Total Recall is an action thriller about reality and memory, inspired anew by the famous short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he's got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) whom he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life - real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) – there is no one Quaid can trust, except possibly a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) working for the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy). The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate. The film is directed by Len Wiseman. The screenplay is by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback and the screen story is by Ronald Shusett & Dan O’Bannon and Jon Povill. The producers are Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe.
Columbia Pictures presents an Original Film production, a film by Len Wiseman, Total Recall. Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho, and Bill Nighy. Directed by Len Wiseman. Produced by Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe. Screenplay by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback. Screen Story by Ronald Shusett & Dan O’Bannon and Jon Povill. Inspired by the Short Story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Executive Producers are Ric Kidney and Len Wiseman. Director of Photography is Paul Cameron, ASC. Production Designer is Patrick Tatopoulos. Editor is Christian Wagner. Costume Designer is Sanja Milković Hays. Music by Harry Gregson-Williams. Credits are not final.ABOUT THE FILM
Total Recall’s re-imagined journey to the silver screen began in 2008 when producer Toby Jaffe was perusing a bookstore, looking through the sci-fi shelf. “I was looking at all the books I read as a young guy, and I picked up a Philip K. Dick anthology and read the short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” he recalls. “I remembered it was a great sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy.”
Of course, Dick’s story had been adapted for the screen once before, in 1990, under the title Total Recall. Jaffe began thinking that the time might be right to revisit Dick’s story for the screen and brought his idea to Moritz, who read the short story and re-watched the 1990 film.
“We just felt like we could make a new version of the original story,” Moritz says. “By reimagining the story, we thought that there was so much more to the characters and story that we could investigate. That felt fresh to us.”
The reason is that Dick’s story feels as cutting edge as when it was first published in the 1960s. “The genius of the story is this idea that you can implant a memory into somebody’s head and when they wake up, they will feel they’ve lived it,” says Jaffe. The set-up opens up a treasure trove of questions: what is memory? How do we know what really happened in the past?
“That concept of Rekall, as Philip K. Dick created it in his story, is what made me want to direct this movie,” says Len Wiseman, who is best known for directing the first two Underworld films and Live Free and Die Hard. Wiseman also has an art department background, having worked on such big budget sci-fi hits as Independence Day and Stargate. Wiseman’s take on the film was to delve deeper into the main character by creating a hybrid of a psychological thriller and an action film that just happens to be set in the future.
“Len understands this kind of movie better than any filmmaker working today,” says Moritz. “We were lucky enough that he wanted to do it, and we were kind of off to the races really quickly with him.”
Instead of events occurring on Mars, Wiseman keeps the action on a far-in-the-future earth dominated by two nation states – United Federation of Britain and The Colony. Like Dick’s story, Wiseman’s says, “There’s a whole other kind of experience on Earth with which to take this character.”
To play the central character of Quaid, Wiseman cast Colin Farrell. “It was very important that Quaid is just an ordinary guy,” Jaffe says. “Colin just brings a real genius to him as an actor. There’s a likeability onscreen that you just feel he’s a real guy who could be a real factory worker.”
“It’s a common story, a man who feels that he isn’t living the life he should be living – a man experiencing some discontent with his lot in life,” says Farrell. “But he gets a rude awakening, which is that he really isn’t living the life he should be living. Quaid has no idea who he is, beyond a deeply cellular or emotional level. The whole movie is him trying to figure out who is the real Quaid.”
“I really wanted to get more involved in Quaid’s experience,” Wiseman explains. “I mean, imagine: you wake up, you go about your life and you inherently feel like a good guy… All of a sudden, everybody around you starts telling you that you’re a bad guy. What do you do?”
With that in mind, Farrell approached the role as a battle between emotional and intellectual and tried to maintain that balance. “It brings up issues of identity, ego, and super-ego – it’s fun to wade into that psychological pond a bit,” he says.
The filmmakers were next faced with the challenge of casting two strong female roles: Lori and Melina.
To portray Quaid’s wife, Lori, the seemingly loving wife who turns ruthless killer, the filmmakers brought on Kate Beckinsale, Wiseman’s real-life wife of seven years. The two previously worked together on the Underworld films
Beckinsale said she was particularly attracted to this project because of the role’s duality. "I've never played a bad guy before. I've always been on the side of truth and justice,” she says. “But the thing is, my character thinks she is on the side of truth and justice. That’s the great thing about this movie – you never know who’s on the right side. Also, there's a slightly maniacal side of her – she's slightly out of control, and that's always fun for an actor to play."
The other woman in Quaid’s life, Melina, first appears to him in his recurring nightmares, and later, in the flesh, to help him re-discover his previous life that was erased.
To portray Melina, the filmmakers needed an actress that could take on the difficult physicality of the role as well as bear some resemblance to Beckinsale. Wiseman brought on talented actress Jessica Biel.
Biel was attracted to the part by the themes of the story. “We’re completely tapping into what Philip K. Dick’s story is really about: identity issues, relationships,” Biel says. “It’s really a tragic love story between Melina and Quaid. He doesn’t remember her…He doesn’t remember that they love each other, that they are passionately connected. That’s what interested me.”
To portray the ruthless Cohaagen, chancellor of the UFB, the filmmakers brought in Bryan Cranston, who has won three straight Emmy Awards and been nominated for three Golden Globes for his leading performance on the television series “Breaking Bad.”
“Bryan has an intensity and an eloquence and an edge to his personality that comes across on screen,” says Jaffe. “It’s why he’s in such demand as an actor.”
Cranston explains that he never saw his character as a “mustache-twirling villain. The character of Cohaagen to me was interesting to play because I wanted to present a guy who does have this need, this absolute desire and thirst to be in control,” he says. “At the same time, he has a tremendous fondness for Colin Farrell’s character, and I wanted to play him like a father figure, to treat him as if he were a rebellious teenager who just needs some tough love.”
Award-winning actor Bill Nighy joins the cast as Matthias, the leader of the UFB resistance. Nighy, who has worked with Wiseman on the four Underworld films, said it was the director that initially attracted him to Recall.
“I like him enormously,” Nighy says. “He’s always made great movies, and I loved his Die Hard movie. But then I read the script and it’s rip-roaring. I read a lot of sci-fi, and I liked the ideas involved in this project.”
As filming got underway, Wiseman’s vision for the film was to create a realistic environment on set. “He wanted to make it as real as possible, because he feels it looks better,” says Jaffe. “The actors perform better when they’re hanging off of a car as opposed to hanging off a block on the stage. We built practical versions of our futuristic cars and shot on real locations.”
Coming from a practical background, it was important to Wiseman to construct as many sets as possible, rather than create them in the computer. “People just assume you’re going to go the CG route,” he says. “There’s a lot of CG in this movie, because there’s certain things you just simply can’t do, but if you can make it real, then I try to do it. I love to build it and draw it, create it and shoot it. When it’s real, people get very excited.”
A good example is the China Fall set – a large elevator going through the earth. Production designer Patrick Tatopoulous designed the set. “I’ve never seen a concept like that in a movie before – a gigantic elevator going through the earth,” he explains. “So that allowed me to do something really fresh and new. It’s actually designed around the concept of a 747 airplane, so it feels familiar or real to people watching the movie. When you’re watching the movie, I want it to feel relatable – not like you’re just watching a movie.”
Jaffe was blown away when he saw the completed product. “I remember reading the script and thinking, ‘Oh my God! There’s an elevator that goes through the core of the earth! How are we ever going to do this,’” says Jaffe. “But once Len and Patrick got involved, and we had seen the drawings, it became more tangible. But it really wasn’t until we got on the stage and saw the incredible sets that it all hit home. They’re just amazing.”
Even when VFX would have to be employed – as with the hover craft – Wiseman used a mix of the practical and the virtual when he could. “We actually built the hover cars and fixed them on top of street racing cars. The actors sit up top and the drivers are down below,” Jaffe explains. “I like that better than the actors sitting in a shell on green screen. We actually had them racing down the street. You see the vibration and you have the actors’ performances reflecting the reality of it at every turn.”
Farrell recalls the experience: “We had two cars slamming into each other, and I must say, I wasn’t at my butchest those days,” he jokes. “But I’m glad they did it this way. It was great fun, and there are some real reactions they got in there. There is definitely a texture of reality and sound and sky that they couldn’t have put in later.”
ABOUT THE CAST
A native of Ireland, COLIN FARRELL (Quaid) continues to turn heads in Hollywood. In 2009 Farrell won a Golden Globe for his role in In Bruges and has currently reteamed with director Martin McDonough for the CBS films’ Seven Psychopaths. The film centers around a screenwriter (Farrell) who struggles to find the handle on his script, called Seven Psychopaths. He gets drawn into the dog napping escapades of his friends (played by Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken). Once the beloved Shih Tzu owned by a psychopathic gangster goes missing, the screenwriter finds himself fueled with all the drama he needs for his screenplay, if he can stay alive long enough to write it all down.
In Spring 2012 he will start the independent film Dead Man Down starring opposite Noomi Rapace for director Neils Arden. The action film will be produced by Neal H. Moritz and is set to shoot in New York.
He recently wrapped the Peter Weir film The Way Back starring opposite Ed Harris and Jim Sturgess. The film tells the story of a group of soldiers who engineer a grueling escape from a Siberian gulang in 1942. He also completed William Monahan’s feature London Boulevard based on the bestselling book by Ken Bruen about a South London criminal, newly released from prison, who resists the temptation to go back to a gangster life by taking a job looking after a reclusive young actress played by Kiera Knightley
He was recently seen in Fright Night; the Warner Bros. comedy Horrible Bosses; and Ondine, by Irish director Neil Jordan, which revolves around an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman he thinks is a mermaid. His other films include Gavin O’Conner’s Pride and Glory; Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream; “Miami Vice”; Oliver Stone’s Alexander; Terrence Malick’s The New World; Ask the Dust, based on the novel by John Fante; opposite Al Pacino in The Recruit; A Home at the End of the World, based on the Michael Cunningham novel, and two roles in Joel Schumacher's films Phone Booth and Tigerland. Other film credits include Minority Report, Daredevil, American Outlaws, SWAT, and Intermission.
Born and raised in Castleknock in the Republic of Ireland, Colin is the son of former football player, Eamon Farrell and nephew of Tommy Farrell. Both Tommy and Eamon Farrell played for the Irish Football Club, Shamrock Rovers in the 1960's
It was Farrell’s early teenage ambition to follow in his father and uncle's footsteps; however, his interest soon turned towards acting and he joined the Gaity School of Drama in Dublin. Before completing his course, Colin landed a starring role in Dierde Purcell's miniseries "Falling for a Dancer," a starring role in the BBC series "Ballykissangel," and a featured role in Tim Roth's directorial debut, "The War Zone," followed soon after
He currently lives in Los Angeles
English actress KATE BECKINSALE (Lori) is revealing herself to be one of films’ most versatile and charismatic actresses. She first gained notice in Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing and then subsequently appeared as the heroine of John Schlesinger’s Cold Comfort Farm, Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco opposite Chloe Sevigny, Jonathan Kaplan’s Brokedown Palace opposite Claire Danes and in the British comedy Shooting Fish. Additional film credits include Haunted opposite Aidan Quinn, and Manuel Fleche’s Mary Louise ou la permission.
In 2001, Beckinsale starred opposite Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett in Disney’s epic Pearl Harbor. She starred opposite John Cusack in Serendipity, opposite Matthew McConaughey and Gary Oldham in Tiptoes and opposite Christian Bale and Frances McDormand in the ensemble drama Laurel Canyon. Film appearances include starring opposite Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing and starring in the hit vampire tales Underworld and sequel Underworld: Evolution for Sony’s Screen Gems. Beckinsale also starred as screen legend ‘Ava Gardner’ in Martin Scorcese’s The Aviator, in the Screen Gems thriller Vacancy opposite Luke Wilson and the comedy blockbuster Click opposite Adam Sandler. Recent films include the independent drama Snow Angels opposite Sam Rockwell, directed by David Gordon Green and the independent drama Fragments (aka Winged Creatures) opposite Forest Whitaker and Dakota Fanning,
Her television appearances include playing the title role in A&E’s Emma and in One Against the Wind for Hallmark Films. On the stage, she has appeared in “Clocks & Whistles”, “Sweetheart,” and the British National Touring production of “The Seagull.”
In 2009, Beckinsale starred in the dark comedy Everybody’s Fine opposite Robert De Niro and Drew Barrymore. That same year, she also starred in the independent political drama Nothing But The Truth opposite Alan Alda and Matt Dillon, which garnered her great recognition for her accolade worthy performance. Beckinsale was most recently seen in two hit films: the suspense thriller Contraband, opposite Mark Wahlberg, and Underworld Awakening, the fourth film in the Screen Gems franchise.
JESSICA BIEL (Melina) most recently starred in Garry Marshall’s romantic comedies New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day and in the action adventure The A-Team. She will soon be seen in the thriller The Tall Man and the sports comedy Playing the Field. She will next be starring in the film Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho opposite Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, and Scarlett Johansson.
Biel previously received critical acclaim for her performance in the thriller The Illusionist. For her work in the film, she won several festival awards, including the Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Shining Star Award at the Maui Film Festival and the Rising Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
She was also recently seen in the independent feature Easy Virtue, which premiered to rave reviews at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival before screening at the Rome, London and Tribeca Film Festivals. She also starred in the worldwide hit comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.
Biel's additional film credits include Lee Tamahori's Next, Elizabethtown, written and directed by Cameron Crowe, Rob Cohen's Stealth, Blade: Trinity, the hit remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Summer Catch.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERSLEN WISEMAN (Director / Executive Producer) started his career in the art department on blockbuster special effects features such as Godzilla, Men in Black and Independence Day. He wrote and directed both Underworld and Underworld Evolution and directed Bruce Willis in the action hit Live Free or Die Hard.
Most recently Wiseman directed the “Hawaii Five-O” pilot and produced the latest installment to the successful franchise, Underworld: Awakening
KURT WIMMER (Screenplay by) is an American screenwriter and film director. Wimmer attended the University of South Florida and graduated with a BFA degree in Art History. He moved to Los Angeles where he worked for twelve years as a screenwriter, adapting works such as Sphere, starring Dustin Hoffman, and The Thomas Crown Affair, starring Pierce Brosnan.
In 2002, Wimmer made his directorial debut, Equilibrium, starring Christian Bale and Emily Watson. Wimmer also wrote and directed Ultraviolet, starring Milla Jovovich, and screenplay credit for Street Kings, starring Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker. His most recent film credits include Law Abiding Citizen, starring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, for director F. Gary Gray, and Salt, starring Angelina Jolie.
In addition to Total Recall, MARK BOMBACK (Screenplay) produced work includes Unstoppable, Race to Witch Mountain, Live Free or Die Hard, Deception and Godsend. He recently completed work on the screenplays for The Art of Racing in the Rain (Universal) and Shadow Divers (20th Century Fox), as well as revisions on The Wolverine for director James Mangold. Mark also teaches a course in screenwriting at his alma mater, Wesleyan University. He lives in New York with his wife and four children.
Ronald Shusett’s (story by) science fiction, action and horror films have reached worldwide grosses of over one and a half billion dollars. He was executive producer of Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s Minority Report, which alone grossed $358 million worldwide. He also received above the title co-presenter billing. The film was based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, whose work was also the basis for Shusett’s trendsetting and mega-box office hit Total Recall (1990), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, which he produced, co-wrote the screenplay for and received above the title co-presenter billing. Shusett also co-wrote the original story, executive produced, and received above the title co-presenter billing for Ridley Scott’s Alien.
In addition to the Oscars® won for the innovative special effects by both Alien and Total Recall (1990), Shusett’s movies also were honored by The Academy of Science Fiction, Horror And Fantasy, for which Shusett personally received a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film (Alien) and also a second Saturn Award several years later for Best Science Fiction film (Total Recall (1990)).
Also, Shusett has worked with, in addition to Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg some of the other major box office and artistic director talents of this era, including Paul Verhoeven, David Cronenberg, and Andrew Davis.
Among his other films which he has either executive produced or produced, and co-written, are Freejack, starring Anthony Hopkins and Mick Jagger, King Kong Lives (a sequel to the original), and Dead and Buried, which went on to become a cult classic in the contemporary horror film genre worldwide.
On Alien Vs. Predator (2004), which was the fifth Alien sequel, Shusett received a story by credit (shared) in addition to his “Alien Characters Created By” credit (shared). Alien Vs. Predator (2004) box office gross was $170 million worldwide and was released on DVD in January 2005.
DAN O’BANNON’s (story by) credits include Dark Star (1974) (screen story / screenplay), Alien (1979) (screenplay/story), Dead & Buried (1981) (screenplay), Blue Thunder (1983) (screenplay), The Return of the Living Dead (1985) (director / screenplay), Lifeforce (1985)(screenplay), Invaders from Mars (1986) (screenplay),Total Recall (1990) (screen story / screenplay), The Resurrected (1992) (director),Screamers (1995) (screenplay), and Alien Vs. Predator (2004) (screen story). His book, Dan O’Bannon’s Guide to Screenplay Structure, will be published in the spring of 2013. O’Bannon died in 2009.
Known primarily for his work on Star Trek – The Motion Picture and “Total Recall (1990), Jon Povill (story by) has written feature scripts for Universal and Allied Artists Pictures as well as projects for, or in partnership with, several industry luminaries -- including four-time Oscar® winner Robert Wise, Emanuel L. Wolf, Robert Watts, and Gene Roddenberry. He has written numerous television episodes and developed pilots with Fox, Kushner-Locke, and legendary TV producers Fred Silverman and Lee Rich.
Povill broke into the business shortly after receiving his MFA from UCLA, landing the coveted job of Story Editor on the fabled “Star Trek Phase II” series that ultimately led into Star Trek – The Motion Picture, on which he was the associate producer. He is also credited with the screen story for Total Recall (1990) and was an integral part of the popular series “Sliders,” working as the Executive script consultant for the first season and writer-producer for the second season.
In 1952, Philip K. Dick (Inspired by the Short Story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by) began writing professionally, eventually publishing 45 novels and more than 120 short stories.
He won numerous awards for his work, including the Hugo Award for Best Novel of 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. His work has been adapted into such highly acclaimed films as Blade Runner, Total Recall (1990), Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and The Adjustment Bureau. Electric Shepherd Productions, the entertainment branch of the Philip K. Dick Estate, continues to develop film and television projects based on his work.
Since his death at the age of 53, he has gone on to be recognized as one of America's most celebrated and influential science fiction writers. In 2007, Philip K. Dick became the first sci-fi author to be inducted into the Library of America.
NEAL H. MORITZ (Producer), founder of Original Film, has been producing feature film and television for over three decades. His latest release,
’s action-comedy Columbia 21 Jump Street,
opened in March to $xxx in its opening weekend.
Prior to that, his film Fast 5,
the fifth installation of The Fast and
the Furious franchise, brought the return of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker,
Jordana Brewster and Tyrese and introduces Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to the
team. The film opened to over $86
million and grossed over $626 million worldwide.
Moritz is currently in post production on Warner Bros.’ Jack the Giant Killer directed by Bryan Singer and Universal Pictures’ R.I.P.D. starring Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Bacon
2012 will be a busy year for the Original Film banner. Production on the sixth and seventh installments of the Fast and Furious franchise begin this summer as well as the IM Global-financed Dead Man Down starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace, directed by Neils Arden Opvel (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Swedish trilogy). Summit Entertainment’s remake of Highlander is also slated to begin production this year with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo helming.
With over 40 films to Moritz’s credit, past titles include The Change-Up, Battle: Los Angeles, The Green Hornet, The Fast and Furious series, I Am Legend, XXX, S.W.A.T., Made of Honor, Gridiron Gang, Bounty Hunter, Evan Almighty, Sweet Home Alabama, Click, Vantage Point, Out of Time, Blue Streak, Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Skulls, Volcano, Urban Legend, and Juice. Original Film’s box office is north of 2 billion worldwide.
Moritz’s television credits include the HBO movie The Rat Pack, which earned 11 Emmy nominations, the drama series Prison Break for Twentieth Century Fox, and Showtime’s highly acclaimed series The Big C, starring Laura Linney, who won a Golden Globe in 2011 for her role of Cathy.
A graduate of UCLA with a degree in Economics, Moritz went on to get a graduate degree from the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at the University of Southern California.
TOBY JAFFE (Producer) is currently a producer at Original Film, one of the most prolific producers of films in the industry today. The company has produced such blockbuster hits as The Fast and The Furious series, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Sweet Home Alabama, Vantage Point, Prom Night, The Green Hornet, Battle Los Angeles, and, most recently, 21 Jump Street. In 2012, the company will release Total Recall and RIPD.
Prior to joining Original, Jaffe spent three years at MGM Studios as an Executive Vice President, Production. During his tenure at MGM, he supervised the production of numerous films, including the hits The Pink Panther starring Steve Martin, Walking Tall starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and The Amityville Horror.
Before joining MGM, Jaffe ran his own independent production company and collaborated with some of Hollywood’s most celebrated talent, including Angelina Jolie, Mark Wahlberg, and Martin Lawrence, producing such recognized films as Rock Star, Life of Something Like It, and the hit comedy Blue Streak.
Previously, he served as President of Production for The IndieProd Company, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan Satellite Broadcasting. During his tenure, he worked with such talent as Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Kenneth Branagh, and Sam Raimi while supervising such films as The Quick and the Dead, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Universal Soldier.
Jaffe began his entertainment career as a talent agent at The Leading Artists Agency. After the company merged to become United Talent Agency, he advanced to head up the motion picture literary department and represented writers, producers and directors, among them Barry Sonnenfeld, Curtis Hanson, Rob Cohen, Boaz Yakin, Frank Darabont and Joss Whedon. In that capacity, he additionally was responsible for bringing together many of the creative and financial elements which led to the success of such films as Twins, Point Break, Class Action, The Rookie and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Jaffe is a graduate of Harvard University and lives in Santa Monica with his wife and two children.
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