Extra-curvy women, Jessica Biel boxing and a wise-cracking Bryan Cranston highlighted Sony Pictures' Total Recall Comic-Con panel Friday.
Like in the futuristic 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Doug Quaid (played by Colin Farrell) is a seemingly normal guy who finds himself having different memories of a life other than his own, which leads to a string of dangerous circumstances
"Maybe I've spent a large portion of my life not knowing who I am," Farrell said of connecting with Quaid. "Everything he held dear and close in his life is a fabrication. He's in a state of conscious shock for most of the film. Essentially, it becomes a source of liberation: He has to figure out what kind of man he wants to be."
The actor has been focusing on smaller independent movies in recent years, and hadn't done a big action flick since 2006's Miami Vice.
"I had been doing things that very felt personal, but there's a lot of fun to be had with a movie like this," said Farrell, adding that he was "a bit dubious" to doing his second remake in two years, referring to last year's Fright Night.
Then director Len Wiseman showed him concept art of the world in Total Recall (out Aug. 3) he wanted to create. "I was like a 6-year-old looking at those pictures," Farrell said.
He recalled drinking a lot of protein shakes in his and the rest of the cast's preparation for the more physical rigors of fight scenes and chase sequences
Learning martial-arts and parkour skills, "you have to train as an athlete would," said Jessica Biel, who plays a resistance fighter against the villainous president of Euroamerica, Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston).
Her training regime: "Boxing, boxing, boxing, boxing, boxing and chicken." Cranston's? "I was training at a bar."
Wiseman's real-life spouse Kate Beckinsale plays Quaid's wife-from-hell, who attacks her husband violently. "She said she'd read for it. Len said, 'You already have,' " Farrell joked.
"It's nice to be able to open up the crazy a little bit," Beckinsale added.
During a fan Q&A, a convention-goer asked Farrell why he didn't use his usual Irish accent in the movie. "I did think of messing around with an Austrian accent for about seven minutes," he said, prompting a Cranston one-liner: "I thought you were Austrian?"
Farrell may not sound like Schwarzenegger, but there are nods to the original movie, including one overly endowed female character that's infamous in sci-fi circles from the first go-round.
"If you didn't have a hooker with three boobs," Cranston said to Wiseman, "we'd all be upset."