All in all, 2011 should be a pretty good year for Colin Farrell. The actor’s been on the comeback trail in a big way in the last few years, leading with “In Bruges,” and he’s got no fewer than four films due for release in the coming year. We already know that one of them, William Monahan‘s “London Boulevard,” is a stinker, but the other three, (Peter Weir‘s already-in-limited-release “The Way Back“; the horror-comedy “Fright Night” and the full-on-comedy “Horrible Bosses“) are all promising to one degree or another, and it should cement the return of the once-troubled star to the A-list.
Indeed, Farrell’s been in talks for the past few months to take on his first tentpole lead since “Miami Vice,” in Len Wiseman‘s upcoming remake of “Total Recall.” Negotiations seemed to be protracted — only over the weekend, Farrell told Collider that he wasn’t sure if he was doing the film, although he praised the script (from “Equilibrium” and “Salt” scribe Kurt Wimmer), calling it “clever and well-written.” Over the course of a few days, however, things seem to have changed — the same site talked to the film’s producer, Neal Moritz, at the “Green Hornet” junket, and Moritz confirmed that “we’re doing the movie with Colin Farrell.”
With Farrell officially on board (reminder: he dropped out of David Cronenberg‘s “Cosmopolis” last week), the film’s moving full steam ahead, with Moritz telling Collider that the picture is set to go before cameras in Toronto on May 15th. Despite embracing the format on “Green Hornet,” Moritz says that it won’t be shot in 3D with an explanation we never thought we’d hear coming from any producer. “We’re not gonna do ‘Recall’ in 3D, we decided that it would be too much. Each movie is kind of just a completely individual decision. We did a test on ‘The Fast and the Furious‘ in 3D and it just was too much. I think for certain movies it’s great and other movies it’s just not right.”
Moritz also suggested that the new version will be closer to the source material, Philip K. Dick‘s “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” than Paul Verhoeven‘s 1990 film, and that Farrell & co won’t make it to Mars, as Arnold Schwarzenegger did, with the film remaining earthbound. That doesn’t mean that the project will be lacking in eye candy: the producer calls it “a big movie,” and says that “I think the world that Len Wiseman is creating is incredible. It’s a real world, a real future world, where the cities have just gotten so overcrowded that they are just built up, up, up… We’re playing it like a real world, but there’s all these technological advancements to the real world, and it’s just really, it’s cool.”
Despite all the glowing words, we’re far from convinced about this one — Farrell signing on is nominally a good sign, but he’s made more than his fair share of duff projects in the past. Of course, he’s as picky as Stanley Kubrick compared to director Wiseman, writer Wimmer and producer Moritz, who can’t rustle up a decent IMDB credit across their careers between them. Maybe this is the project which will see them turn it around, but we’ll need to see much more before we get excited. “Total Recall” should see a release sometime in 2012.