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Jennifer Connelly and Kathy Bates Join Day the Earth Stood Still

by
November 6, 2007
Source: Variety

Since news of The Day the Earth Stood Still being remade arrived in February, the buzz has been rather negative. No one wants to see it get remade, even with the right director or cast. However, another couple of great actors have joined that may spice things up a bit - Jennifer Connelly and Kathy Bates. They join alongside of Keanu Reeves as Klaatu and director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose). Is this sounding any better yet or is still sounding like an unnecessary remake?

Connelly will play Helen Benson, an employee of the United States Department of Commerce who meets Klaatu, which was portrayed by Patricia Neal in the original. Production will start in December up in Vancouver. The remake's screenplay was originally written by Ryne Douglas Pearson (Mercury Rising) with another draft by David Scarpa (The Last Castle) recently. The writers are both rather inexperienced and the director isn't exactly a legend either, which could present a problem for this remake.

Of all the big remakes, sequels, or franchises arriving in 2008 and 2009, this one has the least amount of buzz. For as classic as the original is, I would expect there to be more interest, but I guess everyone is just expecting this to be so bad and so unneeded that it'll flop right off the bat. Even with Jennifer Connelly and Kathy Bates, I don't think anyone's expectations are changing.

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  • John
    totally disagree with your article. The movie will be a hit once the teaser comes out and also it releases in december of 2008 so it has a lot of time to build hype. OW might not be huge but if it is solid movie it will do well during christmas.
  • Nathan
    Sorry to disagree, John, but I'm of the opinion that its yet another unneccesary remake in the long, sad history of unneccesary remakes. The original was a classic, and to remake it now just because the well of creativity in Hollywood is nearly dry, and to top it off with perhaps the least charismatic (bordering on comatose) leading man in Keanu Reeves, it just leaves a sour taste in the mouth of this old movie buff. However I reserve the right to reverse my tangent if the trailer kicks the appropriate amount of ass.
  • John2
    I guess it depends on how they make the story. If they stay with the original concept, it may be ok, but still, just another indication that Hollywood has no imagination. Remake hell should replace the Hollywood sign. Be a huge fan of the original, I am a bit trepidatious about a remake, but I will see it anyway. Just to see what they can do with the concept. I wish they would do the original story. Now that would be a good movie.
  • Is Kathy Bates playing Gort? Klaatu-Barada- Don't Remake Classic Sci-Fi!
  • avoidz
    At least it's a remake of a film more than twenty years old. But Robert Wise will be spinning in his grave at this remake. Hollywood is surely out of ideas.
  • Elijah
    This is a classic among classics. Believe it or not I've wanted to see a remake of this with our new effects and technology. Also the state of the world today presents some intrigung storylines as well as challenges of believabilty (i.e., today's military is not going to let a ufo zip along and land in Washington D.C. or anywhere else during lunch hour and allow crowds to gather around it - neither will they leave only two soldiers alone to guard Gort) It will be interesting to see how they translate some of the naivete of the 50's to the ultra-microscopic '00s. But if this is done correctly, it could be one of the most important films on all levels in terms of alerting the world community as to where we made be headed. However, the casting, especially the lead, does not overwhelm me and the rush to production portends doom. I'd like to see someone totally unexpected, like a Denzel Washington, with his cool intensity, be considered for such a role. They might slow down and reconsider exactly what they have and the potential this film could have as social commentary in today's world. The other thing that will make or break the film is how they remake Gort. They cannot make him (or her) cartoonish or it will defeat the purpose.
  • avoidz
    Gort should look the same. Just without the obvious foam rubber legs 😛
  • Rex Costello
    I know people complain that Hollywood has "run out of ideas" but some moves ACHE to be remade..to make FULL use of todays technologies to Move the characters/story along. I have NO DOUBT that the remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" will be GREAT! This story is needed NOW more then ever in our World in the early 21st century. Between ALL the Wars, Killing, Poverty, Homeslessness,Despair humans have brought on each other...Now is the PERFECT time! I Can't wait to see it...and I know I'll be buy the DVD. Come on people give it a chance. This goes for the remake of the movie directed by Speilberg "When Worlds Collide" ...one movie remake I was thoroughly disappointed on was "Bewitched" ...Nicole Kidman was great,Shirley McClain was a good choice for Endora...Steve Corell as "uncle Aurther"..but they SHOULD HAVE stuck to the original Story/House/Characters etc....
  • avoidz
    Rex, you forgot to mention Spielberg's not-so-popular "War of the Worlds" remake. That didn't go down too well 😛 On the other hand, I have been waiting for a remake of "When World's Collide" (I had even started a rewrite of my own a few years ago). I love the original, especially the ending. "Bewitched" never needed to be made! Nicole Kidman's hasn't improved since 1990's "Days of Thunder".
  • JOHN W.
    I've looked forward to a remake for years, not because it can surpass the original but simply that I've always wanted to see an updated version with modern tech behind it. The message is timeless and probably more applicable now than during the Cold War era when the original was produced.
  • Randy B.
    As one of my favorite movies of all time, I became really excited when I heard about the remake. However, I'm a little uncomfortatable with the casting of Keanu in the lead. He typically projects an aura of "comic" overtones in his roles. I'm hoping that the Director can instill the same intensity in Keanu's portrayal as Will Smith displayed in I AM LEGEND. Certainly, the message of the film needs to be presented to the world once again....with sincerity! I think it could have a major impact if it's done within the framework of danger, trust, and HOPE. No doubt, today's special effects capabilities should allow for the powerful visuals that the original writers intended us to see. I just hope they don't overshadow the dramatic tension of a (hopefully) well-developed new screenplay. The original had it in spades, with no CGI available to them whatsoever. And, it was a perfectly conceived reflection of the childlike naivety that existed in the world at the time. It will be interesting to see how the new creative team portrays our more cynical new world. I wish the producers all the best. I'll be anxiously waiting in anticipation of something GREAT!
  • Oh No! More HOLLYWOOD 'NewSpeak' for generation Zero. When will it end? I even heard some time ago that they were thinking about re-making 'Forbidden Planet'. What is that about? It's not like there are no good writers and millions of original scripts out there just waiting to be made. Hollywood really sucks now with making movies of old TV shows and video games. Its all nepitism as most of these actors, producers and directors are all the kids of the like who really made it on there own and are 'thrown a bone' by their parents as they would be working in McDONALD's flipping burgers. Spoiled Silver Spoon Brats all. I can't wait until they run out of film. Ever notice more andmore directors are not from the USA. As with everything else, the Hollywood films will become 3rd world and the films from the rest of the world will become mainstream as to their importance to all of us. That is of course your really into good cinema.
  • Michael McBride
    I am afraid I have to agree with the writer of this article, Alex Billington. I feel that a remake with the presently suggested cast and director will only prove to make a flop, just as Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" remake. I really looked forward to present day Hollywood and cinema technology remaking such great Sci-Fi Classics as; 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', 'The War of the Worlds', and 'Forbidden Planet'. These three movies are timeless (as well as many other great Sci-Fi from that time in Hollywood cinema) and if done "half way" right, would attract a large viewing audience, and there-by make a profit while at the same time strike a cord with the present day social consciousness, which at the core of Hollywood, should be their goal. But sometimes I really feel the Hollywood “machine” is just interested in making a buck anyway they can even with straight to DVD movies just to attract the attention of the baby boomers and their eventual interest in reminiscing about items of their life that brought joy and happiness. I am very fearful that this remake will be just that....a flop big time. Luckily though the originals are still available and provide the satisfaction now as ever. Just a shame though, if one is to go through the trouble of remaking a classic to give it the utmost attention it deserves and cries for, not just to remake it because you can. I would much rather they “re-dress” the originals, by using present day technology, and bringing them up to today’s standards cinemascope wise. (ie: improved color tones, where applicable, improving viewing quality such as possible Hi-Def ect…) There is a saying that holds true for this as all things……”Something worth doing is worth doing well!”
  • Bill C.
    What was wrong with the new War Of The Worlds? Did you want the same script? Cmon! I thought it was pretty damn good. Modernized. The Day The Earth Stood Still is still my favorite movie of all time, and I am excited to see this remake/tribute to the original. Even if it is so so, it may get more young people to see the original. I agree the Reeves may not be the best choice. They probably should have followed Robert Wise's model in choosing a Klaatu - the studio had Spencer Tracy lined up for the part, but director Wise wanted an unknown to give credibility to the part. The freakishly slender Michael Rennie was the perfect choice.
  • Jennifer Connelly and Kathy Bates can do the job right, but that does nothing to offset the fundamental concerns: Keannu can't, and upgrading the FX can only distract from the point.

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