"I didn't feel the need to fill those size 16 shoes or 18 shoes or whatever size foot Arnie has. The film felt different enough that I could go and make it my own," Farrell said. "I did think about messing around with an Austrian accent for about seven minutes."
"Total Recall" is inspired by a short story from science-fiction master Philip K. Dick. It is about a working-class guy (Farrell) who discovers hidden memories that hint at a former life as a deadly operative, and co-stars Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel.
The movie opens Aug. 3. It is directed by Beckinsale's husband, Len Wiseman, who also directed her in the vampire tale "Underworld" and its first sequel.
Beckinsale takes on the role originated by Sharon Stone, the seemingly loving wife who turns out to be a deadly, explosively violent agent playing out an elaborate deception.
"I'm still offended that you thought of me for this psycho-bitch role," Beckinsale told her husband during the Comic-Con panel. "But it's nice to be able to open up the crazy a little bit."
The filmmakers showed a montage of about six minutes of footage of the futuristic world of "Total Recall," including a police car chase with flying vehicles and a savage scene of close-quarter fighting in an elevator.
One of the big differences between the two versions is that the new one sticks to Earth, while the original concluded on Mars. Farrell also said the new one sets aside a lot of the campy humor of Schwarzenegger's movie.
"This is played a lot straighter," Farrell said. "What I'm saying is, I don't have one-liners."