You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who would disagree with the sentiment that Total Recall is one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s very best movies, and at the very least it’s in the top five. However, one person that doesn’t share that opinion for whatever reason is Chance the Rapper, with the musician having faced the ire of the internet for offering what turned out to be a controversial hot take.
The Grammy winning artist claimed that Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi action classic would have been better had Eddie Murphy been cast as Douglas Quaid at Schwarzenegger’s expense. At the time Arnold was awarded the part, Murphy was flying high as one of the fastest-rising stars the business had ever seen after headlining a succession of smash hits including 48 Hrs., Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America.
However, Schwarzenegger was a lot more integral to the success of Total Recall than you might think. As part of his contract, the action icon had veto power over the producers, director, script and cast, seeking out Verhoeven specifically and finally finding the right team to nail a screenplay that had gone through over 40 drafts. You can check out Chance the Rapper’s original post below, as well as some of the reactions to his comment.
Bringing back this hot take: Total Recall would have been good if they had gotten Eddie Murphy instead of Arnold.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) June 23, 2021
Man, I'm a huge Eddie Murphy fan but Total Recall was totally an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. He nailed that role. Sorry. pic.twitter.com/pDx9oqbtLt
— Price of Reason (@priceoreason) June 23, 2021
Nah. Eddie could never deliver the line “Get your ass to Mars” with the gravitas of Arnold
— Steve G. Lover (@Steve_G_Lover) June 23, 2021
Total Recall is a good Arnie flick that plays to his strengths as the ‘wooden-strongman with a dry sense of humor. Murphy would’ve brought too much ‘Eddie’ to the character. The right choice was made.
— JamalNeff (@JamalNeff) June 23, 2021
Was the script going to stay semi-serious/action if he joined? I think it would have been really interesting to see him play the role either way, but if it was played straight, that would have been sick.
— Nic – Less Useful Things (@NicBaslock) June 23, 2021
Total Recall (the original with Ah-nuld) was excellent and is a sci-fi classic. Total Recall with Eddie Murphy would have given you… Pluto Nash.
— Mike Williams (@AcesHighStudios) June 23, 2021
I love you man, but insinuating that Total Recall isn't a great movie is just wrong.
It's arguably the best 80s Sci-Fi movie, and the best Arnold movie outside of T-2.
But I agree that Eddie Murphy would've been great, too,
— Jim Stansel (@jimsthatguy) June 23, 2021
As opposed to great like it is now?
— Bobby (@SullivanBobby) June 23, 2021
Some of your tunes are some of my favorite ever, but most of your movie takes are some dumpster juice my friend.
— Thomas James (@RealThomasJames) June 23, 2021
Had Eddie Murphy starred in Total Recall, it would have been an entirely different proposition. Schwarzenegger delivers one of his finest performances as a man trying to unravel both his own past and an intergalactic conspiracy at the same time, and Verhoeven designed many of the set pieces around the leading man’s unique brand of physicality and penchant for a one-liner. Perhaps the most incredulous thing is that Chance the Rapper doesn’t even consider it a good film to begin with, which it most certainly is.