It shouldn't really be a surprise anymore that Bryan Cranston is really funny-- he was, after all, the goofy dad on Malcolm in the Middle before he was the terrifying Walter White of Breaking Bad. But when you pair the wisecracking Cranston with Colin Farrell, who talks so fast in his thick Irish accent that it's sometimes hard to keep up, you get what's effectively a comedy routine-- even when talking about a movie in which the two are playing mortal enemies.
Cranston and Farrell were the joke-slinging standouts at a press conference just before today's Comic Con panel for Total Recall, a new take on the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film with Farrell taking over the role of the man who learns his memory has been wiped and his entire life has been a lie. Cranston plays the villain, though he may not even be any meaner than the character played by Kate Beckinsale, who Farrell's character thinks is his wife until he learns better. Beckinsale is married to director Len Wiseman, and as she joked at the press conference, "Len and I are still not really talking from the first conversation of 'There's the part that's the bitch wife that I"m thinking of you for.' That's a prickly subject in our house."
Wiseman emphasized that they drew the film from both the original Philip K. Dick story and the 1990 movie, and even though Schwarzenegger hasn't been in touch with the cast of the new film-- "He doesn't write, he doesn't call" Farrell joked-- there will be plenty of references back to the first movie for the true fans to discover. Though you might have to work harder than you expect to find them. HEre's how Wiseman explained it:
I actually made a list when I was about to watch the original again, and wanted to write down the things that had stayed with me over the years, and make sure those things that stuck with me made their way into the film. But it's always with a twist. Some things are apparent, and some are so buried in there-- I think some of the hardcore fans will be able to see what some of those are. But I'm excited to see if they actually pick up on some of them.
And yes, that includes the three-breasted prostitute, who we saw for a second in the film's most recent trailer. As Wiseman says, "You can't have Total Recall if you don't have that," and after Cranston teased him, he admitted that being a teenage boy when he was the first movie definitely had an impact. But Cranston went even further in his devotion to the distinctive anatomy: "Anyone who shows up with an implanted third breast gets into the movie for free."
And, like I said, Cranston wasn't the only one getting all the laugh lines. Asked about people getting injured on the set, Cranston volunteered that he'd gotten pink eye, and Farrell practically exploded in laughter: "You got such bad pink eye! You looked like you'd been on a three-day bender in Saigon in 1972." But probably nothing tops the moment when they were asked about the Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions, and Wiseman said that Farrell kind of channeled him on set: "In grunts and the reaction, I swear to God you close your eyes and it's Arnold right there." Farrell as if to prove him wrong, launched into a big impression of Arnold grunting. It actually did sound pretty spot-on.
The panel for Total Recall happens in Hall H later today, and Eric will be bringing you that liveblog. The movie itself comes to theaters August 3.