AN­OTHER BUG HUNT

Johnny and Dizzy are to­gether again – huh? – in Star­ship Troop­ers: Traitor Of Mars

SFX - - Red Alert -

Re­leased 20 years after Paul Ver­ho­even’s mon­ster-piece, the all-cg Star­ship Troop­ers: Traitor Of Mars isn’t just an an­niver­sary movie; it’s a high-school re­union. launch­ing the film at this year’s san diego comic-con, writer/sF vet­eran ed­ward neumeier gives red alert the one-line pitch: “the three friends from the orig­i­nal movie, sev­eral years later, have to re­unite to save the Fed­er­a­tion from in­ter­nal plots… et cetera!”

the three friends be­ing Johnny rico, car­men ibanez and… dizzy Flores? hang on – didn’t dizzy be­come space-bug fod­der all the way back in the orig­i­nal? “sony wanted to do an­other one,” says neumeier, who’s writ­ten and/or pro­duced all five Troop­ers movies. “i al­ways said, ‘well, we have to do it with casper [Van dien],’ and i had an idea that i thought would al­low me to bring the char­ac­ter of dizzy back, played by [orig­i­nal ac­tor] dina meyer.”

we won’t spoil the se­crets of dizzy’s come­back – but suf­fice to say, she shares the screen with her for­mer com­rade-in-arms (and bed) Johnny. “i went in and vis­ited [dina meyer] while she was do­ing her voiceover work, which was a lot of fun,” says Van dien. it’s not the first time the stars have crossed paths since the orig­i­nal movie. “she and i still do con­ven­tions to­gether,” he con­tin­ues. “Star­ship Troop­ers is some­thing we both get recog­nised for a lot.”

Van dien and RoboCop writer neumeier have also forged a firm friend­ship in the years since Johnny rico first went to war against the in­sects – which are, need­less to say, crawl­ing all over Traitor Of Mars. “it’s so in­ter­est­ing, to know some­body who’s as dark and sick and per­verted as he is,” Van dien jokes af­fec­tion­ately, “and how he sees me.”

will rico – and neumeier – re­turn for an­other tour of duty? a six-quel isn’t con­firmed as yet, but the ideas-well is far from dry. “it’s easy to sit down and fig­ure out the next ad­ven­ture,” claims neumeier. “the thing that’s in­ter­est­ing about him – the char­ac­ter, not casper! – is that he’s not that smart about the world. But he feels the world should be fair, amid all the ne­far­i­ous stuff go­ing on.”

char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion aside, real-life of­fers plenty of grist to the writer’s mill. “other than us­ing Archie comics as the back­ground, the real secret of Star­ship Troop­ers is that it’s a his­tory of amer­i­can conflict in the 21st cen­tury,” re­veals neumeier. “more than any­thing else, i find the plots have got­ten more in­ter­ested in the messed-up pol­i­tics… i would say, wait a cou­ple of years to see what we do next!”

Star­ship Troop­ers: Traitor Of Mars is out on Blu-ray and DVD from 8 Jan­uary.

Don’T quoTE mE “You get a show You’re dY­ing to watch, and You staY up late, so we com­pete with sleep. and we’re win­ning!” net­flix ceo reed hast­ings de­clares war on the hu­man body clock.

All ready to squish some pesky bugs.

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