Episode 5

Published on:

11th Nov 2019

Total Recall - The Schwarzenegger Effect

  • 00:15 – Robin recalls the story of how she met Ron Shusett
  • 03:57 – Preproduction in Mexico City during the summer of 1989
  • 05:15 – Ron recounts a funny exchange with Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • 07:27 – Early days of set building
  • 09:52 – Special effects in Total Recall
  • 14:35 – Ron’s thoughts on the gratuitous violence in Total Recall
  • 18:20 – Ron recalls others attempting to throw him off the set
  • 26:12 – How Arnold stood up for Ron and prevented his firing
  • 27:58 – Making a spectacular film without CGI
  • 29:16 – Shooting a key scene in Total Recall
  • 33:23 – The inspiration behind the ‘Face on Mars’
  • 34:47 – Ron talks about the Total Recall remake
  • 37:55 – How Ron felt before the release of Total Recall
  • 39:50 – The premiere


“The people who finances it [Total Recall] hated it. It’s just that they didn’t want to lose working with Arnold.” (04:49)

“Anything that I felt strongly about, he [Verhoeven] would not try to force me to change.” (09:46)

“They tried to fire me on ‘Alien.’ They tried to fire me on ‘Total Recall.’ And they couldn’t on either case. I showed them that I would not use my power against them. I had a powerful connection with Arnold, but I would never put them in a position where Arnold’s on my side and he’s gonna overrule you. I wanted both parties.” (26:40)

“They were so talented; they could do effects that work today as good as any movie ever because they were so skilled at what they did. So, it gets down to if you have the right people, it’s much more important than any technology you’ve got.” (28:52)

“It seems like the idiots of the world conspire to stop people who have too much vision.” (32:56)


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