Cue “Up Where We Belong”: ‘Starship Troopers’ Remake Writer Calls It “’An Officer and a Gentleman’ in Power Armor”
It was all the way back in 2011 when producer Neal Moritz announced that he, for some reason that probably made sense to him at the time, would be remaking the 1997 cult classic Starship Troopers for us citizens of the future. The Paul Verhoeven film is still beloved for being a satirical take on the Robert A. Heinlein novel of the same name; and by satirical, it’s a goofy, caulculated mess of a good time where Denise Richards is a lieutenant, Jake Busey is allowed to exist, and giant bugs are the enemy.
Naturally, this means that the remake is going the straight, serious route, instead of recreating the fun of the first film. In 2012, producer Toby Jaffe said that this version would be much more faithful to Heinlein’s source material – meaning a more patriotic than satirical film was apparently in the works. That premise is still being echoed by writer Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) who is currently working on the script with his collaborator Ashley Miller (Fringe, X-Men: First Class).
Over the holidays, Stentz took to Twitter and answered questions about the remake from film blogger Scott Weinberg. According to Stentz, what we can expect from the redo is “less a satire & more an actual adaptation of the Heinlein novel. An Officer & a Gentleman in power armor.”
That’s not exactly what most people probably had in mind when they thought “Starship Troopers reboot,” but it’s certainly an interesting take on the story. For a brief comparison, Starship Troopers is the story of a young soldier named Johnny Rico who works his way up the ranks of a futuristic military unit, finally becoming an officer during an interstellar war between mankind and the alien species Arachnids. An Officer and a Gentleman is the Oscar-nominated film starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger, in which a young Naval officer struggles through the trials and tribulations of flight school while falling for a local girl.
Now, cut down Rico’s cockiness and amplify the love story and it’s possible to see what the two writers probably pitched very enthusiastically to the studio: a dramatic war movie fraught with romance and some intergalactic brain bugs.
The writing duo of Stentz and Miller definitely has their share of experience in the sci-fi game, working together in TV on Fringe and The Sarah Connor Chronicles and in film with X-Men: First Class. The two will write the upcoming Terminator TV series that ties in to the rebooted film franchise as well. The point: they seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to the genre. Now, someone who disagrees: Paul Verhoeven himself. Last spring, he told HuffPost that he was against the idea of a remake in any form:
“It’s to make money. It’s like washing fluids: You add some mini changes, give it another color and you sell it again. You know, it’s the same. That’s what it is. It’s like cookies: You change the form and the box and put more modern colors around it and say, ‘We have new cookies.’”
He’s not a very happy man right now, is he? With a Total Recall reboot already out in 2012 and Robocop soon to rule the streets again in 2014, Verhoeven films have been prime for the remaking. Soon we’ll see just what the new future of the Mobile Infantry brings. If anything, expect some of this between Rico and a brain bug: