Colin Farrell has spoken about taking on the lead role in the upcoming science fiction action film Total Recall.

The actor takes on the part played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1990 original. He plays an ordinary man who starts to suspect he is a spy when a visit to a memory-altering company, Rekall, goes wrong and he is forced to go on the run.

Farrell told Collider of the part: "I really approached this like it was a $2 million independent film, as far as the character's backstory went, or lack of backstory in this case.

"Len [Wiseman, director] really wanted to make a film that, as much as it's first and foremost an action film, has enough emotional and dramatic heft that it can keep the audience engaged."

The Dublin-born actor went on to say that while he generally doesn't like watching his own work, he enjoyed the rough cut of Total Recall which he watched a few months ago.

He said: "I don't like watching my own films, but there's enough in this film on the screen for my presence to not detract from the experience the way it usually does!"

Total Recall is out in cinemas in Ireland on August 29.