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Colin Farrell charmed the crowd at Sony’s Total Recall presentation, whose main point seemed to be to stress the difference between the new action movie and the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger classic.
Farrell was on the stage, along with director Len Wiseman and actors Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, and Kate Beckinsale (who is also Wiseman’s wife).
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Many fans in the Q&A portion of the presentation gave props to Cranston for Breaking Bad, and acknowledged the beauty of the starlets, but comically the questions ended up on Farrell’s lap.
One look at the footage, which played very well, swats away the difference but several times the actors came back to the question of the old and new movie, with Farrell asking how it was like to fill in Schwarzenegger’s shoes.
“I really didn’t have to film his shoes,” he said. “The biggest difference with this incarnation is the tonal shift. The other one had an absurd sense of humor. This is played a lot straighter. I don’t have one liners…I didn’t have to fight to make it different. I felt it was already different enough.”
Beckinsale said she didn’t see her part as a recreation, saying her role is a mix of a couple of parts seen in the 1990 movie (ostensibly the Sharon Stone wife role but also the heavy role played by Michael Ironside, something evidenced by the footage).
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“Audiences back then perhaps weren’t used to seeing a woman without a right hand man,” Beckinsale said, adding that another variation on a movie is akin to seeing different versions of Shakespearean productions.
There was a lot of talk about the physical nature of the production (“Boxing, boxing, boxing, boxing. And chicken,” said Biel of her preparation for the movie), running jokes of sleeping with Wiseman to get the job, and also of the sets.
Ferrell said that despite the many special effects, the movie shot on soundstages in Toronto on elaborate sets.
“The immediate environment always had really tangible stuff. The Tripping Den (the name of the establishment where characters go for their fantasies) was one of the most beautiful sets I’ve ever been in. It was like an opium den.” He then quipped, “It felt like home.”
The Total Recall panel was followed by a Looper presentation, where Joseph Gordon-Levitt got a hearty welcome.
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