By Mack Chico
“Total Recall” is returning to Hollywood… sans Arnold Schwarzenneger.
Neal H. Moritz and his Original Films banner are in final negotiations to develop and produce for Columbia a contemporary version of “Total Recall,” the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi action movie directed by Paul Verhoeven.
The original, based on the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” follows a man haunted by a recurring dream of journeying to Mars who buys a literal dream vacation from a company called Rekall Inc., which sells implanted memories. The man comes to believe he is a secret agent and ends up on a Martian colony, where he fights to overthrow a despotic ruler controlling the production of air.
The movie explores one of Dick’s favorite topics, reality vs. delusion, as audiences never knew whether or not the story was a dream. Either way, the movie grossed a very real $261 million worldwide.
Carolco was behind the original movie, which was distributed by TriStar. Dimension picked up the rights for a reported $3.15 million with the aim of developing a sequel. Columbia secured the rights from Miramax, which retained them when Harvey and Bob Weinstein left to start their own company.
Calling Dick’s story “prescient,” Moritz said he hoped the advancements in technology and state-of-the-art visual effects can help tell the “Recall” story in a fresh way.
Toby Jaffe is overseeing on behalf of Original Film. Matt Tolmach and Sam Dickerman oversee for Columbia.