Starship Troopers has always been a polarizing franchise. The original Heinlein novel split readers down to whether or not it was pro or anti-fascism, or even a pro or anti-war novel. Even the titular 1997 adaptation saw its fair share of criticism for being mindless, overly gory and disrespectful of its source material, and alternatively being a cleverly made satire of fascism and militaristic jingoism disguised as a brainless action movie. (This years Battleship accomplishes the same feat, despite its source material being a damned board game.) Over the years however, Starship Troopers has developed into its own franchise, with it’s own set of sequels, albeit terrible ones. It was only a matter of time until someone decided to try to reclaim the franchise, and bring it back from straight to DVD hell in one way or another, and surprisingly, it has, this time in CGI form.
Wow. CGI Denise Richards looks different. Better? You decide.
That’s right, the film is being made entirely in CGI animation, by anime director Shinji Aramaki, who is known for his designs for mechs and powered exoskeletons for many anime series. This should ring a bell for fans of the novel, as the mechanized suits played a substantial role in the novel, and were unseen in the original film. However, the trailer indicates that it seems to directly pick it’s continuity from the first film, ignores it’s awful sequels, and furthers the direction of the original characters story, rather than reinterpreting and/or re-imagining a new adaptation of the book entirely.
It’s like a feature length videogame cutscene you can’t play!
The trailer shows Johnny Rico, who is now a battle hardened, eyepatch wearin’ , scarred roughneck, ready to rumble and barking out orders. We also see brief clips of soldiers attacking the bugs, ships flying, and a glimpse of the powered suits that the novel featured. The actual plot of the film takes place 10 years after the events of the Starship Troopers, and we see that Carl Jenkins, originally played by Neil Patrick Harris, has taken the Starship John A. Warden on a secret mission, and of course, ends up going missing. This leads to Rico sending off the Troopers on a rescue mission, where they’ll surely uncover new, horrifying and awesome bugs to kill. Also returning, is the character of Carmen, who was previously played by Denise Richards, and is now going to be joining Rico on the rescue mission, and possibly rekindling whatever broken romance she had with Rico from the first film.
How could you not love that face?
Some might think CGi is a strange direction to take for a sequel, but it’s not without precedent, as there was a mostly forgotten, and short lived CGI television series, called Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, that skewed much closer in tone to the novel, than the film itself. However, this film seems to preserve the satirical spirit of the original film, with Troopers spouting out famous one liners, “C’mon you apes! You wanna live forever!”, and even keeping the famously propagandistic line, “Would you like to know more?”.
Behold! Paranormally gifted Col. Carl Jenkins! Previously played by Neil Patrick Harris! HAIL!
WIll they survive? Will they stop the bug menace once and for all? Will they make an entertaining and watchable film? It remains to be seen, as no hard release date has yet been confirmed, just a “Summer 2012”. We’ll inform you as soon as there is more info, because we’re all sure that you Would Like To Know More!