Five years ago a pair of X-Men: First Class writers were hired to cook up a reboot of the classic man vs intergalactic, man-eating bugs tale, Starship Troopers. Less than a year after that news hit, original Starship Troopers director Paul Verhoeven predicted the remake would probably die on the vine because the remake of another of his iconic sci-fi classics, Total Recall, failed at the box office.
Now we know Verhoeven's prediction was right, at least about that particular version. That reboot attempt, which was said to be less violent, never came to pass, but now Columbia Pictures has pressed the reboot button once again. The Hollywood Reporter broke news the studio has hired Damian Shannon and Mark Swift to write the screenplay, which is an inspired choice.
Shannon and Swift are the duo who wrote the killer, and still under appreciated, Friday the 13th reboot from 2009. They also wrote the forthcoming, R-rated reboot of Baywatch starring The Rock. So, yeah, these two know a thing or two about taking beloved properties and successfully retooling them for new generations in a way that feels fresh. And that's exactly what is needed if anyone is going to attempt a new Starship Troopers.
Reportedly the plan is to largely ignore Verhoeven's film as a strict remake source, which is a wise move considering what made Verhoeven's version so singular is the fact that it largely ignored the source novel by Robert A. Heinlein. So now Shannon and Swift are free to mine that unused material, only this time filtering it through their vision. If they can find a take that still embraces the imagination found in Heinlein's books, but banks on some of the iconography of Verhoeven's movie, and keeps things R-rated, we may have a very special Starship Troopers on the horizon.