Over the past few months there have been plenty of headlines written about those trying to re-create Paul Verhoeven's very particular brand of movie magic. First there was the Total Recall remake starring Colin Farrell, which bombed with critics and audiences alike; 30% on Rotten Tomatoes and $58.8 million gross from a reported $125 million budget (though it did do a little better internationally). Then there was all the pushback on MGM's RoboCop remake and the sudden, but hardly surprising, news that the studio was delaying its release date by several months. And now it seems like yet another Verhoeven remake is in trouble: Starship Troopers.
Now, keep in mind that the source here is Verhoeven himself, who has absolutely nothing to do with the remake of his own film. But he's certainly a veteran of navigating the studio system, and when he gave The Playlist his thoughts on what Hollywood has been doing to his movies, they weren't exactly optimistic.
“I don’t know if they’re going to do Starship Troopers after the failure of Total Recall. Yes, they bought the rights, we know that, but I really thought they made a mistake when they did the remake by making it so serious. I’m not so sure [that approach] will work for [Starship Troopers] either. I think all of these films are accepted because they don’t take themselves so seriously. There’s a lightness, you believe it, but we also know it’s not true.
It's the same thing [with RoboCop]. It's very difficult to make this story realistically."
Of course, you don't have to be Paul Verhoeven to connect the dots here. Even with the scathing reviews, had Total Recall been a box office smash, producers Neal Moritz and Toby Jaffe would have been able to fast-track a Starship Troopers movie. But it wasn't, and they won't be able to. That doesn't mean it's impossible, but if the guy who had such a hard time getting the first movie made thinks it's not going to happen, we're inclined to believe him.
Plus, we're just really hoping we dodged the bullet that will surely be a PG-13 Starship Troopers.
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