Hope you weren’t betting on Hollywood going back to the original short story . . .

Sony has released the official plot synopsis for their upcoming remake of Total Recall, the 1990 Paul Verhoeven film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We hope you weren’t actually expecting Hollywood to go back to the 1966 We Can Remember It for You Wholesale short story by Philip K. Dick that served as inspiration for the original movie.

The plot for the remake sounds very similar to the Arnie flick, except in the original movie Arnie got to travel to Mars and the remake seems very Earthbound.

Here’s the official plot synopsis for the remake:

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) who 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), the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen.

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.

In case you had forgotten or haven’t read it, here’s the plot synopsis for the Dick short story courtesy of Wikipedia:

Douglas Quail, a simple and ordinary man, wishes to visit Mars. Unable to afford it, he visits a company, Rekal, Incorporated, that offers implanted memories (“extra-factual memory”). The attempt to implant some exciting Mars memories of Quail as a secret agent reveals that Quail actually is an undercover government assassin with a mind full of dangerous secrets. The Rekal staff quickly gets Quail out of their office; he heads home and finds certain physical evidence to support his new old memories. His handlers initially seek his death but instead Quail, being an assassin, avoids this and goes on the run. Unfortunately, he has an implanted device which can be used to read his thoughts. He therefore makes a deal in which the memory of his Mars mission is replaced by a false memory of his deepest desire as analyzed by psychiatrists – that he saved the world from a Martian invasion at the age of 9. The Rekal staff begin the memory-implanting procedure, and run into the same problem as they did earlier – the incredible memories they are about to insert are already there and real.

The remake will star Colin Farrell in the Arnie role and the movie is directed by Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard). Release date is August 3rd, 2012.


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James has been running The Sci-Fi Movie Page since Before the Beginning of Time Itself (TM), i.e. since the site's inception in 1997. In addition to sci-fi James also likes 1970s motorbikes and chili dogs although he doesn't own the former and no longer eats the latter. He currently resides in Kiev, Ukraine for reasons best left unexplained.



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