Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still has been re-made

So a while back I heard a rumor that they'd cast Keanu Reeves as Klaatu in "The Day the Earth Stood Still", a remake of the 1951 classic of the same name.

It's the sort of casting rumors you hear, like "Mariah Carey wants to play Wonder Woman!" that really make you shudder. Michael Rennie's portrayal of Klaatu is memorable partly for its matter-of-factness about the whole business. I don't know if Reeves is the right man for the job. In fact, I'm positive he isn't, if "Constantine" is any indication.

From the trailer, I'm guessing they've changed a lot, including the landing spot of Klaatu's ship, sort of defanging what it means to land a spaceship in the middle of the seat of power for the free world.

And, no doubt, the message of the movie will be muddled with somewhat as today's reading of the 1951 movie would be met with cries of "Why do you hate freedom?" and "Why do you want to appease the terrorists?" We're still living in a world where we're constantly on the brink of nuclear armageddon, but we're not... at least nobody has really brought that up in a while. (Curious what things we just sort of forget about.) But that was certainly the world in which the original appeared.

I dunno... the hard truth is that I will probably see this. But I would be far more excited about this movie if they'd cast someone with a bit more... gravitas... in the role.

The remake

The original:

Keep in mind, the original was made by director Robert Wise. The new one is being made by... some guy.


mrshl said...

Keanu's unfeeling, unconsidered blank stare actually works pretty well in the trailer.

Steven said...

I loved this movie when I was little. A recent watching reminded me of how ponderous ’50’s–era pacing could be.

It really infuriated me that I, an 8–year–old boy could remember “Gort, Klaatu Barada Nikto” the first time I heard it, but Ash from the Evil Dead series couldn't get it. Dumbass.

JAL said...

well, I think Ash was probably too busy kicking ass in every way shape and form to give some sci-fi film much thought...eventhough he did beat those Deadites with science.

The League said...

It's going to be a different take on Klaatu from the flinty "alien on a mission" that I'm used to.

And, yeah, pacing in movies pre-70's is often glacial compared to today's movies. If I'm rewatching a movie like DTESS that I've already seen, I'll often find some task to do with my hands while I'm watching the movie (bagging and boarding comics is always good).

Anonymous said...

I am sure there were moments of gravitas by Keanu when he played "Johnny" Utah in Point Break back in '91....weren't there? Wasn't there a scene where he actually cried? Can't remember....but at least he can surf.

NTT said...

I can't wait for this movie!! Especially when Jennifer Connelly will show Klaatu/Keanu the true meaning of that human emotion "love"...and then they must race to Witch Mountain to rendezvous with his alien friends narrowly escaping the clutches an NSA team lead by Michael Ironsides with the help of a cantakerous trucker played by Randy Quaid or Kurt Russell.

Well, I can hope it goes like that.

J.S. said...

Is there any movie that Keanu Reeves CAN'T make better?