HOLLYWOOD – In the 1990 sci-fi adventure Total Recall,
Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as a man battling mind control. Now Colin Farrell takes on the role in a new film inspired by the same Phillip K. Dick short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale
, which was first published almost 50 years ago
It's the not too distant future: a post-war society has the wealthy elite living comfortably while the working poor battle over scraps. Unable to afford genuine adventures, they live vicariously through memories implanted by a company called Rekall.
But it all goes wrong for factory worker Douglas Quaid when the Rekall procedure reveals he is actually a secret agent and his adoring wife Lori is a rival assassin.
Colin Farrell stars as Quaid. The Irish-born actor admits he re-watched the 1990 film before playing the role.
"More to annoy myself and give myself a dose of the nerves, really, and to see if I could instill myself with any premature regret, " Farrell jokes, "because I only looked at the film again after I had signed on to do it. But it was different enough. When I read the script, tonally it felt so different even though the plot points were the same."
There is plenty of action, from shoot-outs and bare-knuckle brawls to futuristic car chases. But Farrell says there is also a desperate search for identity …for an answer to the question Quaid asks.
"I did read the original story, and I just marveled at the many-tiered levels of complexity that Phillip K. Dick could achieve in such a short time with regard to the fracturing of a person's psychology and the uncertainty as to what was real and what was not," he says.
Director Len Wiseman says audiences will decide if the events are all in Quaid's mind.
"The most important thing about this movie, and I think the fun of it, is that question: is it fantasy or reality?" he explains. "I wanted to make sure that you could watch the movie from both perspectives and see if it really adds up."
co-stars Kate Beckinsale as undercover assassin Lori.