Paul Verhoeven explains why the Total Recall reboot bombed

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2013, 1:38 PM EST

For any sci-fi fan from the '80s and early '90s, the name Paul Verhoeven is a big one. The mind behind monster hits Total Recall, RoboCop and Starship Troopers is still revered to this day—and he even has a few thoughts on why the recent reboot of his classic Total Recall bombed at the box office.

Director Len Wiseman tackled a dark, serious reboot of Total Recall that failed to capture the attitude (and box-office haul) of the fun, insane original. With new installments of RoboCop and Starship Troopers also in the pipe, Wiseman has some advice for the studios trying to recapture the glory of those modern classics: Learn from that recent Total Recall bomb and don't take the subject so seriously.

He told The Playlist:

"I don't know if they're going to do 'Starship Troopers' after the failure of Total Recall. Yes, they bought the rights, we know that, but I really thought they made a mistake when they did the remake by making it so serious. I'm not so sure [that approach] will work for [Starship Troopers] either. I think all of these films are accepted because they don't take themselves so seriously. There's a lightness, you believe it, but we also know it's not true.

It's the same thing [with Robocop]. It's very difficult to make this story realistically."

With the reputations of some of his greatest films being tossed back onto the big screen, Verhoeven said he was never tempted to come back for the reboots or sequels because it's so hard to capture the magic of the original:
"No, no, I was never going to be involved. There was always a plan to do a sequel at Orion, and it never came to anything [the film was made, in 1990, with Irvin Kershner directing]. As you know, I'm not a big fan of sequels because I've never done them. I've always escaped them narrowly. I think you better not do them. But sometimes there's so much pressure and so much that they offer you - these actors and this and that, a much bigger budget - but I've always been able to avoid the temptation."
All good points, and the super-serious nature of the recent Total Recall was one of many reasons it was panned by critics.

What do you think? Do you miss the fun of those '80s movie, or are you digging the super-serious reboots?

(Via The Playlist)

Make Your Inbox Important

Like Comic-Con. Except every week in your inbox.

Sign-up breaker