By Edward Davis | The Playlist October 21, 2010 at 7:57AM
Let's Manage Those Expectations:, Len Wiseman Is Still Directing; Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender Apparently Wanted Too
Ew, it's a dreaded wish list story. Remember that Len Wiseman-directed "Total Recall" remake you've been trying to burn out of your memory? It's back and with considerable star wattage behind it.
Or well, possibly. THR is reporting that Colin Farrell could be the man who steps into the shoes first filled by Arnold Schwarzeneggar in Paul Verhoeven's 1990 sci-fi film. He's apparently on the top of some list that includes Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy. Sigh, six months ago that list included Sam Worthington and Bradley Cooper for everything. Now that their fees are rocketing, the next wave of less-expensive up-and-comers will appear on everyone's wish list.
But according to the trade, no offers have been made to any actor. Wiseman, he of the creatively-bankrupt "Underworld" series, is still on board to direct the project that is eying a March 2011 start date.
While not great, the original is an entertaining slice of bonkers sci-fi '80s cinema (yes, it was released in 1990, but it still bears many of the traits of that decade). Based on Philip K. Dick's "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," the story 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."
Kurt Wimmer ("Salt," "Law Abiding Citizen"), who continues to get geek approval despite not having done anything to earn it (sorry, "Equilibrium" is lame), penned the screenplay.
Meanwhile, THR says "a bigger question is whether the actors the studio is keen on are available?" So, are we to infer that they haven't even been approached? Is Colin Farrell — an actor who has taken to smaller, meatier/non-studio and auteur-driven material like, "Ondine" "In Bruges," "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," and Peter Weir's "The Way Back" since his return to Hollywood after cleaning up his act — even interested?
Or is this his second-attempt at a big Hollywood career? He did star in big-budget studio vehicles like "Daredevil," "S.W.A.T.," and "Alexander," but if you've seen those films (especially the latter), you can see those decisions were clearly made under the influence. Same for Fassbender and Hardy. They're on everyone's radar these days and Fassbender already made one slip with "Jonah Hex." He's probably not itching to make another and both actors have the ears of all of today's auteurs.
Perhaps we're being naive to the power of a paycheck, but we're hoping cooler heads prevail. The film is being produced by Neal H. Moritz ("I Am Legend," the "Fast & Furious" franchise, "Evan Almighty"), but we'll admit recent footage we saw of "Battle: Los Angeles" was incredibly impressive and that's his too, so perhaps there is hope. As for this report, well, believe it when you see it. Wish list stories, pardon our language, suck and sometimes are completely meaningless.