-cogs exist in the flotation tank, the idea of pre-arrest... That stuff is so out there.”
After lauding Steven Spielberg, Farrell continued on talking about "Total Recall." “And then this whole concept of implanting memories,” said Farrell. “There are very specific avenues that Philip K. Dick seemed to explore in his work, and the idea of the advent and encroachment of technology being the most specific part of society, who controls technology, or does the technology begin to control us? Where does the power lie in the system of government as well... All of those are ideas that I think will be relevant until the day we don’t inhabit this planet. So his work hasn’t aged a day.”
"Total Recall" opens this Friday, August 3rd in theaters everywhere. Check out the trailer below:
Full Disclosure: Travel and accommodations for this story were paid for by Sony Pictures, which produced Total Recall. Photo ©2012 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.