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Total Recall - Early Days
Episode 42nd November 2019 • An Alien in Hollywood - Ronald Shusett • Harry Duran
00:00:00 00:38:29

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  • 00:14 – Robin and Harry introduce the topic of today’s episode, Rom Shusett’s Total Recall
  • 03:28 – The decision to buy the rights to Philip K. Dick’s short story
  • 10:00 – First steps to making Total Recall
  • 11:34 – Dan O’Bannon’s involvement
  • 12:54 – Challenges with Disney
  • 17:29 – Meeting with famed producer, Dino De Laurentiis
  • 19:47 – The unique deal that Ron made with Dino
  • 24:01 – The issue with the credits
  • 26:36 – Ron recalls visiting a ‘spiritualist’
  • 30:08 – The number of directors that, at one point, worked on Total Recall
  • 32:35 – Working with David Cronenberg
  • 33:14 – Financial roadblocks
  • 34:06 – From Richard Dreyfuss to Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • 35:52 – Landing the star director, Paul Verhoeven


“Alien had changed everything, not just in the sci-fi horror genre. It raised the bar in quality special effects, excellence in story-telling and sheer cinematic terror. And, of course, it made Sigourney Weaver an overnight sensation.” (00:27)

“Nothing you can see will awe you when there’ve been so many special effects. You can’t thrill the audience any more than that, because you can never do anything more amazing than you’ve seen in other movies.” (15:04)

“I knew that I was never gonna make a deal unless Dino would give me a credit with him. I didn’t want it instead of him.” (24:54)

“All of a sudden, when I had nobody but Arnold [Schwarzenegger], he did back-to-back the first ‘Predator’ and ‘Twins.’ And he became number one box office in the world.” (35:25)

“And so between Arnold [Schwarzenegger] and [Paul] Verhoeven, well that’s ow the movie got made. I had the star and I had the director.” (36:34)


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Music by Vincent Covello and Vic Migenes

Artwork by Barbara Mastej

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