If you wait long enough, every film will be rebooted. THR has revealed that Paul Verhoeven‘s satirical sci-fi war film Starship Troopers is getting a reboot. Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, the guys behind the upcoming Baywatch film, are writing the new take on the property. Swift and Shannon also wrote the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th, so they know a thing or two about reboots. Columbia Pictures sees the project as a launch for a possible new franchise. No director is currently attached but, honestly, who can come close to Verhoeven?
Verhoeven based his 1997 Troopers on Robert A. Heinlein’s 1959 book of the same name. The novel was a military sci-fi book about a group of future soldiers battling a race of monstrous, killer bugs. Paul Verhoeven being Paul Verhoeven used the material as a chance to parody propaganda and jingoistic pro-war mentality. He also loaded the film with lots of blood and guts, explosions, and sexy young stars. The movie didn’t take off at the box office but quickly became a cult classic and still maintains a strong presence on cable TV.
Will It Work?
Columbia isn’t planning to remake Verhoeven’s film but instead wants to go back to Heinlein’s source material and adapt it. Does that mean it’ll lose all the satire and fun that Verhoeven brought? That seems likely, and maybe for the best. You shouldn’t try to mimic him, it doesn’t work (see: RoboCop. Or, actually, don’t). Let that film stand on its own in all its campy glory and move on.
So Columbia is smart in avoiding a remake of Verhoeven’s work. However, since they plan on creating a straight-up adaptation of the book, they might end up making the type of movie Verhoeven was poking fun at. It’s important to find a balance between gritty action and bloody fun. They need to play it straight and adapt the book properly but also lean into its overt silliness. This is a story about soldiers shooting giant bugs in space after all; it doesn’t need to be taken too seriously.
We live in a world of conflict, ugly politics, and an uncertain future. Sometimes it’s nice to see bugs get blown up. We can’t wait to see more of it.