Director Called $233M Keanu Reeves Movie a ‘Horrific Experience’: “Wasn’t really employable for almost 2 years”

Director Called $233M Keanu Reeves Movie a ‘Horrific Experience’
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Keanu Reeves has starred in several critically-acclaimed films and blockbuster franchises in recent years, but like many others, he also had his fair share of movie flops. The John Wick actor once starred in Scott Derrickson’s 2008 remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Keanu Reeves The Day The Earth Stood Still
Keanu Reeves in The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

The movie is based on the 1951 original picture of the same name, and it fared well at the box office, although critic reviews were very brutal. The story follows Reeves’ character, Klaatu, an alien in human form who travels to Earth in hopes of saving it from destruction. In all of the projects under his belt, this brought stagnancy in Reeves’ career.

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Scott Derrickson Expresses Regret Over Critical Flop Movie Starring Keanu Reeves

Speaking with SlashFilm, director Scott Derrickson discussed his traumatic experience filming The Day The Earth Stood Still. He admitted the project was of poor quality due to the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America Strike. The failure of the picture also became detrimental to his career, as Derrickson confessed he could not find any job after the disaster that befell the film:

[I]t was a horrific experience and the movie did not turn out good. Well, it turned out okay in places at least. But it was one of those movies where it didn’t turn out as well as it needed to because of a lot of reasons, the writers’ strike being the main one. And so after that movie, I was not really employable as a director for almost two years.”

Derrickson was not able to bounce back from the catastrophe until he released the 2012 horror film Sinister. It became a massive hit among the audiences, and it brought back his credibility as a director.

Keanu Reeves The Day The Earth Stood Still 2
Keanu Reeves in The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

Drawing inspiration from his roots as an indie horror filmmaker, Sinister grossed over $87 million against a budget of $3 million. The success of the film became the balm to Derrickson’s soul, who admitted that the failure of The Day The Earth Stood Still was like a death sentence:


I felt like I had died on somebody else’s sword on ‘Day the Earth Stood Still.’ I found myself at the end of somebody else’s movie. I was like, ‘I’m going to make the movie that I want to make.’ That’s exactly what we did. It was a movie that was totally uncompromising.”

He noted that concerning oneself with the commercial success of a film is a surefire way to kill the passion of an artist.

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Keanu Reeves And Scott Derrickson Finally Rose From The Ashes Of Failure

Scott Derrickson
Scott Derrickson

In 2016, Scott Derrickson found himself helming the biggest project of his career: Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange. The blockbuster film grossed over $677 million, which paved the way for the sequel that came out in 2022.


Keanu Reeves, on the other hand, was able to revive his career when he appeared in the action-thriller film John Wick in 2014. The massive victory of the franchise brought him back to the pinnacle of success.

Hollywood remakes are a popular trend in the industry that constantly receives backlash, showing the lack of creativity and shortage of ingenious concepts. Fortunately, both Reeves and Derrickson managed to bounce back and made thriving careers after the tragic fiasco that The Day The Earth Stood Still brought into their lives.

The Day The Earth Stood Still is available on Prime Video and Hulu.


Source: SlashFilm

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2249

Ariane Cruz, Senior Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about the latest movies and series. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.