Paul Verhoeven is Not a Fan of Remaking ‘Starship Troopers’
Speaking at a screening of Starship Troopers this week at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the famed Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven (Elle) took a moment to deride the recently announced remake of his 1997 film adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1959 novel of the same name.
Verhoeven interpreted Heinlein’s book liberally and mocked, inserting subversive messaging to satirize its militaristic jingoism. In contrast, the makers of the new feature – producer Toby Jaffe and Columbia Pictures, plan to make the reportedly more patriotic reboot that’s truer to the source material:
“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.”
Whether you agree with that or not, that’s not an argument I intend to have here. The only thing the 1997 Starship Troopers movie had in common with the novel was the bugs. If read correctly, the novel is about military honor and doing what’s right under the worst circumstances imaginable:
In the distant future, the Earth is at war with a race of giant alien insects. Little is known about the Bugs except that they are intent on the eradication of all human life. But there was a time before the war… A Mobile Infantry travels to distant alien planets to take the war to the Bugs. They are a ruthless enemy with only one mission: Survival of their species no matter what the cost…
It’s true, however, that politically-minded satire caked in gore starring former child actors, models, and perfectly dumb TV soap stars would never get made today. The provocative 77 year-old filmmaker explained that he barely got away with it (a critique of fascism and U.S. foreign policy) 20 years ago:
“We succeeded to do this movie, that is so subversive, and politically incorrect [because] Sony changed [leadership] every three, four months. Nobody looked at the rushes [dailies] because they had no time because they were fired every three, four months. So we got away with it because nobody saw it.”
Oh dear! Oh my! The full article can be read via the link below.