Right off the bat, Len Wiseman was fighting an uphill battle when he took on the remake of the iconic 1990 film ‘Total Recall’ starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. As with most remakes, the fan base doesn’t take too kindly to some new vision of their beloved film. Despite that, the director and company still pushed on with their version of the Philip K. Dick story. Now that reviews are in and the film is approaching home release, Wiseman opens up about potential reasons why audiences didn’t favor his film starring Colin Farrell.
In an interview with Digital Spy, Wiseman shared his theory that Arnold’s portrayal of Doug Quaid holds a special place in the audience’s hearts that they were unable to accept Farrell’s take on the character. He explained:
“I felt like we were really battling nostalgia. To remake nostalgia is quite tough. I was surprised by the amount of love there was for Arnold’s portrayal of that character. While I was in college I read Philip K Dick’s story and it was shocking to me how different that character of Quaid came across in the story to the film that I watched when I was a kid. So I was excited by the idea of not in any way trying to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger but to present a new type of Quaid not a new type of Arnold.”
He continued with his theories by saying that his story was cut down in favor of a more action-packed cut of the film. However, the cut heading to DVD and Blu-ray will be his director’s cut and it expands on aspects of the film that he was forced to cut for one reason or another, so he encourages the public to give it another chance.
“It would be the extended ‘director’s cut’ – it truly is my director’s cut and not just an extended cut. It goes further into the things that I was excited about – that question of fantasy versus reality and really playing with that idea. I think the theatrical version is more of a streamlined version of that idea. You’re always fighting against time constraints. It’s tough with a movie of this size. You test the movie and confusion is always a bad thing to people. I consider there to be a difference between good confusion and bad confusion.”
Why do you think the remake of ‘Total Recall’ didn’t quite catch on? Do you agree with Len Wiseman about nostalgia playing a huge factor or did you just think the film wasn’t very good in general despite nostalgic feelings for the original. Share your thoughts in the comments below!