The world was not impressed with Len Wiseman's TOTAL RECALL remake. It got slammed by critics and dismissed by the general public. (It grossed a tepid $200 million worldwide against a budget of $125 million.) Why did it have such trouble? (Besides the fact that it's not very good.) Wiseman has an idea.
"I felt like we were really battling nostalgia," the director told Digital Spy. "To remake nostalgia is quite tough. I was surprised by the amount of love there was for Arnold's portrayal of that character. While I was in college I read Philip K Dick's story and it was shocking to me how different that character of Quaid came across in the story to the film that I watched when I was a kid. So I was excited by the idea of not in any way trying to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger but to present a new type of Quaid not a new type of Arnold."
He goes on to talk about how much love the original still receives: "Well, I gotta say I was blown away by that. I was ready for a comparison because it's a remake, so you have to shoulder a lot of that or you're an idiot going into it if you just complain about that aspect of it. But how much people were really getting upset that it strayed from the Arnold Schwarzenegger version, which is already a departure from the original source material. There are two things that people really got upset about - that Arnold was not there and that we didn't travel to Mars."
Apparently Wiseman's director's cut of the film, which is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, is a much more in-depth experience than the theatrical version, but you can't fix the overall problem with the film, which is that it's humorless, bland and unexciting. Aside from Kate Beckinsale, there's almost nothing in the film worth seeing again.