Episode 4

Published on:

2nd Nov 2019

Total Recall - Early Days

  • 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)


Robin’s Website – http://www.robinmaxwell.com/

Robin’s Twitter – @TheRobinMaxwell https://twitter.com/therobinmaxwell


Music by Vincent Covello and Vic Migenes

Artwork by Barbara Mastej

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About the Podcast

An Alien in Hollywood - Ronald Shusett
The life and times of Ronald Shusett
An Alien in Hollywood is the story about the life and times of legendary filmmaker and “Godfather of Hollywood science fiction” Ronald Shusett.

Unless you’re a Hollywood behind-the-scenes aficionado you've probably never heard of Ron. He is no less than the man who co-created, wrote, and produced three of the most influential, iconic and mind-blowing science fiction blockbusters in film history – Alien, Total Recall and Minority Report.

His movies have grossed over one and a half billion dollars, have launched the careers of Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott, and turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into the #1 box office star in the world. Ron has been the inspiration for filmmakers like J.J. Abrams and James Cameron, and he made author Phillip K. Dick a household name. With the release of “Alien” Ron and his partner Dan O’Bannon spawned the “Alien Universe” and the first movie franchise in history.

The series is hosted by Harry Duran and Robin Maxwell.
Music by Vincent Covello and Vic Migenes
Podcast Artwork by Barbara Mastej