October 13, 2013
WHAT IF: MINORITY REPORT Was Originally Going To Be A Direct Sequel To Paul Verhoeven's TOTAL RECALL
BadassDigest has an interesting article chronicling the original plans for David Cronenberg to direct Total Recall. His contributions to the project would bleed over to Paul Verhoeven's final version. David was the one responsible for creating the concept of the mutants on Mars and that they would have precognition abilities. However, another interesting tidbit is that everyone involved with the original Total Recall were planning on making a sequel. The mutant precog idea was picked up by screenwriters Ronald D. Shusett (co-writer of Alien) and Gary Goldman as they optioned Philip K. Dick's other short story Minority Report. The pair were aiming to use it for Total Recall 2 as they were prepping the script for the sequel. Total Recall 2 would have seen Douglas (Arnold Schwarzenegger) now the head of a company in the business of using mutants (likely from Mars) to predict crime. Taking the precog concept from Minority Report and expanding it to a whole group of characters introduced in Total Recall which would have been a stroke of genius to bridge the two stories.
Arnold and director Paul Verhoeven were attached for the sequel with it about to go into production. Until Carolco Pictures folded and the film was taken to 20th Century Fox. Paul's cinematographer Jan De Bont and Fox worked together to get the project away from him. The studio then severed any links to Total Recall with rewrites. The cinematographer would eventually get fired from the project himself after flops like The Haunting and Speed 2. It was given to Steven Spielberg instead who rolled with the idea it needed to be it's own thing. Crazy to think that Minority Report could have been another fun R-rated Arnold Schwarzenegger action-fest. Instead of the glib Tom Cruise led PG-13 CGI eye candy which Spielberg gave us.