They’ve just remade “Total Recall”, now producers Neal Moritz and Toby Jaffe are setting their sights on a new version of another Paul Verhoeven sci-fi cult classic – “Starship Troopers”. First announced last December with “X-Men First Class” writers Edward Miller and Zack Stenz attached, this is being pitched as a more faithful take on Robert A. Heinlein’s novel about an interstellar war between mankind and a giant arachnoid species.
Jaffe confirms to Empire that this version will be closer in tone to Heinlen’s work “Verhoeven took it from one extreme and made it almost comical, whereas our job, as I see it, is to be a little more faithful to the book, and ground it a little more. The novel is extremely widely read, even today; it’s on school and university reading lists, and it’s read at all the military academies in the United States.”
One reason Verhoeven’s film remains a fan favourite was for its campy satirical swipe at fascism and militarism. Any such subversion however won’t be around in this much more straight forward approach, Jaffe saying “Verhoeven had an agenda that made his movie a critique of fascism, whereas I think Heinlein was writing from the perspective of someone who had served in World War II as an American soldier, and was writing it at the time of the Korean War. Y’know, one man’s fascism is another man’s patriotism.”
Also out? Verhoeven’s gory violence and fun flashes of tittilation – “The more expensive a film is, the harder it is now to have it be that violent. It’s about re-interpreting it with a very new sensibility for a new generation that doesn’t really know the first film. It gives the studio, and us as producers, the opportunity to reintroduce it in a new way.”
The one advantage the new version does seem to have is visual effects with Jaffe confirming they plan to make full use of the giant mechanical Jump Suits from the books which the heroes use to fight the bugs.