Bill Nighy, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel Join Colin Farrell in Total Recall Remake
05.26.11 by BJSprecher
Though the start of production on director Len Wiseman's Total Recall remake has been pushed back to May 30th from its original May 15th start date, it appears that everything is falling into place for the movie as the cast begins to take shape. Until recently, only Colin Farrell and Bryan Cranston had officially signed on, with Farrell playing the heroic Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who begins to suspect he is a spy for one of the two world powers, New Shanghai or Euromerica (dropping the Mars angle from the 1990 original movie by director Paul Verhoeven that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger), and Cranston playing the villain (Vilos Cohaagen in the original, played by Ronny Cox). Now, it appears as if the rest of the principal actors have been cast as THR follows Collider's recent news that Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale had joined the cast by revealing that Bill Nighy is in negotiations to sign on, as well.
Total Recall is based on the late great author Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," though the original movie differed considerably, most notably by setting the majority of the movie on Mars rather by Quaid (named "Quail" in Dick's story) simply having memories of Mars. Apparently, the new movie aims to stick closer to Dick's story by doing away with the Martian hunt for alien artifacts that were designed to heat the permafrost, thereby oxygenating the planet, which should please genre fans and make for a more believable story (the scene in the original where Arny's character is exposed to the Martian atmosphere and his eyes start popping out is the movie's "jump the shark" moment, to be sure).
As for the new additions, Beckinsale, who is married to the director and starred in his Underworld movies, will play Quaid's wife, Lori (Sharon Stone in the original), while Biel will play Quaid's resistance fighter love interest, Melina (Rachel Ticotin). Assuming negotiations go well, Nighy, who also starred in Underworld for Wiseman, will play Quatto (Kuato in the original, played by Marshall Bell), the leader of the resistance. It is unknown whether Wiseman's version will include the deformed mutants that populated Verhoeven's movie, but it might be kind of funny to see Nighy with a mutant fetus/twin sticking out of his chest (not to mention the Martian prostitute with the three...endowments).