At least, this is how Schwarzenegger remembers it. In an interview with Empire, Schwarzenegger recalled his “Total Recall” director torpedoing the production during a meeting that should’ve been a formality. “It was all written and ready to go but then Paul started going crazy,” he said. “We had the final meeting with the studio and we were all sitting at this boardroom table.” The executives asked Verhoeven to guarantee that he wouldn’t exceed the $100 million budget. This might sound like a reasonable request, but, for Verhoeven, it was an insult. According to Schwarzenegger, Verhoeven went ballistic:
“‘There’s no such thing as guarantees! Guarantees don’t happen and if anyone promises you guarantees, they’re lying! We don’t even know that if you walk out of the building here you won’t get hit by a truck. There’s no guarantee that we’re going to make it ’til tomorrow! I cannot have control over God — I don’t even believe in God, why am I talking about God? But someone, nature, could just rain for three months and then what do we do? How can I give you a guarantee? This is ludicrous!'”
Schwarzenegger kicked Verhoeven under the table, hoping to shut him up, but the Dutch master wouldn’t relent. “Crusades” died that day.