Paul Verhoeven‘s brand of Hollywood subversion took awhile to become clear even to the most devout cinephiles. This at least partially explains why Starship Troopers, the Dutch filmmaker’s sublime critique of American militarism and the action genre, never quite got the credit it deserved when the merciless, inventive science-fiction bonanza hit theaters in 1998. Around the time of Verhoeven’s equally radical Black Book, which looked at the world of spies in World War II, the director got a thorough, positive reexamination in numerous outlets; Nathan Lee‘s Film Comment article comparing Verhoeven and David Cronenberg remains the most insightful article written on the helmer’s unique brand of parody-satire. So, it’s no surprise that the idea of remaking the film has been rumored for several years now, with nothing much coming out of the gossip. But according to HitFix, producer Neal H. Moritz had some news to share about the project while promoting the upcoming Goosebumps adaptation, particularly that the remake or reboot might come in the form of a television series rather than a new film.
The danger in this is eliminating the sense of humor and critical view of violence that make Starship Troopers so timeless, rendering it a grim Christopher Nolan-aping procedural not unlike MTV’s execrable Teen Wolf. This proved the central issue with the Total Recall remake, zapping Verhoeven’s stunning adaptation of Philip K. Dick‘s “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” into a bland, if zippy actioner. The recent RoboCop remake is an even more painful instance of a director taking the heart and insight out of a Verhoeven classic. That being said, television might prove the perfect arena to explore the world of Starship Troopers, depending on where the project lands and who is leading the creative team. If AMC, HBO, Showtime, or FX showed interest, the possibilities are endless; if the project ends up at SyFy or ABC, the possibilities are incredibly limited and almost entirely predictable. We shall see.
Check out the trailer for Starship Troopers below: