Could The Day The Earth Stood Still Steal Bay's Exploding Thunder?

Illustration for article titled Could The Day The Earth Stood Still Steal Bay's Exploding Thunder?

With every passing week, Fox's remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still looks more and more like Independence Day, and less like the original. The remake still seems like a bad idea, but if Keanu and co. want to go down this splodey path, they'd better be ready to bring it, Michael Bay-style. Producer Erwin Stoff explains, in a new interview, how the original was more of a cautionary tale, and how they tried to keep that theme in the new one...but with Gort shooting down planes with his Cylon eye.Coming Soon talked to the crew and cast, who discussed why they loved the original and felt that it needed to be remade. Interestingly enough, producer Erwin Stoff understood the original film's message, yet still thinks blowing up a stadium is the way to be as subtle as the first.

One of the things that I so loved about the original movie, aside from all of the cinematic innovations as far as imagery... [was that] it was really the only science fiction movie of the time that wasn't fear-mongering in its themes and conceptions. Most of the science fiction movies at the time really existed to make us afraid of something. To make us afraid of the red menace. To make us afraid of the all of the places science was exploring at the time. They all existed as warnings. This was really the only movie that challenged mankind to be the best version of itself. And that's thematically as unique for this movie as all of the cinematic innovations.


Another interesting moment was when Keanu Reeves discussed Michael Rennie's performance, the original Klaatu,

Watching the film a few times in a row, yes, I did. This one is a little more... he was kind of like the nice guy who carried a big stick. I'm not such a nice... I'm kind of a nice guy, but a little more sinister-ish... You really believed his naturalistic [approach], an almost bemusement and also his frustrations too. In that scene where everyone is around the saucer and they're interviewing everybody and the media is like, "Aren't you afraid?" and [Klaatu] goes off and offers something rational and the guy's eyes cloud over. Again, that's an example of the film being subversive, this guy only wants fear and Klaatu wants to give a rational answer about that. [Rennie] was great.

Again I'm very confused when the producers, directors and cast all praise the original for its anti-fear-mongering ways, and yet they participated in a movie that built an 8-story tall Gort. Sure Gort is supposed to be massive, but not Megatron-sized. I'm really on the fence as to how I feel about an action-movie version of TDTESS, because the most frustrating part of the original was the mere fact that no one would listen to reason. Not that no one would listen to reason, while fleeing for their lives from a giant killer wave. Yet this new poster does little to calm my fears. I guess we'll have to wait until we see what our hero, Jon Hamm, has in store. [Coming Soon]


To be fair, in the original, nobody would listen to reason until Klaatu made the Earth stand still.