In addition to being panned by critics, Len Wiseman's reboot of Total Recall also failed to inspire any box-office buzz. So what was the problem? Wiseman thinks he's figured it out, and it has a lot to do with original early-'90s star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In an extensive interview with Digital Spy, Wiseman (Underworld) said the memory of Schwarzenegger's iconic 1990 portrayal of protagonist Doug Quaid stacked the deck against his harder sci-fi take on the beloved, campy original.
"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."As if that weren't enough, Wiseman said the studio preferred a tighter, more action-oriented cut that trimmed too much of the story. Instead, he's now encouraging fans to check out the extended director's cut on DVD and Blu-ray, which restores a lot of the world-building and "big ideas" he'd wanted to touch on:
"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."The full interview is well worth a read. Do you think these explanations hold water, or did Total Recall fail because it just wasn't very good?
(Via Digital Spy)