Between Robocop and Total Recall, recent Paul Verhoeven reboots have been having a bit of a rough time. Well actually, looking at this last summer, reboots and rehashes are having a bit of a rough time in general. That said, IP mining obviously isn’t going to dry up anytime soon and the latest project on the docket is a reboot of one of Verhoeven’s most beloved cult films, Starship Troopers.
Per THR, Columbia Pictures is rebooting the 1997 film and they’ve tapped the screenwriting duo Mark Swift and Damian Shannon to pen the screenplay for the would-be franchise starter. Shannon and Swift are no strangers to retooling classic properties, having previously penned the scripts for 2009 Platinum Dunes remake of Friday the 13th (which is hugely underrated) and next year’s ultra-buff R-rated Baywatch reboot starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron.
Based on Robert A. Heinlein’s Hugo Award-winning novel of the same name, Starship Troopers centers on a propaganda-filled futuristic society wherein Earth is locked in a brutal intergalactic war with a bug-like alien species. Fast & Furious franchise producer Neil H. Moritz, who has been tinkering with a Starship Troopers reboot since 2011, will produce alongside Toby Jaffe, with whom he co-produced the dismal Total Recall remake.
I’d like to think they learned from that misstep that Verhoeven’s films don’t need an extra sheen of polish, and they don’t work without the sharp humor, but the report indicates that the plan is to go back to Heinlein’s original novel rather than reference Verhoeven’s film, which is….uh, maybe not so great. The book is pretty widely recognized as advocating militarism to the point of fascism, a point that Heinlein, an ex-Navy man himself, was never keen to refute. Verhoeven’s film worked because he approached the narrative through the lens of social satire instead of hewing to Heinlein’s ideology. I’m not sure how well a self-serious approach to the original material would translate.
What do you guys think? Ready for more bug-on-man warfare? Would you like to know more? Sound off in the comments.