February 27, 2009

My article on the old and new versions of The Day the Earth Stood Still is now up at Books & Culture.

December 12, 2008

My review of The Day the Earth Stood Still is now up at CT Movies, as is my interview with director Scott Derrickson. I may post a slightly longer version here in a few days.

In the meantime, a footnote to the interview: One of the things Derrickson talks about is how he tried to get the science right, and lo and behold, LiveScience has an item by SETI Institute astronomer Seth Shostak on his stint as a scientific consultant on this film. Definitely some interesting tidbits there.

October 29, 2008

ComingSoon.net just posted this new five-minute trailer for The Day the Earth Stood Still. Most of this footage has been seen already, in one form or another, but there are some new images here — especially where the robot Gort is concerned.

http://d.yimg.com/static.video.yahoo.com/yep/YV_YEP.swf?ver=2.2.30

Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

July 3, 2008

A few months ago, I got to visit the set of the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, which was being shot here in the Vancouver area. Not for the first time, I marvelled at how it took hours and hours to produce maybe a few seconds of actual movie. A few of those seconds — showing military vehicles moving into position, in what I think is supposed to be Central Park — appear in the trailer below, which is reportedly playing before Hancock in some theatres right now, at least on the American side of the border:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP1NVnLY_vU
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

JUL 4 UPDATE: The trailer has now been officially posted here.

January 26, 2008

IGN.com reports that Monty Python and Fawlty Towers alumnus John Cleese — who has lately taken bit parts and supporting roles in the James Bond, Harry Potter, Charlie’s Angels and Pink Panther movies, among others — has joined the cast of Scott Derrickson’s remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still:

Cleese will play physicist Dr. Barnhardt, a Nobel Prize laureate who plays a key part in figuring out the mission and meaning of the arrival of the alien Klaatu [played by Keanu Reeves].

The part of Prof. Jacob Barnhardt was played in the original film by Sam Jaffe, and his performance has often been interpreted as a riff of sorts on Albert Einstein, who was still alive at the time. Presumably Cleese’s take on the character will be a little… different.

December 22, 2007


Keanu Reeves has been spotted in various locations around downtown Vancouver lately, and that can mean only one thing: The cameras have started rolling on Scott Derrickson‘s remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951; my comments).

I met someone at a party recently who works at one of the local film labs, and he tells me 20th Century Fox has moved into the office in a big way — something that almost never happens, or so he tells me — and he takes this to be a sign of just how big this particular production is.

Meanwhile, casting announcements continue to trickle out; the Hollywood Reporter revealed the other day that Jon Hamm, the Golden Globe-nominated star of Mad Men, is going to play “Dr. Granier, a NASA official who recruits Helen [the Jennifer Connelly character] for the scientific team investigating an alien’s arrival on Earth.”

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