10 Legendary Films You Never Realised Were Based On Books

9. Total Recall – Based on We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by Phillip K. Dick

nothing lasts forever cover
TriStar Pictures

Hollywood has a proud tradition of plumbing the works of science fiction author Phillip K. Dick for a good film premise. The most well-known of these adaptations is undoubtably Blade Runner, taken from Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but other films such as Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly and The Adjustment Bureau are also based on his work.

Despite Dick’s large contribution to the silver screen, there are still certain films that audiences will be surprised to learn owe their existence to him. And, in fairness, Total Recall is only broadly based on Dick’s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.

The core concepts from the source material remain, chiefly the idea of the main character having their memories altered, but the overall plot is expanded to make it suitably epic for an action blockbuster.

Aspects such as the resistance, the sections that take place on Mars, and the serious suggestion that the entire plot may have been a dream are all original to the film.

To confuse audiences even more, the 2012 remake is almost entirely based on this version, which makes the link to Dick’s original work even vaguer.


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