21 Things We Learned at the ‘Total Recall’ Junket

By  · Published on August 2nd, 2012

As the cinematic summer season winds to a close, audiences everywhere will soon get to relive the joy of memory implantation, three-boobed ladies, and governmental double-cross. No, no, it’s not The Bourne Legacy (is anyone triple-stacked in that? Let’s hope so!), it’s Len Wiseman’s take on Total Recall. This time around, no one goes to Mars and Ahnuld is nowhere to be found, instead Colin Farrell takes over as the mystified and misplaced everyman Douglas Quaid whose fun-time mind-trip ends up with some seriously unexpected consequences.

Last weekend, Beverly Hills’ own Four Seasons Hotel played host to scads of press primed to interview the Total Recall crew about such things as what they’d want Rekall to implant in their minds, what it was like working with a married couple, and how the film’s lovely lady stars stay so young-looking. Of course, there were also interesting questions asked at the junket, and director Wiseman and his stars Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, and Bryan Cranston answered those, too. And also Cranston talked about Breaking Bad for twenty minutes and we all took it in, starry-eyed.

After the break, check out 21 we learned at the Total Recall junket, from how Cranston thinks BB will end, what element of the film stands out as the major difference between it and the original (hint: it’s not that the film doesn’t go to Mars), what Biel knows about the status of David O. Russell’s Nailed, and the special cameo that Wiseman built into the film for his dear old dad.

1. Len Wiseman collects a lot of sci-fi artwork and is a lifelong sci-fi genre fan – that’s the sort of stuff the director turned to when it came to envisioning the world of the film.

2. Kate Beckinsale was considered for the role of Lori very early on — Wiseman also shared that Beckinsale (his real-life wife) was never in the running for Jessica Biel’s role as Melina.

3. Beckinsale’s shooting schedule on Underworld 4 nearly kept her from the role — but a schedule push on Total Recall gave her a two-day window to finish that film and step into this one.

4. Colin Farrell was Wiseman’s first choice for the role of Douglas Quaid – just as Biel was his first choice for Melina.

5. Farrell was originally slated to star in both Total Recall and David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis – but that same schedule change that allowed Beckinsale to step into her role also pushed Farrell out of working on Cosmopolis.

6. You better believe that the three-breasted lady from Paul Verhoeven’s film pops up in this incarnation — and that’s because Wiseman made a list of some of the moments that he remembered most clearly from the original film as a road map for iconic moments he wanted to include in his film. It’s not the only one that shows up, but it’s surely the most eye-popping one.

7. Wiseman was interested in using feasible technologies, buildings, and technology for his Total Recall world – stuff like palm-embedded cell phones, hover cars, and worlds forced to build up instead of out.

8. In a scene involving Quaid procuring a box of future money, Wiseman’s dad’s face pops up alongside other known world leaders on the currency – another recognizable face? President Barack Obama.

9. Wiseman worked with Tom Cruise for seven months to ready him for the lead role in MotorcadeWiseman signed on for the film in 2008, a project about terrorists carjacking the President’s motorcade that ultimately fell through because of budgetary issues.

10. Bryan Cranston is a true believer in the importance of writing above everything else when it comes the quality of films – as he put it, “the writing in a story in our industry is the most important element, bar none. It is always about the writing first.” And, of course, “the best actor in the world can make C level material C-plus level material, maybe B-minus, that’s it.”

11. Cranston feels that Breaking Bad is “a little movie, a one hour movie every week.”

12. With the awareness that Breaking Bad might not have been picked up after the fourth season, Cranston shared that the writers were writing with the intent that the season’s final words could work as the series’ final words — “It’s over. We’re safe. I won.”

13. On Breaking Bad ending after this final season, Cranston maintains that he doesn’t know what Vince Gilligan has in store for the series’ conclusion, but he did let slip one tantalizing description – “it’s going to come to a horrible end.”

14. Unlike most of her fellow cast members, Jessica Biel doesn’t have “a strong memory” when it comes to the original film – but she now thinks it’s “so good, so fun.”

15. To train for her character, Biel studied both parkour and boxing.

16. Biel auditioned twice for her role in Hitchcockgoing so far as showing up dressed in character as her “version” of what Vera Miles.

17. Even Biel doesn’t know the status of David O. Russell’s currently-buried Nailed and she worries that it “will never see the light of day”she describes the situation as “a heartbreak” because of how much work they all put into the production and how excited she was to work with Russell. She also thinks “the only person who can save it is David.”

18. Despite having her own franchise devoted to ass-kicking (Underworld), Kate Beckinsale says she “never thinks” that she’s “capable of any of it” – and is “always terrified.” Surprisingly, she still prefers drama.

19. Beckinsale’s Lori switches between an American accent and a British accent, a character twist that was Beckinsale’s own idea.

20. Colin Farrell believes that Philip K. Dick’s work “hasn’t aged a day.”

21. Both Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel were specifically attracted to Wiseman’s film and Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback’s script because of its totally different tone from the original film — though both were fond of the Verhoeven’s film.

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Total Recall is in theaters this Friday.

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