Reeves on Bringing the Earth to a Standstill

The Business Mirror offers up an interview with actor Keanu Reeves, who discusses the rational behind remaking THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, certainly one of the great achievements in the history of science fiction cinema and a film not easily to be topped. The original delt with international cooperation (or the lack thereof) in the face of potential nuclear annihilation, with an alien and his robot landing in a flying saucer and urging – well, actually demanding – that the nations of the world get their act together. The new storyline is updated for the new millennium, but Klatuu (Reeves) is still warning mankind that their future existence is in jeopardy if we do not change our ways.

Were you familiar with the original film when you were approached about this one?

I loved the original. I saw it first when I was 14 or 15 on a black-and-white television. I might have seen it one other time growing up, and then I watched it when I was approached to do the remake. I remember as a young boy enjoying the spectacle, the drama, the flying saucer, the scary music, the power when everything stopped in the world; but watching it again I observed the sly, clever social commentary about the media and the world.

Why do you think that The Day the Earth Stood Still is so relevant now? Why was it the right time for a remake?

The 1951 film was looking at the Cold War and atomic weapons, the nuclear bomb and the separation of countries. It shows how Klaatu was trying to get an international meeting together with world leaders, and how that was impossible because of a lack of cooperation. You could not get everyone at the same table to talk. Klaatu was thinking to himself: “I can wipe you all out and you can’t sit at the same table together? How self-centered are you?” In our film, Klaatu is making a judgment about whether the human species will live or die, although it is much more than an eco message. Klaatu says: “Your backs are against the wall, you have to change the way you are or cease to exist.”

ET Online also has a brief piece on the film.

About Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.