Len Wiseman to Direct TOTAL RECALL Remake

     July 29, 2010

Director Len Wiseman (Underworld) is in final negotiations to helm a remake of the 1990 sci-fi flick Total Recall.  Based off the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”, the original film was directed by Paul Verhoeven and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The first half of the movie is a fantastic mind-bender, but once Schwarzenegger gets to Mars, it ditches the mindgames and becomes a B-action movie mixed with the delightfully bizarre (Kuato!).

Producer Matt Tolmach said in the press release, “Len has an incredible love of the genre and a great gift for action.  He’ll bring a contemporary feel to the film while taking care with everything we love about Philip K. Dick’s original story.”  Hit the jump for the press release and my thoughts on the announcement.

I think Wiseman is the wrong guy for a remake of Total Recall.  I don’t have a problem with Dick’s story getting re-adapted, but it’s a trippy mindfuck and I haven’t seen anything in Wiseman’s brief body of work that shows he has the imagination necessary for the gig.

But if Wiseman’s the guy, then he’s the guy.  It’s not like Dick’s original story or Verhoeven’s movie is going anywhere.  Here’s the press release:


CULVER CITY, Calif., July 29, 2010 – Len Wiseman is in final negotiations to direct Columbia Pictures’ Total Recall, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Columbia Pictures.  The film will be a new, contemporized adaptation of Total Recall, which was based on the story, “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick.  Kurt Wimmer is writing the screenplay.  Neal H. Moritz will produce through his Original Film banner.

Commenting on the announcement, Tolmach said, “Len has an incredible love of the genre and a great gift for action.  He’ll bring a contemporary feel to the film while taking care with everything we love about Philip K. Dick’s original story.”

Moritz said, “I have been trying for years to work with Len and fortunately we finally found a great project that he loves as much as we do. Len is terrifically talented and we know he is the right director to re-imagine Total Recall for a new generation of fans.”

Wiseman added, “I’ve always been fascinated with Philip K. Dick’s short story, and I’m excited at that prospect of diving even deeper into the type of world it 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.”

Toby Jaffe will oversee production on behalf of Original Film.  Tolmach and Sam Dickerman are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio. Columbia Pictures secured the rights to Total Recall from Miramax. Wiseman is represented by ICM and attorney Howard Abramson.

LEN WISEMAN began his career in the art department on the blockbuster films Godzilla, Stargate, Men in Black, and Independence Day.  With his natural visual flair and eye for design, he was soon behind the lens directing commercials for PlayStation, Time Warner, Oracle, Intel and Activision, which quickly lead to a career in music videos, working with such artists as Quarashi, Rufus Wainwright, Megadeath, En Vogue, Static X, Paul Oakenfold, and Brooke Allison.

Wiseman went on to write and direct Underworld, which was so well received that he went on to direct Underworld: Evolution, a film he also executive produced.  He went on to produce Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.  His next directing project was the blockbuster hit Live Free or Die Hard.

He most recently directed the pilot for “Hawaii Five-O” and is co-writer and producer of the upcoming Underworld 4.

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