Director Scott Derrickson Explains The Day the Earth Stood Still Trailer

July 6, 2008
Source: MTV

Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still

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?

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Reader Feedback - 18 Comments


As a huge fan of the original, despite this movie already feeling different from it, I have to go see this. That, and it really does look like it could be really good.

Dan Geer on Jul 6, 2008


I'm a fan on Reeves and the original T.D.T.E.S.S was great hopefully the remake will live up to its potential.

Xerxex on Jul 6, 2008


I'm really looking forward to this movie. I hope I can catch a bit of it at Comic Com.

Jandra on Jul 6, 2008


I have never seen the original, but from what i have seen in the trailer this looks like its going to be an epic movie like War of the Worlds and i really enjoyed War of the Worlds.. Im going to the theaters on December 12th.

Curtis on Jul 6, 2008


I, myself, don't really know what to think about it. I think part of that is because I haven't the original one *and* am not a big fan of Keanu Reeves. The teaser does make it look really, really interesting though. Only time and more trailers can give me my thoughts on it until it premieres.

Lauren on Jul 6, 2008


The teaser did a GREAT job. Basically, sold the movie even for the more critics about it. People were commenting it after leaving Hancock. The panel in the comming San Diego Comic Con should really define if it will be big as it seems to be hoping for.

Sam on Jul 6, 2008


Being a young Director, Scott Derrickson I think has the talent to pull this off.....I am so pleased being close to the orginal his fresh ideas will be received well. I for one am anxious. Mr. Reeves is perfect for this role.....and with the message updated, what more could you ask for. Don't assume the orginal T.D.E.S.S had no effect on the Cold War....I know my parents listened and headed the warning.....So should we.

Tim "Cloverfield" on Jul 6, 2008


as a HUGE fan of the original I was totally confused by the trailer. whats with the scenes of destruction? whats with the sphere spaceship? its a bit too like, well exactly like, the one in Starman. that said, i am still looking forward to seeing the film. better a re-imagining than a straight copy. though VERY GLAD that gort is still gort. and if klaatu barada nikto is in the mix i'll be happy. nosher

nosher on Jul 6, 2008


i just had a thought. i watched the trailer again and is it just me or does the guy asking the questions sound like HAL from 2001?

nosher on Jul 6, 2008


i hope the flick is good.

Darrin on Jul 6, 2008


I sincerely dont see what is so great about this original TDTESS film. I have seen it, and felt it could have been cool way back in '50s, but for now, it just sucks. It is a wrong choice to remake.What the hell they were thinking!

manu on Jul 6, 2008


Great, another potentially great film ruined by tree-hugging, save the planet crap (see also The Happening). I was looking forward to this after seeing half the trailer (especially Keanu's "You should let me go line"), but when he talks about man and the earth - instant switch off. What a shame 🙁

Mike Kingscott on Jul 7, 2008


Just another movie the world don‘t need. A great story turned into mindless war of the worlds crap. Not even worth a download. Hollywood suxxs more and more. And Keanu? Hell why not Steven Stoneface Seagal?

Marc on Jul 7, 2008


Anybody know what the music is in the trailer?

Grant on Jul 8, 2008


gee, what'sa matter kids??? disapointed 'cause there are'nt any dumptrucks turning into talking super robots??? or are you just mad that they wont be producing a line of sci-fi underwear to go with the movie?? yeah, it was definately a great film in the '50s...cutting edge special effects for that decade... but more importantly, it was a THINKING person's film....something that would be a waste of time given the IQ level of todays audience...pardon my rant, I am just so sick of f*&^ing comic books being hailed as the ultimate cinematic experience now days...this film is going to be a treat to watch....

moldybread on Jul 8, 2008


Reading the previous comments, many of which refer to the 1951 film as THE touchstone for this remake, I'm guessing none of the writers have read the original source: "Farewell to the Master," a long-ish short story by Harry Bates. Yes, the 1951 film's substance and treatment did outshine just about every other sci-fi film of the time, but it also ignored the short story's most original concept, one that made readers rethink some sacred human perceptions and assumptions. From what I've read, the director, Derrickson, is choosing to hew to the original film rather than Bates' more striking concept. Too bad. (No spoiler-- read the story.)

Jim Bucar on Jul 20, 2008


I read "Farewell to the Master" and I was very very disappointed. It was so short, and unexciting and uneventful to say the least. The only thing interesting about the original story was the fact that Gort was Klaatu, and Klaatu was Gort. The best original story about a B scifi movie I read was the original "The Thing from another World".

RSH on Aug 4, 2008


I've watched the trailer a few times and to me it has great potential. The only thing I would change from what I've seen in the trailer is the sphere that comes out of the water. it should look simular to the original space ship but with a lot of added features. You know embelish it for example make a part of the wall on the ship blend into a clear wall when klaatu lands and looks outside than blend back into the wall. Give the ship the ability to create a forcefield that can distinguish between between a person with a gun and repell him back a few feet or a boy or girl who would not be allowed to get any closer and not hurt them while a regular cat could walk by the kids and up to the ship. Gort of course would be standing outside of the force field because nothing could hurt him anyways. Just my two cents

kstone on Aug 20, 2008

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