Though its satire was mostly lost on moviegoers when it was first released, Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers holds up as a critique of fascism and U.S. foreign policy nearly 20 years later. So you can see how the famed director might not have been thrilled to learn that the proposed remake will align itself more closely to the ideals espoused in Robert Heinlein’s eponymous book, which were sent up in the 1997 film. Verhoeven made his feelings about the reportedly more patriotic reboot while at the Film Society Of Lincoln Center this week. Per Indiewire, the director scoffed at the notion of staying true to the source material, insisting that going that particular route is, well, bullshit. But he does think that the planned reboot would resonate with the new leader of the free world.
It said in the article [that] the production team of that movie of the remake, that they would go back more and more towards the novel. And of course, we really, really tried to get away from the novel, because we felt that the novel was fascistic and militaristic. You feel that going back to the novel would fit very much in a Trump presidency.
It’s a bit shocking that Verhoeven wouldn’t trust the Baywatch movie writers to rework his movie, but it’s not just the Starship Troopers remake that rankles Verhoeven. He thinks Hollywood needs to lay off remaking or following up on all of his films, because the studios have avoided the “layer of lightness, a layer of irony, sarcasm, satire” that’s part of his style. He may be right, but that probably won’t slow down the trend.