Director Scott Derrickson Explains The Day the Earth Stood Still Trailer
By now, everyone has probably seen the first teaser trailer for the The Day the Earth Stood Still remake. The response so far has been remarkably positive despite initial negative buzz surrounding the idea. If you missed it, there was a very quick glimpse of Klaatu's giant robot Gort at the end of the trailer (which you can see above). The film's director, Scott Derrickson, spoke with MTV recently about the trailer and explained some of the various scenes and things we saw. With his explanations to go along with the footage that was in the trailer and everything we already know about it, I'm starting to feel a lot more confident in this remake. Derrickson talks about the robot Gort, Keanu Reeves' performance as the alien Klaatu, and much more. Read on if you're curious to hear more about The Day the Earth Stood Still.
In a previous interview, Keanu had mentioned that this remake "instead of being man against man, it's more about man against nature." Derrickson reiterates this idea, explaining that, "there is certainly the issue being addressed in the movie of our treatment of one another on the planet. I think it's a movie about human nature as much as anything else and how human nature is acting itself out in the world right now." The original 1951 sci-fi film was a Cold War film and played off of the fear of nuclear destruction. In this remake, Derrickson says, "that's not the most pressing threat that we face now." Instead, "our country's at war right now" and that it addresses man vs man in addition to man vs human nature.
As for Keanu Reeves as the Klaatu, the response has also been quite positive. Most seem to feel that he perfectly fits the role. "One of the biggest challenges of this movie was whether or not audiences would really buy the whole idea… there's no question that you believe Keanu's performance." That may be true, but it's hard to say based on a few scenes from a teaser trailer. However, Derrickson praises his abilities. "He really thinks through every moment and every beat with tremendous rigor." He adds that "what he's doing is something that's not quite so upfront and center or distracting, but it still really gives you a feel of alien-ness and keeps you aware of the fact that this being you're walking through this movie with is not a human being." Slightly eerie to think about, but maybe that's a testament to Reeves' acting.
Lastly, Derrickson chimes in on Gort, the robot who actually does all the destruction. Although we didn't get a clear look at him, what we did see looks quite similar to the Gort from the original film.
"It was intentional," Derrickson said. "I certainly took a lot of time to explore other possibilities. It wasn't just a foregone conclusion in my mind that we would be sticking to the original. I tried looking at a lot of different possibilities, worked on a lot of different ideas with artists and just always a nagging sense that there was something right about the way the original, that there was something about this alien entity choosing a human form or being in a human form that had value even by modern standards, not by 1950 standards. I also am such a fan of the original film. You have to also just have some respect for Gort. Gort is Gort. There's no question what we designed pays homage to the original."
There is a surprisingly large amount information found in this trailer, so if you're a big The Day the Earth Stood Still fan, I'd suggest you go watch it again a few more times. Derrickson sounds like he's doing a great job of balancing homages to the original film and injecting new ideas and a modern feeling into it. Being a big sci-fi fan myself and based on that teaser trailer, I'm probably way more excited for this than I should be - but Derrickson is trying to turn it into the next epic sci-fi blockbuster and so far he's doing a great job. 20th Century Fox is releasing The Day the Earth Stood Still on December 12th later this year. Are most now looking forward to this remake now that they've seen the trailer?