The new “Total Recall” movie premieres later this week, and I’m hearing lots of complaints about it being “just another remake.” While I can’t vouch for how good the movie is (I’m seeing it tomorrow night), I can vouch for the fact that it’s no more of a “remake” than “The Lord of the Rings” or “Casino Royale” — because just like those films (and yes, I consider all three chapters in “Lord of the Rings” to be part of one massive movie), “Total Recall” is based on a book. (Well, technically a short story, but you get the idea.)
Yes, a lot of people seem to forget that “Total Recall” — as well as “Minority Report,” “Blade Runner,” and various other sci-fi films over the years — were all based on stories written by the great author Philip K. Dick. Of course, given how much the movies usually differed from Dick’s stories, it’s not surprising that there’s such a disconnect between the movies and their source material.
With that in mind, I put together a brief guide to some of higher-profile films based on Dick’s short stories and novels that have made it to the big screen.
Here’s an excerpt:
Minority Report (2002)
Steven Spielberg directed this blockbuster, effects-fueled adaptation of a short story written by Dick that was first published in a 1956 issue of Fantastic Universe. Like with “Total Recall,” the film differed from its source material significantly in several key areas, especially the main character, who was altered to be more closely resemble the movie’s star, Tom Cruise. Spielberg has indicated that more than two thirds of the film is material that didn’t exist in the original story, including a drastically different final act for the film that’s almost the exact opposite of how the original story ended.
According to Spielberg, “The Philip K. Dick story only gives you a springboard that really doesn’t have a second or third act. Most of the movie is not in the Philip K. Dick story.”
You can read the rest of the article at Movies.com.