It’s one of the great “what could have been” movies that will have to live on in our imagination. Before Paul Verhoeven‘s version that we already know and love, and the upcoming Len Wiseman-directed remake with Colin Farrell, David Cronenberg was once in line to direct “Total Recall.” And while it never came to pass as Cronenberg and the producers had different ideas for the movie — he wanted William Hurt for the lead, they wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger; he was going to go way off the source material, they just wanted a popcorn movie — we now get a glimpse at what the result might have been.
Artist Ron Miller has given io9 a bunch of concept work he did for the film, and has written a piece about his time on the project. He reveals that Cronenberg’s version would have spent more time on Kuato (who looked quite different) and added some interesting flourishes including “agents with guns hidden in their bodies” and the idea that (respirator wearing) camels would have been imported from Earth to haul freight on Mars. So yeah, pretty trippy. In short, it would have been far less the conventional sci-fi adventure of either Verhoeven or Wiseman’s movies, which is pretty much why it didn’t get made.
Anyway, check out some of the art and then head over to io9 for even more.