Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers is a classic on every level. The film revels in its absurdity and over-the-top style, and we’re all the better for it.
With a remake looming, Arrow in the Head caught up with Verhoeven to get his take on the proposed remake.
“[Producer] Neal Moritz is doing it; he also did the remake of Total Recall. I think what they’ll do is take out everything that can be upsetting. The satire, leaning toward fascism, all that stuff. Saying to the audience, ‘Yeah, they’re heroes, but they’re also fascists.’ You should do that now, especially now. They announced already that they’re going back to the book, and the book is really militaristic. It’s not fascistic like in Germany, but it’s leaning there. It would be [my] movie, straight.”
“They certainly won’t make references to Leni Riefenstahl like we did,” Verhoeven continues. “I think it was really interesting to seduce the audience into seeing them as heroes but then to also tell them they might not be okay. They certainly won’t do that because it would be controversial, and that is probably not economically the best idea. It would probably get them an R rating, and they don’t want that anymore.”
“The remakes that I’ve seen, of Robocop and Total Recall, are the same thing. Every ambiguity out, all these layers out, and PG-13. Just straight bang bang, shoot shoot. They were well made, but they were not worth doing.”
Columbia Pictures has tapped Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, the writing duo behind the upcoming Baywatch movie, to write the script for a new theatrical feature film that would relaunch a potential franchise. Neal H. Moritz, the producer behind the Fast & Furious franchise, is producing with Toby Jaffe, with whom he worked on the studio’s remake of another 1990s sci-fi pic, Total Recall.
Starship Troopers is based on the sci-fi war novel by Robert A. Heinlein that told of the military life of a soldier named Johnny Rico, who moves up the ranks as mankind fights a war against alien bugs.
Verhoeven took some of the novel’s themes and ran with them, making a movie that satirically took on fascism and militarism and echoed propaganda films like Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. It starred Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, and Neil Patrick Harris.
The studio is not remaking the film but is said to be going back to the original Heinlein novel for an all-new take. No personnel from the 1997 film are involved, and Matthew Milam is overseeing for the studio.