The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 2008 science fiction film starring Keanu Reeves in the lead role. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the movie is a remake of the 1951 film of the same name. Set in modern times, the story revolves around an alien named Klaatu who arrives on Earth with a powerful message for humanity.
In the film, Keanu Reeves’ character is accompanied by an advanced robot named Gort, and together they serve as ambassadors from another world. As Klaatu interacts with humans and witnesses the destructive nature of humanity, he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the state of the planet. His mission is to warn humanity sternly about the consequences of their actions and encourage them to change their ways.
Did The Film Intentionally Skip Preaching About Climate Change
In 2005, writer David Scarpa began crafting a draft of the script. By this time, Thomas Rothman had taken over as the head of Fox and felt a sense of responsibility to bring a remake of the 1951 film to fruition. Scarpa recognized the enduring relevance of the original film but opted to shift the allegory from nuclear war to environmental damage. He believed that humanity’s capability to harm itself has evolved, necessitating a fresh approach.
Scarpa, the screenwriter of The Day the Earth Stood Still remake, acknowledged that the devastating Hurricane Katrina, which occurred in 2005, influenced his perspective while crafting the screenplay. This real-world event served as a reminder of the destructive power of nature and the urgent need to address environmental issues. In an effort to resonate with modern audiences, Scarpa made a conscious decision to veer away from a preachy tone in the film.
He chose to eliminate Klaatu’s (played by Keanu Reeves) speech that had originally been planned for the story’s conclusion. Scarpa recognized that contemporary viewers are less receptive to being directly lectured about environmental concerns. Instead, he aimed to deliver a more nuanced and relatable narrative that would captivate audiences without overtly forcing an environmental message.
“People don’t want to be preached to about the environment. We tried to avoid having our alien looking out over the garbage in the lake and crying a silent tear,” David Scarpa said.
Keanu Reeves’ Performance Stole The Show
Keanu Reeves delivers a solid performance as Klaatu, bringing the character a sense of otherworldly presence and detachment. His demeanor and enigmatic nature add to the intrigue and mystery surrounding the alien visitor. The film explores themes of environmentalism, human behavior, and the potential for redemption.
The Day the Earth Stood Still combines thought-provoking science fiction with thrilling action sequences. It challenges viewers to contemplate the implications of their actions on a global scale and the urgent need for humanity to find harmony with the planet. Reeves’ portrayal of Klaatu contributes to the film’s appeal, making it a compelling watch for fans of the genre.
The Day the Earth Stood Still is available for streaming on HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.