Total Recall is an upcoming 2012 American science fiction action film, based on the 1966 short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Unlike the original 1990 film, the plot of this new version lacks a trip to Mars and contains strong political overtones. In addition, the film also blends Western and Eastern influences together, due to the fact that the two nation states, New Shanghai and Euroamerica are battling for political power.
It is directed by Len Wiseman, written by Mark Bomback, James Vanderbilt, and Kurt Wimmer, starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho, and Bill Nighy. It was first announced in 2009. It is scheduled to be released in the United States and Canada on August 3, 2012.
In a futuristic political setting of 2084, after being devastated by war, Earth is divided into two superpowers, Euroamerica/Western Hemisphere and New Shanghai/Eastern Hemisphere, who are locked in a battle for supremacy. In this world lives Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), a factory worker suffering from violent nightmares. Dissatisfied with lowly existence, Quaid visits Rekall, a corporation that provides its clients with implanted artificial memories of the lives they would like to have. McClane (John Cho), a Rekall representative, finds that Quaid has already had his memory erased and demands to know why Quaid has come to Rekall. Armed men shoot and kill McClane and other Rekall employees before Quaid kills them. He returns home to his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) who, after trying to kill him, reveals that he really is a secret agent and she is not really his wife. Now he is on the run and he joins forces with a rebel agent named Melina (Jessica Biel) while he tries to unravel the secrets of his own mind while fighting the Euroamerican military led by Vilos Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston).
- Colin Farrell as Douglas “Doug” Quaid/Hauser a simple worker suffering from strange violent dreams
- Kate Beckinsale as Lori Quaid, Quaid’s “wife”
- Jessica Biel as Melina, a member of the Resistance
- Bryan Cranston as Vilos Cohaagen, a powerful and ruthless corporate leader and the film’s primary antagonist
- Bokeem Woodbine as Harry, Quaid’s best friend
- Bill Nighy as Matthias Lair, a Euromerican rebel leader
- John Cho as Bob McClane, a rep for Rekall who offers Quaid the chance to experience an imagined adventure
- Steve Byers as Henry Reed
- Bianca Lawson as Elena
- Ethan Hawke
- Kaitlyn Leeb as The Seductive Woman (aka Three-Breasted Woman)
On June 2, 2009, Variety reported that Kurt Wimmer would write the script for the remake. Mark Bomback also co-wrote and James Vanderbilt did a “polish” on the script. Over a year later Len Wiseman was hired to direct. Paul Cameron is the film’s cinematographer and Christian Wagner is the film’s editor. The soundtrack will again be a collaboration of Harry Gregson-Williams and Welsh electronica group Hybrid.
In August 2010, Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed an interest in reprising his role as Doug Quaid until October 2010, when it was officially reported The Hollywood Reporter that Colin Farrell was on the top of the short list, which included Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender, to play Doug Quaid. On January 11, 2011, it was announced that Farrell had secured the role. Farrell stated in April that the remake would not be the same as Dick’s short story.
Kate Beckinsale (who is Wiseman’s wife) and Jessica Biel were both confirmed for roles on May 25. Actresses Eva Green, Diane Kruger and Kate Bosworth were considered for Biel’s role. Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston will play the film’s villain. Ethan Hawke has been cast in a cameo role in which he says his character has a monologue about 5 pages long. Bill Nighy is in negotiations to play Kuato. John Cho has also joined the cast.
On a reported budget of $200 million, principal photography began in Toronto on May 16, 2011, and ended on September 20, 2011. Scenes were filmed at the Pinewood Toronto Studios, as well as the University of Toronto, the University of Toronto Scarborough, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and Guelph. The film was shot with Red Epic digital cameras and Panavision anamorphic lenses. After securing the film rights from Miramax Films, Columbia Pictures will distribute the film.