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A Less Violent Starship Troopers?
Reboot producer thinks so

27 June 2012  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  |  Source: Exclusive

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A Less Violent Starship Troopers?

Paul Verhoeven's '80s sci-fis tiptoed between kitsch and corrosive with such brass that people are still debating which bits are meant as satire and which bits aren't. His loose triptych of subversive sci-fis - Starship Troopers, Total Recall and RoboCop - are all getting a redo, with the former still in the early stages of development. In the new issue, Empire caught up with producer Toby Jaffe to find out what's planned for the former.

"The more expensive a film is, the harder it is now to make it that violent," explains Jaffe, also one of the team behind Colin Farrell's Total Recall. "With Recall in particular, we made a conscious choice to keep it tonally closer to something like Minority Report. It gives the studio, and us as producers, the opportunity to reintroduce it in a new way."

It's news that will land with a thump in the hearts of bug-hunt purists, but hardly a surprise. It's hard to imagine Verhoeven's gleefully violent RoboCop or Troopers sneaking through the studio system these days, and, explains Jaffe, there's little point retreading old  ground. "Verhoeven took [Robert Heinlein's 1959 novel] from one extreme and made it almost comical, whereas our job is to be a little more faithful to the book, and ground it a little more."

What's planned sounds like it will ditch the satire in favour of a straighter action play. "Verhoeven made his movie a critique of fascism," says Jaffe, "whereas Heinlein was writing from the perspective of someone who had served in World War II. Y'know, one man's fascism is another man's patriotism..."

One element that will improve with age is the hardware. If the militaristic elements are less tongue-in-cheek, those nukes will be bigger and better. "Working in a visual-effects renaissance as we are, we have the ability to do so much more now. We can do the Jump Suits [armoured exoskeletons from Heinlein's novel], for example, which I don't think they could have done before."

Pick up the new issue of Empire from Thursday for a fresh look at Verhoeven's trippy trilogy and more from Jaffe and co. on the new generation of films.


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Your Comments

RE: This Really Bugs Me
I'm from 1997 and I say kill 'em all!! More

Posted by rich at 00:15 on 03 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: This Really Bugs Me
L: Rgirvan44 L: Overmind Please people! Learn the difference between a remake and a new adaption. This is gonna be a new adaption of the book. And I look forward to it. I was a great fan of the movie until I read the book. And what a great book, and a horible interpretation. Mr Veerhoven just couldnt grasp what the book was about. He was disgusted and didnt even finnished it. And that says it all. Yes the movie is easy fun and the vfx are great but it has nothing to d More

Posted by elab49 at 22:35 on 02 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: This Really Bugs Me
L: Overmind Please people! Learn the difference between a remake and a new adaption. This is gonna be a new adaption of the book. And I look forward to it. I was a great fan of the movie until I read the book. And what a great book, and a horible interpretation. Mr Veerhoven just couldnt grasp what the book was about. He was disgusted and didnt even finnished it. And that says it all. Yes the movie is easy fun and the vfx are great but it has nothing to do with the book. More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 21:39 on 02 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Starship Troopers wasn't an 80s sci-fi...
L: chris kilby One of the most underrated, misunderstood and t of the 90s, if anything, Starship Troopers is even more subversive than the sublime how the Verhoeven version was a merciless piss-take of Heinlein's po-faced fascist tract - I will take the sight of Doogie Howser dressed like Herr Flick and solemnly intoning "There's a brain bug on Planet P!" with me to the grave. How could you love a movie where the baddies are Nazi 90210/Melrose Place mannequins and the goodies are giant More

Posted by Dropje at 11:20 on 29 June 2012 | Report This Post

"With Recall in particular, we made a conscious choice to keep it tonally closer to something like Minority Report. It gives the studio, and us as producers, the opportunity to reintroduce it in a new way." We can introduce it in a new way by making it look like something you have seen before? wat? More

Posted by kumar at 18:00 on 28 June 2012 | Report This Post

Screw Remakes : Why not take a stab at something different ?
Michael Cobleys Humanity’s Fire Trilogy would be awesome on film (or a Game Of Thrones type series - come on HBO) ! Anyone for "Seeds of Earth" ? More

Posted by blue_lion at 12:33 on 28 June 2012 | Report This Post

RE: This Really Bugs Me
Please people! Learn the difference between a remake and a new adaption. This is gonna be a new adaption of the book. And I look forward to it. I was a great fan of the movie until I read the book. And what a great book, and a horible interpretation. Mr Veerhoven just couldnt grasp what the book was about. He was disgusted and didnt even finnished it. And that says it all. Yes the movie is easy fun and the vfx are great but it has nothing to do with the book. I welcome a faithful More

Posted by Overmind at 09:31 on 28 June 2012 | Report This Post

This Really Bugs Me
Instead of remaking all of Paul Verhoeven's great sci-fi movies, I wish the great man would just be given the money to make a new one. He could return to the genre like Ridley Scott did with Prometheus. None of these remakes will be anywhere near as good as they're made by copycat hacks. Verhoeven is a true auteur and ultraviolence was and is his trademark. More

Posted by BenTramer at 06:53 on 28 June 2012 | Report This Post

Well atleast we will get crap CGI "jump packs"
Who cares if they remove a large chunk unique factors of what made Verhoeven's film unique and a success in almost every regard outside of gross. I would probably be more concerned if I believed this film was a sure thing but I am having a hard time believing this remake will happen. Total Recall 2012 looks average at best, and the details so far for Robocop also come off as "meh". More

Posted by bjbdigital at 06:25 on 28 June 2012 | Report This Post

Starship Troopers - pure cinematic pleasure
The f/x is amazing and those spider bugs are awesomely realistic and dangerous looking. Won't be beaten. Jaffe can go fuck himself... non-violently and non-ironically of course. More

Posted by BatSpider at 23:05 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

RE: non dimensional
So wait, this is going to be a watered down cash in on a familiar name? NO WAY!! More

Posted by UTB at 21:10 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

non dimensional
Really hope this is in 3D...which will give me even more of a reason NOT TO GO AND SEE THIS!!!!!! More

Posted by MaxRenn at 20:41 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

RE: A word about the VFX
L: Galahadfairlight The comment from the producer to suggest they couldn't do the jump suits back in 1997 is patent nonsense, Verhoeven removed them largely to stop the Humans from being virtually indestructable, and to make them have a believable weakness against the bugs. The VFX for Starship Troopers still stands up today as being excellent, and I very much doubt that the VFX for the new incarnation are remotely going to make the old movie look silly! couldn't agree more. More

Posted by Rich Empire at 17:12 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

May the Bugs kill this!
How on (or off) earth can they even be considering this?! Verhoeven's movie is just pitch-perfect even now! More

Posted by olirog at 17:04 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Starship Troopers wasn't an 80s sci-fi...
Let's face it, a p Troopers could hardly be ] violent. One of the most underrated, misunderstood and t of the 90s, if anything, Starship Troopers is even more subversive than the sublime how the Verhoeven version was a merciless piss-take of Heinlein's po-faced fascist tract - I will take the sight of Doogie Howser dressed like Herr Flick and solemnly intoning "There's a brain bug on Planet P!" with me to the grave. How could you love a movie where the baddies are Nazi 90210/Melrose Pla More

Posted by chris kilby at 16:57 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Starship Troopers wasn't an 80s sci-fi...
And neither was Total Recall, which came out in 1990. Empire, if you can't get this sh*t right, what hope is there for the rest of us? More

Posted by Nicky C at 16:24 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

RE:
L: Dropje "Y'know, one man's fascism is another man's patriotism." Does this mean that, 15 years later, at least one American has realized that this Dutch director had been taking the piss out of them? More

Posted by waltham1979 at 15:31 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

I WOULDN'T LIKE TO KNOW MORE! More

Posted by LSJShez at 15:20 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

A word about the VFX
The comment from the producer to suggest they couldn't do the jump suits back in 1997 is patent nonsense, Verhoeven removed them largely to stop the Humans from being virtually indestructable, and to make them have a believable weakness against the bugs. The VFX for Starship Troopers still stands up today as being excellent, and I very much doubt that the VFX for the new incarnation are remotely going to make the old movie look silly! More

Posted by Galahadfairlight at 15:09 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

"Y'know, one man's fascism is another man's patriotism." Does this mean that, 15 years later, at least one American has realized that this Dutch director had been taking the piss out of them? More

Posted by Dropje at 14:58 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

Starship Troopers wasn't an 80s sci-fi...
...it came out in 1997. Just sayin'. More

Posted by Primus at 14:48 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

bs
Everything about this is just wrong. No offense to the fans, but I thought the novel was rather boring, but I absolutely adore the film, especially Poledouris score and the annoying teens getting DESTROYED by the Bugs. Fuck this guy and fuck this remake. More

Posted by presidentcletus at 14:32 on 27 June 2012 | Report This Post

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