Day the Earth Stood Still Remake Director - Scott Derrickson

April 10, 2007
Source: Hollywood North Report

Back in February we broke the news that a The Day the Earth Stood Still remake was coming sometime in 2008 (most likely May). A week or so later, added a rumor that Scott Derrickson (who directed 2005's The Exorcism of Emily Rose) would possibly be directing the unneeded remake. Now it's been confirmed, via way of Film Chat and Hollywood North Report, and production details have been discovered.

HNR says that Derrickson is currently prepping for the shoot in Vancouver that will last all the way to November - one of the longest shoots ever up in Canada. Let's hope it's a necessary to pull off a remake that isn't as shunned as everyone is making it out to be.

According to our sources, Scott Derrickson - last here in 2005 to direct The Exorcism of Emily Rose - will helm Fox's remake of their classic 1951 science fiction film, The Day the Earth Stood Still, currently prepping for production here in Vancouver.

There isn't any confirmation or any other details about who is in the cast or who will play any of the important leads, but I'm sure that information will surface soon. Another interesting thing to note is the other movie that Scott Derrickson is finishing up - Paradise Lost - a live action film version of the epic poem. When and where the heck did this happen under everyone's nose?!

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The remake of the perfect sci-fi movie is bound to be a disaster! The Day The Earth Stood Still was made when people still thought about life and had a concious. Hollywood is likely to try to make this bigger, which would be the wrong approach. The beauty of the original movie in a certain way, was from its genuineness, its humanity and simplicity in dealing with some very frieghtening issues of it's day. These issue are STILL with us today only now they are more troublesome because of the fact that fear IS what drives the lives of people today subconciously. People don't believe this though and people think they are smarter today than they REALLY are. That is scary. It is not 1951 anymore. The remake is a bad idea.

Bud (Orlando) on Apr 13, 2007


I think NOW is the TIME to remake this classic....with the RIGHT script, Actors and Special Effects...this could Be GREAT! With all the Death,destruction, poverty,starvation....war etc happening in 2007, the early part of the 21st century is turning out to be VERY Violent! The World NEEDS a Message of Peace! The remake of W.O.W. was really good....If they can make this remake in the same caliber....I already know Id be seeing it in the theatre, and buying the DVD.

Rex on May 16, 2007


Fantastic news. Robert Wise's original was, and still is, a classic - with it's menacing undertones ("Will the robot, Gort, be unleashed to destroy everyone", "What would have happened if Michael Rennie had died? Would Gort have gone berserk?"). But there was always that slight note of optimism that, even though we are a warlike race, there is a hint of optimism for the future. We need Gort now more than ever - set him loose to destroy all the world's weapons.

Terry Barrie on Jun 5, 2007


I found a sequel online to this Classic Sci-Fi film which was written in 1981 by Ray Bradbury "The Evening of The Second Day." It was okay, but the studio passed. However, a remake is a wonderful idea if the story holds true and is reminiscent of the original in content, style and tone. Michael Rennie's "Klaatu" is benevolent, optimistic and means business. Who could deliver that kind of style today in that type of role? Keanu Reeves perhaps? The 1951 film delivered a serious message. A direct sequel may be stronger than a retelling, as though humanity didn't take Klaatu seriously and he's come back un-aged ala CG to check on our progress as we fight to prove ourselves before it's too late. There's something classic and original about his space suit...very other worldly even with those slim, pleated pants. Then again, perhaps a retelling of the tale followed by a sequel would bring everyone along for the ride in a more contemporary setting. We loved the 1951 Klaatu because he was a handsome, actorly white guy who represented the stereotypical 1950's. But today, we might consider a plain old white guy too American. Perhaps as a shapeshifting alien who wants to appear to us in a way that would make us all comfortable with his message; appearing to each of us as every race, ethincity, etc. Gort's design and character was sleek and menacing and posed a real threat. Would we believe that image today? If Hollywood respects this property, it could be a cool story. But Hollywood today is often hit-or-miss. Too many effects; not enough story. It's either too many cooks in the kitchen or in George Lucas' case, for example, one guy who owns the sandbox who tells all his people how to play. Time for something new. I know Michael Rennie was an unknown at the time. I think I just geeked out...

Charlie Rose on Jun 28, 2007


Your article mentions Scott Derrickson is directing the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. How can I get in touch with this person or at least send a message. Thank You George Gough

George Gough on Aug 8, 2007


I agree with Charlie, and a lot of people here that a remake would be great IF the message is left in tact and Hollywood would see this as more than just product. I think that Keanu would make a awesome Klattu.

M.G.P. in Orlando Fl. on Aug 22, 2007


I grew up with this movie and treasure it. Still, I think a remake for the modern audience is a great idea because of the film's message and the relevance it has to the current world situation. I hope the filmakers have the sense to retain the film's simple, yet critical theme, and not gunk it all up with extra characters and subplots, etc. I must say that they're off to a poor start with Keanu Reeves as Klaatu. I do like him, but I don't think he has the depth or charm to pull it off. The one actor who could do it beautifully is Johnny Depp. Reconsider this casting!

Peggy Finch on Aug 31, 2007


As much as I like the original, Michael Rennie was chosen because he was unknown and gave the role his own mystique and warmth. And what a cool alien friend he played to Billy Gray. However, since we're on the subject, the actor I think of as a modern similar persona is Ralph Fiennes. He even looks like Michael Rennie. But I agree...the message is of utmost importance. About Keanu, but it's Hollywood and agents and money and politics and....well Keanu could pull it off. And so I agree with Shannon. Well said about "unexpected actors." And we can all watch the original on DVD anytime we want to see the Original, the Classic. Isn't Patricia Neil a hoot in the DVD extras? I just love her!

Puppetoon on Aug 31, 2007


Also potentially good would be Gary Oldman as Klaatu. Beyond known actors, an unknown would have been good. Christopher Reeve was one of those too. Guess it's too late now, huh? Almost forgot, Patricia Neil & Billy Gray should def. be in the film at least in cameos. Has anyone seen the Ray Bradbury sequel script about Klaata, Klaatu's daughter returning to Earth?

Puppetoon on Aug 31, 2007


Can you tell me where I could inquire about an "extra" job in the remake of "Day the Earth Stood Still"? (agency, studio etc.) Thanks. Billb.

Billb on Sep 1, 2007


Off the cuff, I'd say there are Yahoo groups and various lists that inform people of "extra" work in movies/TV. I'm in Dallas and I used to receive those notices for shoots in Texas. Local agents can give you more specific info and of course there's always Google. Shouldn't be too difficult, but you gotta go where they shoot. Have fun.

Puppetoon on Sep 1, 2007


This movie is one of the greatest hits of all times. It's elegant and well made. I think a good choice for Klatu would be Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith in Matrix). He did a great job in Matrix and Lord of the Rings. I just hope they don't screw this up. Hope Hollywood will "Handle this with care"!.

Frank D on Oct 23, 2007


To Frank D: Great suggestion! He does have a certain 'cool' that would make a wonderful Klaatu. I'm visualizing the powers that be in "handling this with care" (well said) and being surprisingly satisfied with their update and film making.

Puppetoon (Charlie Rose) on Oct 23, 2007


After hearing now that Keanu Reeves has been signed to play Klatuu, I find it difficult to be optimistic about the outcome. Someone else here suggested Christian Bale and I think that's a good plan, certainly better than Reeves who I don't think can pull off the seriousness of the Klatuu role and has too much negative baggage (as in he can't act). Picture this....Klatuu exits the ship, reaches into his inner pocket and withdraws a strange looking hand held device that he later says was to be a gift for our president. But as he withdraws the device from his pocket and begins to activate it, a trigger happy military type takes a shot. Klatuu's response is "Whooa"! What Hollywood can't do today is write. WOTW is an example of that. The computer effects are advanced but the writing has taken a backward step. Mark my words....this will be another remake that shouldn't have been done.

Jim Henderson on Nov 14, 2007


I would love to see this movie updated in color and wide screen HD. I hope the producers leave the sleek smooth 50's futuristic design of Gort, the spaceship and the clear plastic controls as was. They look so cool and futuristic even by today's standards. I fear they will make the spaceship all cluttered with protruding hoses, vents, hieroglyphics etc... like in the 4th of July movie and other recent sci-fi movies. And Gort was so smooth with the art deco styled visor hinges etc.. please do not mess it up!!! I pray they carry over the shinny silver 50's futuristic art deco theme. THE SOUND TRACK WILL HAVE TO BE OTHER WORLDLY!!! What a challenge for the film makers! Please take the time to do it justice.

Doug Gard on Dec 13, 2007


Scott Derrickson, If you read any of these comments. Please read this one. Please do not make some lousy remake of this classic. I don't care who plays who in the cast of characters. I don't care if you use small models or CG. Just don't make some cheesy, badly directed, badly produced, badly acted remake. I will conjer up the gods of Sci-Fi and they will send an army of Gorts after your A_ _. I always thought I would like to see a remake of this film, if done correctly with all of the technology at Hollywood's fingertips. My only regret is that I'm not a director. If I was the producer with deep pockets, I'd make sure that I would have heavy weight talent in all of the apects of this classic. Great screenwriter or writers, special effects people, the right actors, the right director, set design, wardrobe, etc..... Please make this a good remake. Make me believe that you were the right director for this. I will go see it regardless of the reviews. However, if it's screwed up. You have been warned!

Richard Alliston on Apr 16, 2008


1) I wonder if Scott Derrickson has seen the original film? A director should not be chosen unless he/she has seen the original and has bought into what the original film was all about. 2) Some people have commented on how good the remake of "War of the Worlds" was. This saddens me. The visual and sound effects were cool, but the storyline was weak. The original movie is a little hokey by today's standards, but the script and acting made it far superior to the remake. 3) The reason so many people fear a remake of "Day the Earth Stood Still" (me included) is that we have a lot "remake history" upon which to base our opinions. Remakes of Sci-Fi classics have been terrible. "Inavsion of the Body Snatchers" and "Invaders from Mars" were all great Sci-Fi classics that were totally ruined with remakes. Why should we expect anything different with "Day the Earth Stood Still"?

Dan Filice on Jun 10, 2008


How perfectly ridiculous to steal the name of a really fabulous and classic scifi movie. I guess if one didn't have any faith that this new movie could stand on it's own then such a theft would make sense. I can hardly wait for the remake of Ben Hur with Keanu Reeves . The name "The Day the Earth Stood Still" was already taken, the original movie was perfect and we didn't need a third rate rip off to obscure any of that for those not lucky enough to have seen the original. Perhaps some will dig up the original and that would be good I guess. Just seems like a REALLY silly idea to me.

carol on Sep 11, 2008


Take the trouble to read the original short story, which you can find on the web, Farewell to the Master, by Harry Bates, published in Astounding in October, 1940. The trailer for this remake indicates that any claim made for fidelity to this inspiration for the 1950 film will probably lead to disappointment. The 1950 film itself was quite distant from that story, with imaginative overlaps, however. The story itself is a standard science fiction short story, but it is soulful, very sad in places, and in those sad places very well written. The story is as enigmatic as it is frightening, few questions answered, perhaps only one, the correction of a misunderstanding at the end of the story that should not be disclosed to any first time reader. It appears from the teaser that the current effort may be caught between two "masters," the original story--perhaps--and the original movie. But in terms of refreshing the original film's theme, peace or else a la Deus ex Machina aka Gort nee Gnut, that one absent but perhaps implied in Farewell to the Master, we are in worse shape now than when in 1950 the film answered the nearly hysterical anxiety caused by the Soviet nuclear detonation in 1949. Were the story itself followed as closely as possible, however, we would have a new film, and an interesting one that asks common questions about artificial intelligence and the existence of the soul in a startling way.

Nikola Clatter muy Barato on Sep 25, 2008


Hello Steve. Thanks for posting about your grandpa. Certainly it's okay!It's always nice to know family members of especially obscure actors, such as your grandpa. However, if your grandpa was in the original movie, his name would have been Lock Martin Jr. (born Joseph Lockard Martin Jr.) who died in 1959. Is that the person you meant? If that's the case, you should not give up on finding the old pictures of your grandfather, as I'm certain there are MANY people, such as myself, who would find them fascinating in themselves. I found the following link: about the man you speak of. If you find the pictures, high resolution scans (300dpi) is a way you can preserve and share them, if you choose to do so. Good luck. Some of us are crossing their fingers that this follow-up movie will be at least half as good as the original. I'm certain they didn't find anyone to fill Gort's space boots better than your grandpa.

Charlie Rose on Nov 3, 2008


TY for the reply I replyed to your email too, I am not very good at these web postings and such, so am sorry if I dont do things right, we use to have his cowboy boots in a glass case they have moved around quite a bit in the family, when we were kids we use to look forward to the movie coming on and watching it, I am excited for the new one to come out I just finally saw the commercial on tv, and it looked great, if you give me a email or maybe i could use the old one I am not sure but i could scan the photo i have now and send you a copy, if you would like. Steve

Steve Smith on Nov 3, 2008


Hey Steve! That's very kind of you. I'd love a copy. It's one of my favorite movies of all time. My e-mail is: Once again, thank you for taking the time to do that and for responding. I'll be thinking about you and your famous grandpa when the movie comes out. I live in Dallas. Where do you live? If you happen to be close by, I'll treat you to the movie! Take care my friend. I look forwrad to seeing the picture. What a nice guy you are. Best regards-Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose on Nov 3, 2008


Hi Charlie I didnt seem to get the link to the pictures or your email didnt come thru my email either, so I posted my name as my email then u can contact me that way if they dont have a block on that.. Steve hmm lets try that

steve98266atyahoodotcom on Nov 3, 2008


Potential SPOILERS ALERT (take caution before reading this): Overall rating: ** Just saw it..any remake of TDTESS sans "Klaatu, barrata, nikto." is the biggest flaw and needs a MAJOR re-write. We can only hope that someone will re-Re-make this movie as the Marvel people did with Hulk, Punisher, etc. yet Keanu Reeves gave a stellar performance as did the rest of the cast. That said, John Cleese did not get enough screen time. His role was greatly reduced from the original character's. Major flaws: 1. The kid character was great, if exceptionally annoying, a little over-the-top, but okay. 2. The ending reminded me of M. Night's "The Happening" where nothing happens and the credits roll. 3. GORT was fantastic, but greatly underused. We never see him really walking among people or bring back Klaatu. 4. The city s practically devoid of people reacting to "the end of the world" scenario. 5. We never get to see a full on close-up or establishing shot of Klaatu's bio-space suit. This is just wrong for a sci-fi geek like me. 6. Klaatu giving us no speech or world-wide delivery of his purpose, which was weak to begin with. Clever devices: 1. Klaatu being a clone of one of us; 2. GORT's design and size; 3. The opening modern-day set-up was very realistic, plausible. 4. Other beings from Klaatu's world already living here (needed a few more of these characters perhaps) but well done and believable. 5. Kathy Bates as a government official was totally believable, and realistic to today's world. The non-ending finale is unforgivable. Sorry needed one more reel.

Charlie Rose on Dec 13, 2008


It would be interesting to hear commentary from someone did not see the original.

Charlie Rose on Dec 13, 2008


SPOILER ALERT (do not read if you intend to see the new TDTESS): Sci-fi comparison: In the first season of Lost In Space, Michael Rennie played a Klaatu-like character called the Keeper in which he collected alien species for further study on his home planet. 20th Century Fox used stock music from The Day The Earth Stood Still in many Michael Rennie scenes, which they also did for several of the Irwin Allen shows including Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea thru Time Tunnel where ever a sci-fi feel was needed. Ironically, the primary focus of Klaatu in the 2008 incarnation was to preserve as many of the Earth species as possible species of Earth much the way his character had done in The Keeper episodes.

Charlie Rose on Dec 20, 2008


I HIGHLY recommend this movie for it's message, if not for a cool re-do of the Hollywood classic. See it, but leave your own comparisons to the original at the door. SPOILER ALERT: Don't read this if you intend to see the movie. At second glance. Perhaps haste does make waste. In this case, let me exchange the haste of a snappy review for the value in having seen the new TDTESS a second time. My first thoughts...I always shoot from the hip....were albeit premature. Too many comparisons to the 1951 version was unfair and the update does stand on its own. After seeing it a couple weeks later, I really wanted to exorcise the first thoughts and dig deeper into the subtlety and fresh approach, even being so hung on the original for so long. 1. "Klaatu, Barada, Nikto" was indeed present in alien form and WAS used, but you have to listen for it as G.O.R.T. first appears. My apologies for missing it the first time, but you had to listen closely, for it is in alien tongue, yet almost unrecognizable. 2. With regard to the ending, the thing I missed the first time was that Klaatu touches the Orb/Mothership before allowing himself to be assimilated. The first time I saw it, I thought he just disappeared and died, making himself the sacrifice as the Earth's salvation comes with a price. This time, it seems he lives because he touches the ship. Again timing is everything. Of all things to be remade in world that tends to take itself too seriously at times, we could take a hint and think about our impact on Mother Earth. But as we plod through our daily lives, it won't take something like an alien to wake us up from ourselves. Maybe 2012 will show us the way.

Puppetoon on Dec 26, 2008


Hi I really did love the original Klatoo, Gort, and the whole movie plot. It was and still us one of my very favorite films. Is there a remote possibility that a sequal or next movie like Day the Earth stood Still 2 where peaceful ailens like Klatoo and of course Gort come back to earth with a stronger ultilmatum and etc,etc,etc,. I am not talking of just a remake like this was but a second or next plot where the earth understands what really is at stake not just our petty dickering...Thanks. my email is

Arnold Neubauer on Jan 28, 2009

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