The Starship Troopers Remake Is Really Happening

Thursday, 03 November 2016 - 4:27PM
Thursday, 03 November 2016 - 4:27PM
The Starship Troopers Remake Is Really Happening
So it's official: Columbia Pictures is going through with their reboot of Starship Troopers with producer Neal H. Moritz (who worked on Fast and the Furious) and writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon (who worked on Baywatch). Don't let those film credits scare you, though—the guys who did the Lego Movie and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs are working on the new Han Solo movie, and it sounds great so far. Seriously.

Starship Troopers is one of those pitches that sounds absolutely generic by this point: a bunch of space marines get in space ships and fight giant bugs on other planets using suits of power armor. From Doom to Gears of War to Fallout, the giant, beefy military man with a square jaw and a suit of power armor has become a standard trope for uber-violent video games, and we all know how seriously those are taken as pieces of art. But then again, you have a movie like Edge of Tomorrow, which also has powered armor suits and a lot of action. Recently, Edge's director Doug Liman vowed that EoT's success will allow him to change the way Hollywood makes sequels forever. So there's always hope for Starship Troopers.

For those of you who have no idea what Starship Troopers is and have it confused with Battlefield Earth (with John Travolta), here's a quick summary: depending on your viewpoint, the original 1959 book Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein was either a revolutionary piece of sci-fi that popularized the idea of power armor, or a manifesto in support of militarism that unabashedly mocked democracy. So when you make an adaptation of ityou know audiences are going to have strong feelings toward the source material. Paul Veerhoven, the director behind the 1997 version of Starship Troopers, understood that perfectly—his movie, despite borrowing the title and the characters' names, took nothing from Heinlein's book besides the general idea: humans fighting giant bugs on other planets. From there, he created a subtle (and ingenious) satire of everything the book stood for, even going so far as to base the opening scene off the giant Nazi rally in Triumph of the Will

Veerhoven's Starship Troopers was an amazing B-action movie, but it was an even more amazing take-down of the militaristic worldview Heinlein seemed to support. The film is hailed as a great piece of cinema, and a perfect example of how even action films can have a role in subverting politics. That legacy is kind of concerning when you realize that Columbia is doing a reboot. Are they gonna try to copy the 1997 film's clever satirical tone, or just abandon that whole thing and make a true-to-source adaptation that awkwardly brings its main character into conflict with the fascist themes from the book, sort of like Avatar did with the whole Native American metaphor?

Either way, it's happening. So strap in, sci-fi fans—this reboot train is leaving the station.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies