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Time For The Earth To Stand Still Again
Scott Derrickson to remake sci-fi great

11 April 2007  |  Written by   

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Empire first learned about 20th Century Fox’s planned remake of the brilliant, influential and undeniably classic sci-fi flick, The Day The Earth Stood Still, when a director chum of ours – who shall remain nameless but who has some form in that arena – told us he had been offered it. Immediately, we tried to dissuade him – “no good will come of it”, we cried, doing our best impression of a scared villager in a Hammer horror movie. “Careful now! Down with this sort of thing!” we added, making the sign of the cross, and shutting the windows of our tavern (ok, maybe we’ve taken the metaphor too far).

Anyway, our director friend passed on the project, and it all went a bit quiet. Rather foolishly, we assumed that Fox had learned the error of their ways, and let the idea die.

Until, that is, now, when it’s just been announced that Scott Derrickson – director of last year’s The Exorcism Of Emily Rose – going where our anonymous source didn’t dare, and is indeed remaking The Day The Earth Stood Still.

The tale of a benign alien, named Klaatu, who comes to Earth – specifically, Washington DC - to warn Man of the error of his ways, to wit: that its increasingly war-like nature is placing the planet in danger of being blown up by a kind of intergalactic UN, the title of the movie refers to what happens when mankind, naturally, decides to ignore the alien’s advice and attack him and his giant killer robot, Gort (which is disarmed by the immortal password, “Klaatu Barada Nikto!”, a phrase that has cropped up in countless places since, from Army Of Darkness to Return Of The Jedi, where it gave name to three characters on Jabba’s sail barge). Wounded and hiding out with a local family, the alien decides to show the world the full extent of his powers (all for the greater good, you understand)…

Now, of course, there have been good remakes of classic movies – Zack Snyder’s Dawn Of The Dead springs to mind, and we’re sure that you, dear reader, will think of a dozen more. But there are some movies that should just be left alone, that are almost impossible to improve upon – and Robert Wise’s 1951 classic is one such movie.
Having said that, Empire can see that a modern remake of the movie has some relevance, given what we’re currently doing not just to each other on a military level, but what we’re doing to the planet, from an environmental perspective. A new version of The Day The Earth Stood Still has the potential to be a politically smart, Al Gore-friendly cautionary tale with, of course, the by-now de rigeur ‘improvement’ in special effects.

 Also, Derrickson is a decent director, as he showed with Emily Rose – one of the more original horror films of the last few years – but despite all the positives, Empire can’t help but feel that our director friend did the right thing. If only there was some way to yell ‘Klaatu Barada Nikto!’ at Fox executives before it's too late. Anyway, the movie has been scheduled for release on May 9, 2008... 

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Your Comments

oh no not woodentop keanu
an all time classic slice of sci-fi that i cant imagine being improved upon. the casting of keanu reeves in the title role is bewildering as he has the range of a block of wood. one can only hope for damage limitation. More

Posted by mark g at 14:27 on 15 July 2008 | Report This Post

The time is now...
What is always going to be unpopular with remakes, is that you can't fall in 'love' with them like the original. That time has gone, trying to recapture that ol' feeling is impossible. And which actor could they possibly use to play the lead? I wonder! However I don't hear anyone complaining about a remake of the 80s Flash Gordon (if it was the 80s). More

Posted by ThisIsntEvenMyDesk at 13:16 on 18 April 2007 | Report This Post

One day, the sooner the better, starman will come for real to either slap our wrists - or blow us to shit. Bring it on! More

Posted by badsanta at 03:04 on 13 April 2007 | Report This Post

No need, original was brilliant and of it's time. It can only get f**ked up. More

Posted by FergWh1te at 12:39 on 12 April 2007 | Report This Post

really good idea.
yes, looking forward to this about as much as I would a remake of Zone Troopers (now with 37% more 'relevance'). Or Driving Miss Daisy (now with a Toyota Prius, you know, for the environment). Or A life less Ordinary (now with Paul 'I used to knock one off into Di's knicker drawer' Burrell). More

Posted by jayphex at 23:37 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post


Posted by TheGodfather at 23:14 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

the original is a classic! why do they insist on remaking great films all the time! hollywood is really running out of ideas! More

Posted by whiskey1 at 19:56 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

NO NO NO NO..........
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG this just in, plan nine from out of space to be remade with shiny new cgi scenes! More

Posted by chola1 at 17:52 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

ENOUGH WITH THE REMAKES! why remake a classic? i can understand remaking a film which had potential but which wasn't any good....but remaking a classic film? WHY? why not remake Citizen Kane while ur at it....BAH! More

Posted by claudemg at 16:15 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

Leave It
Why dont they just leave it the fuck alone, Enough said, Its a classic, leave it be. More

Posted by ryecatcher at 15:50 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

I have to agree with Johnny 5 Eyes here... More

Posted by genlock at 13:24 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Time For The Earth To Stand Still Again
They should rename this thread 'Attack of the Newbies'. More

Posted by Biggus at 13:19 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

L: deedeetee Will they have to do an update of The Rocky Horror Show now, with updated lyrics? sp; God i fucking hope not! Rocky Horror was shit enough to start with!   im gonna reserve judgement on this remake till its actually been released, people have been proved wrong on stuff like this. The Dawn remake was good, people slagged off Danny craig and now he's been hailed by some (including me) as the best bond ever! So as great as the original is im not gonna say it shouldnt More

Posted by clarkkent at 13:19 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

The greatest Sci Fi of all time
Crap, blast and double blast, why do they have to keep remaking what works and great the first time around!!!! I think Hollywood should make a film about brian dead writers and producers who stubble upon a hidden chest in the desert, and in it is every bloody script and film every made, there will be a twist an at the end of the film learn the errors of their ways and START TO THINK FOR THEM SELVES AND MAKE NEW FILMS!!! More

Posted by dholleyuk at 12:43 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

Noooooooooo! That's all I have to say. More

Posted by JohnnyTruant at 12:06 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

Oh for fucks sake come up with an original idea, you coke addled, braindead, lifeless Hollywood Morons!!! More

Posted by Jonny 5 Eyes at 11:57 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

Will they have to do an update of The Rocky Horror Show now, with updated lyrics? More

Posted by deedeetee at 11:23 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

Geek facts
Okay, I'm gonna be lambasted for being a nerd, but three things: There weren't three characters named after the phrase 'Klaato Barada Nikto' in Return of the Jedi. It was payed homage to in the form of one character; Barada, who was head of Jabba's 'Nikto' guards, and hailed from 'Klatooine'. The Day the Earth Stood Still was actually an allegory of the story of Jesus. Emily Rose was a pile of crap. More

Posted by loafroaster at 10:16 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

RE: re: a.given
My bad. Wrote the story this morning, know full well that it's Gort, even did some research to check it, but didn't change my initial draft. It's now been changed. I crave forgiveness. More

Posted by Chris Hewitt at 10:08 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

re: a.given
you're absolutely right, Gort is the robot's name. Klaatu is in fact the name of the alien played by Micheal Rennie. Watched this again a couple of weeks back and it's still awesome! There's a lot to live up to... More

Posted by Fellmeister at 10:05 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

Just so we're clear...
The robots name is Gort not Klaatu, Cheerio. More

Posted by a.given at 10:01 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

Only a matter of time before...
someone over at paramount decides to remake godfather with McG More

Posted by alwyn_y_stalwyn at 09:31 on 11 April 2007 | Report This Post

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