Before Paul Verhoeven got his hands on the project, The Fly director David Cronenberg was trying to bring a very different version of Total Recall to the big screen. How different? Well, check out these pieces of Cronenberg-era concept art and find out.
The art comes courtesy of artist Ron Miller, who worked on the Cronenberg version of the film with his wife Judith back in the 1980s. This Total Recall would have been more closely based on the Philip K. Dick story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," and apparently the Verhoeven version was such a departure from these concepts that at one point there was talk of simply making Cronenberg's version anyway.
"Cronenberg's Total Recall would certainly have been a very different movie than the one ultimately produced," Miller said. "So different, in fact, was the story that Cronenberg evolved that it was proposed at one time that his version be filmed as a sequel!"
So, what exactly was different? Well, for one thing, the Pyramid Mountain of the Verhoeven film wouldn't have been there. In its place would have been a "prehistoric Martian sphinx excavated from the Martian desert."
"A good deal more screen time was have been allotted to Kuato, including an elaborate dream sequence where he morphed first into the sphinx and then into a kind of phosphorescent vagina," Miller said. "Cronenberg had some very Cronenberg touches, such as agents with guns hidden within their bodies, but absolutely my favorite idea of all those we came up with was to have camels imported from earth to haul freight across the Martian deserts. This would, of course, have been after significant terraforming had already been done...but not so much that the camels didn't have to wear respirators!"
Check out the images below and ponder the Cronenbergian Mars that might have been ... and then head on over to io9 to check out the rest.