Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers went over the heads of many audiences when it was first released in November 1997, with countless critics and viewers alike dismissing it as a hollow and brainless shoot-em-up, which saw the $105 million blockbuster bomb at the box office after just barely edging past the $120 million mark globally.
However, in the decades since then, the movie has undergone a complete reappraisal, and now comfortably ranks as an all-time cult classic. Obviously the director of RoboCop, Total Recall and Basic Instinct wasn’t going to make a straightforward studio-mandated action flick, and Starship Troopers has since been recognized as a whip-smart and razor-sharp satire of U.S. militarism, foreign policy and capitalism itself that also features a heavy dose of giant aliens being blown into pieces for good measure.
A multimedia franchise soon followed, but two direct-to-video and two anime sequels along with a short-lived animated TV spinoff were for the diehards only. Still, rumors of a full-scale reboot rear their head every now and again. Writer Ed Neumeier admitted last year that he’d love to reunite with the original cast for a small screen series, and in a recent interview, leading man Casper Van Dien said that he’d jump at the opportunity.
“I would love to come in, and be me, and play Johnny Rico again. It’s been a blast being Johnny Rico, having Starship Troopers, and just seeing the reaction that people have. When people are talking about it, I love it. It’s been a joy of mine because people are never really that negative about it. They get so excited and I love the enthusiasm. I love the appreciation. For the last 24 years, that’s what I’ve been. I’ve been Johnny Rico. Probably more than Casper. I think I’ve gotten more recognized for being Johnny Rico than anything. If we got to do the series, I would be on top of the world. Right now, nothing’s happening that I know of.”
Having spent most of the last two decades appearing in bargain basement movies with titles like Dracula 3000, Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine and Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf, you can understand why the 51 year-old would be keen to reprise his career-defining role as Johnny Rico. We previously heard that a feature-length Starship Troopers reboot might also be in the works as well as the TV show, but we’ll just have to wait and see which project ends up coming together first.