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Video:Scott Derrickson Interview - The Day the Earth Stood Still

with Rebecca Murray

Director Scott Derrickson says he wouldn't have touched the sci-fi classic 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' if he didn't have a good reason to remake the film. At the 2008 Comic Con, Derrickson explained why now is the time to revisit the material.See Transcript

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Transcript:Scott Derrickson Interview - The Day the Earth Stood Still

Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con.

The Day the Earth Stood Still Director Scott Derrickson

It's a classic and you're touching a classic. Is that scary?

Scott Derrickson: "Of course it's scary. Yeah, it's scary. You'd better have a good reason if you're going to remake a classic movie."

What is the good reason?

Scott Derrickson: "Well I think in this case it was really two things for me. It was, first of all, the fact that even though The Day the Earth Stood Still is a classic movie, it's a great film, it's not like Casablanca or The Wizard of Oz in that it's not a film that everyone has seen. I think the majority of the movie-going public has not seen it, and it's such a good story. And I think that, on the one hand, motivated me to want to do it. But I think more significantly, it was a film that very effectively commented on its time, and the times have changed. And if there's any reason to remake it, it's because that story ought to be told in the context of our time and comment on the times that we live in now."

So you're keeping the same message?

Scott Derrickson: "Well, yes and no. I mean, the message in that film dealt with human violence. This movie definitely comments on human violence. Central to both films is the idea that humanity has an inability to refrain from destroying itself. We have a tendency to do that. And what the 1951 film had to say about nuclear build-up and the destruction of the world that way, our film is really talking about the various ways, I think, in which we're managing to destroy ourselves now."

Interesting. And you're keeping Gork?

Scott Derrickson: "We're keeping Gork."

Same type of thing or are you not allowed to say?

Scott Derrickson: "He's updated but he is Gork. You'll recognize him as Gork."

Keanu Reeves as an alien, you could push it too far, so how do you know how far to push?

Scott Derrickson: "You know, Keanu knew that. He knew how far to go with it. I mean, there's a lot of different ways that you can play a character like that. I'm a big fan of Jeff Bridges' performance in Starman, but it's a very twitchy, strange, kind of peculiar performance and you know he's an alien. In this case, we didn't want to do that. And yet you definitely feel all through the film that Keanu is an alien. You just have to see it. He managed to really do it. I don't think there's a lot of actors who could have pulled that off, but he really did."

And you don't have to have seen the original to understand what's going on, right?

Scott Derrickson: "No, not at all."

This one has effects that I'm sure are on a much grander, larger scale - attacks of New York and other things?

Scott Derrickson: "Yeah. Don't get me wrong, the first film is a really respected film amongst visual effects professionals. I mean it was a groundbreaking film in some ways, and it still looks pretty good. I completely agree. But we're in a whole other level of the game with visual effects and we're going to utilize some of that and try to do something fresh and original."

More on The Day the Earth Stood Still:

  • The Day the Earth Stood Still Photos, Credits, and Trailer

  • More on The Day the Earth Stood Still Stars Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly
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