With Columbia Pictures unrolling their down to Earth (literally) remake of Total Recall in theaters August 3rd, us die-hard fans of the 1990 Paul Verhoeven-directed adaptation (loosely based on the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale”) have been revisiting the Mars-based political genre film over and over. There aren’t all that many behind-the-scenes looks at the original available, which is why this following story is so uber-exciting.
io9‘s Ron Miller writes, “My wife and I both worked for nearly a year on the David Cronenberg version of Total Recall. At Dino DiLaurentiis’ studio outside Rome, we worked under the direction of the brilliant production designer, Pierluigi Basile. I produced scores of drawings and paintings while Judith created models of sets and spacecraft, mostly of paper and balsa wood.”
He adds, “What eventually became Pyramid Mountain in the Verhoeven version was originally a prehistoric Martian sphinx excavated from the Martian desert, and 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. 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!”
But those are just words. Miller has put together a small collection of this preproduction art, along with a few of Judith’s models, to illustrate a little of what Total Recall might have been! Click the link and enjoy!!