A remake of cult sci-fi classic Starship Troopers has been mooted for a while now, with producer Neal Moritz (Fast & Furious franchise) putting it together. The 1997 film, directed by Paul Verhoeven (Elle), was a disappointment at the box office grossing $121million with a cost of around $105million but over the years the film has grown a huge cult status.
Verhoeven is not involved with the remake but speaking at the Film Society of Lincoln Center (via IndieWire) where the film was having a special screening, Verhoeven discussed the film, the presidential election and how the original novel mirrors recent events.
“It said in the article [that] the production team of that movie of the remake, that they would go back more and more towards the novel. And of course, we really, really tried to get away from the novel, because we felt that the novel was fascistic and militaristic… You feel that going back to the novel would fit very much in a Trump Presidency.”
The original film went for political satire and poked at propaganda and Nazi leanings whereas the book is almost the opposite, with Verhoeven saying that in 1997 Sony changed management so many times while they were making it that no-one kept a real track of what they were doing:
“We succeeded to do this movie, that is so subversive, and politically incorrect [because] Sony changed [leadership] every three, four months,”
He spoke about the changing face of politics, the world as a whole and Trump’s win and said:
“We are living in a very interesting, or you can call it scary times, and of course you would like to do something about it, too,”
How the new Starship Troopers will fare without Verhoeven’s sensibilities and style as well as the change in slant of the context of the film: the original’s satirical egde was sharp and biting and help make the film what it is today. Remakes are a mixed bag at the best of times so we will wait to see how this one pans out.