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Klaatu Barada Nixed-too?

AICN has some potentially spoilerish and disappointing news in a review of a script for the Keanu Reeves remake of the classic sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still. Read at your own risk. If it is a valid script and the reviewer is accurate, then the film's content and ultimately its themes and message have been shifted from the original--moving from themes addressing the harm we humans do to each other to the harm we humans do to the environment. I guess some could argue that it's being "updated" to deal with current events and issues, but I for one think the original film is still very relevant. In addition, it appears to be a story that elevates our care of the earth above the value of human life. I fervently believe that we humans have a very sacred responsibility to care and steward this earth as God would (and that we could be doing this a whole heck of a lot better than we do), but elevating the value of nature above human life is a misdirected way of approaching this responsibility. Perhaps if we addressed the problems portrayed in the original film (which also invited God-talk into the conversation), the solutions to the ones being addressed in the second would follow. Which again makes the original film all the more relevant.

Just a thought. But then perhaps I'm just cranky because I haven't seen the sun shine in what seems like a lifetime. Who knew Virigina resides under permanent cloud cover. Sigh.


Keanu Reeves revealed the environmental twist when he spoke to MTV News on March 21. I blogged it here. Director Scott Derrickson is a Christian -- his last film was The Exorcism of Emily Rose -- so I'd expect he is sensitive to some of the God-talk issues; at the very least, he would be able to discuss that aspect of the film, and how it is affected by the changes in the remake, more articulately than most directors!

For what it's worth, I have always thought that something needed to be changed if this film were going to be remade today. As I wrote when the project was announced over a year ago:

You also can't help wondering how the new film might be tweaked to address our current political situation. Suffice to say that the global political situation is more fractured and divided nowadays than it was in the 1950s, so any alien who arrives today and says "Take me to your leader" may have a harder time getting his message across. Plus, some of the players in the current conflict just might be so apocalyptically minded that they may not care so much if an alien were to threaten the Earth with incineration.

Whether environmentalism is the right direction to go is another question, of course. But I guess we'll see when the movie comes out.
Carmen Andres said…
peter, i didn't catch derrickson is directing until just now - maybe there's hope, heh.

and, just for the record and for anyone who's interested, my issue isn't so much with the shift in focus to environmentalism (though i still think finding a way to work with the original film's premise would be niftier). i think we followers of Jesus need to be more aware, involved and responsible than we are when it comes to caring for the natural world around us. biblically, it is part of our creation and purpose, one we too often ignore. films that waken us to that are welcome in my book. it just rubs me the wrong way when a story seems to indicate that care of the earth trumps the value of human life.

but perhaps the bottom line is that i really, really liked the original film and don't want to see it messed up.

as always, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share the info. blessings.