The Day Their Brains Stood Still

By Phil Plait | February 22, 2007 4:20 pm

Fox wants to remake one of the greatest SciFi movies ever made: The Day The Earth Stood Still.

All I really need to ask is, why? Why? Why remake one of the most perfectly made movies in history, science fiction or otherwise? Because it’s old? Because the son from "Father Knows Best" is in it? Because now we can CGI the spaceship landing on the White House lawn?

Grrrrrr.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Piece of mind, Rant

Comments (79)

  1. Mike

    Oh good god, you KNOW they’re gonna butcher THAT one. Why mess with a classic?! I guess hollywood is running out of ideas. Next thing you’ll see is Casablanca 2010.

  2. Mark Martin

    There’s a remake in production of “When Worlds Collide”. It’s being directed by the guy who did “The Mummy” (1999). Yes, Hollywood sure does know how to do a remake.

  3. wright

    Yeah, disgusting. A “modern” take on such a classic is quite likely to turn those unfamiliar with the original off of SF in general. Hollywood’s track record on such updates is not good…

  4. Melusine

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    I have that on DVD – I can’t imagine a remake. It’s like imagining a remake of Forbidden PlanetWhy can’t people come up with new interesting scifi ideas? It’s not like there’s a shortage of writers out there, nor the kind of science information to inspire science fiction.

    I still have never seen When Worlds Collide.” I guess I’ll have to buy it like everything else…I certainly won’t see a remake first. Blah.

  5. While tinsel town is at it they might as well redo ZARDOZ with the new actor who plays James Bond in the starring role.

    Line from original movie remixed: The sequel is EVIL!

  6. It just shows that there is no sign of intelligent life in Hollywood. They can’t stand to do something original, so they go back and remake good movies into bad ones.

    Next will be a “reimagining” of Citizen Kane and Gone With the Wind.

  7. I have a book coming out (hopefully this fall) on famous saucer movies, and TDTESS is the first entry. This is really heartbreaking. After the debacle that was Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” (to those of us who are fans of the Pal movie), I can make the following predictions:

    1) It will be helmed by a big name effects director (probably not Spielberg, but someone else who’s hot right now like G. Del Toro) rather than a competent dramatic director like Wise.

    2) It will star a box office magnet as the alien, rather than an unknown who can be believed. Probably not Cruise, since he’s imploded, but probably someone completely wrong like Brad Pitt. Maybe Brittany Spears will play Helen :-)

    3) Gort will be CGI and given all sorts of fancy powers for eye-candy effects.

    4) In order to punish the evil military-industrial complex (the villains of pretty much every movie of the past decade), the leaders of the world will ignore Klaatu’s warning forcing Gort to destroy the world.

    5) It will make a ton of money.

    6) There will be a sequel.

    [Sigh]

    – Jack

  8. Allan

    The original was a loser of a movie, not a classic. Fox, being Fox, will only make it worse. When Worlds Collide was based on the book by Balmer & Wiley written in the late 20’s is and remains a classic. Producer, George Pal, was a master of special effects which enhanced the movie greatly. The second book in the series, After Worlds Collide, has not been made into a movie. It certainly should be. Forbidden Planet, a variation on Shakespeare’s The Tempest will always be a classic and best left alone.

  9. Chip

    They should make “After Worlds Collide” – which was even more interesting than “When World’s Collide”.

    Somewhere online, someone has written a follow-up novelette on what happens to Earth’s societies after Klaatu & Gort depart, after delivering The Warning. I’m not sure it lends itself to a movie but it shows some imagination beyond just a simple action-packed remake.

    What would really be imaginative is if they made a black & white 1950s style sequel to “Day the Earth Stood Still” with a black & white CGI computer generated Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal and of course, mean old Hugh Marlowe – continuing the story with more twists and turns and maybe, (in the plot manner but not the style or look of Babylon 5,) it turns out that Klaatu’s government is not so pacifist and democratic after all. Maybe even Hugh Marlowe’s jerk character matures and comes off looking better in the sequel. CGI Billy Gray (who played the kid) turns into a fanatic Gort-police-assisting storm trooper. (My, I have a dark imagination – wonder where I get such twisted ideas.)

    Anyway – it would be surprising if the movie industry did anything “philosophical” or “arty” with it, (unless they give the project to the director who made Pan’s Labyrinth.)

  10. Daffy

    TDTESS does NOT requite a remake! On the other hand, the orginal of “When Worlds Collede” was pretty bad. Wouldn’t mind seeing that one done over if they did it right this time (a big if).

  11. Mike, Casablance was already remade, starring David Soul. Yes, that David Soul.

  12. gerrsun

    I see some people who are starting to get old…….

    “Why’d they have ta ruin a perfectly good classic by adding voice? And all that smut, why you could see that woman’s ankle. Oy. What’s the world coming too?”

  13. Shawn S.

    I guess we’ll just have to see who gets attached to do the movie.

    I was upset when I heard that it was likely (even inevitable) that John Carter of Mars would be made into a movie. I then heard it confirmed and sighed until I saw who was doing it. The director of Finding Nemo (highly competent) and the screenplay is done by two of the people involved with the screenplay for Children of Men. I don’t think it’s going to get butchered or made into a kid’s movie. At least I hope. I just don’t want fart jokes in my E.R. Burroughs. Also it looks like they’re keeping it pulp, too. It isn’t going to be a 2007 John Carter, vetern of the Iraq War transported to Mars. At least, as far as I know.

    There are far too many misses than hits in filmland, but let’s just forget the misses and allow them to degenerate into obscurity.

  14. Shawn S.

    Sorry, the book is “A Princess of Mars” and the FILM is “John Carter of Mars”.

    Hmmm… will we be seeing any Pelucidar films? Hollow earth’s cool!

  15. ABR

    Shawn S.,

    Already been done: At the Earth’s Core, 1976, starring Doug McClure as David Innes and Peter Cushing as Dr. Abner Perry. I’ve never sat through it, but ran into a late, late, late night showing and realized what it was when I saw the Mahars. Bleh.

    A remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still? I personally don’t see the need. It would be like doing a sequel to Highlander!

  16. Chris

    Why not get it over with – give it to Disney so they can do 7 Direct-to-DVD sequels?

  17. gerrsun Says: “I see some people who are starting to get old…….
    ‘Why’d they have ta ruin a perfectly good classic by adding voice?'”

    If you watch some of the silents in a restoration approximating their original form, you’ll see that they were right!

    I’ve gone into hock to Kino Video for their magnificent restorations of “Metropolis”, “Frau im Mond”, “The Golem” (no, not the Tolkien character), “Haxen”, etc. For this group, I’d recommend renting “Metropolis” for a viewing since it uses the original score.

    My daughter (13) recently got the ALW version of “Phantom” and plays it day and night. To show her where it came from, I picked up the restored 1925 Lon Chaney version by Image Entertainment. While not as good as a Kino restoration, it was very well done with tinted stock and even the 2-strip Technicolor sequence for the Bal Masque. For the soundtrack you have your choice of an effective new score (composed by Carl Davis) or the original music-and-sound-effects track from the 1930 “talkie” re-issue. The latter is so laughable (especially with some incidental dialog dubbed over which doesn’t match the title cards!) that it’s amazing that Hollywood survived the transition to sound.

    – Jack

  18. Chris C.

    gerrsun: “I see some people who are starting to get old…”

    Yes. And with age comes experience. And experience tells anyone who’s been paying attention that modern Hollywood remakes of old classics are never, ever better than the originals and are almost always a disaster.

    I cannot think of a single example of the remake being superior to the classic. And it’s not just science fiction. The 1970s remake of “The Big Sleep” has been largely forgotten. “The In-Laws” was remade a few years ago — it wasn’t worth seeing. “The Thomas Crowne Affair” remake wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t measure up to the original. And back in SF, who honestly thinks the remake of the original series episode “The Changeling” was improved in its big-budget remake (ST:TMP)?

    The few examples where the remake is what is remembered (e.g. “The Maltese Falcon”, “The Ten Commandments”) worked out that way because the originals hadn’t attained classic status in the first place, but the remakes did. Classic films become classic for a reason, and most modern directors are incapable of turning in the kind of artistry that went into them. As are most directors of any era. Most directors turned out schlock then just as now. The problem is when a director thinks his schlock is better than the art he’s imitating.

  19. YTOguy

    I thought TDTESS would be a great “new” movie if it were done right. I was (briefly) happy when I saw the news about the remake. That ended when I saw that Fox is doing it.

    NOOOOOOOO!!! Anybody but them! They have not contributed anything worthwhile to modern society since The Simpsons.

  20. Not much of a disaster movie if you’re a geocentrist.

  21. “The Ten Commandments” wasn’t really a remake. The silent movie was a present-day melodrama, with a relatively brief insert of Biblical material.

    “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is a pretty terrific movie. /But/ it completely misses the main point of the original short story.

  22. Matt J

    I personally don’t care what Fox does. If they want to re-make an old movie because they think they can make money off it, then let them. Or rather, how the hell could anyone stop them?

    Clearly, there are people who love the original and will be wholly dissatisfied with any attempt at a re-envisioning of the film. And let’s be honest, that’s what it will be, because a re-make implies that they’ll keep the movie premises and runtime similar, which is extraordinarily doubtful. They’ll “update” the premise to correct for things that might seem “outdated” to teenagers who inject Mountain Dew into their carotid artery while skateboarding down a mountain made of broken glass and being engulfed in flames from background pyrotechnic explosions at the X Games.

    There will also be people who didn’t even know the first movie existed, and they will probably like the movie just fine as a good way to be entertained and to keep the kids from tear-assing through the house on a balmy Summer afternoon. These people will also buy the widescreen edition on DVD when it comes out at Wal-Mart because they think they get “more picture” on their TV that way.

    If a new version is made it will include hilarious political commentary about the following issues, which are so timely it will be like barbarians ripped them violently and with lots of blood-sprays from todays newspaper headlines!:

    1. Global warming and the rape of the environment (played by “Gaia” of television’s “Captain Planet”) by the huge hydrocarbon fuel-drenched genitals of evil conservative multinational corporations, muahahahaha!!!

    2. War in general, but specifically Iraq and maybe Afghanistan because the US moviegoing audience generally doesn’t give a flying flip about wars in other countries that we aren’t currently fighting. What’s a “Darfur” or “Sri Lanka,” anyway?

    3. Intolerance, because aliens are naturally peaceful and want us all to love each other and put down our weapons because love is colorblind and even though the remake will be made with colors you should still be blind to them, dammit!

    4. CNN, because Fox doesn’t much care for them. Also CNN is a big fat stupid-head corporation run by poo-poo faced dummies! Nyah!

    5. Consumer culture, because electricity generated by the evil conservative industries powers your TV, computer, and Ipod and rots your mind like sweet, sweet radiation from a hunk of Polonium! There will be extended scenes on this topic when version 5 of the DVD comes out. You know, the one that’s going to be packaged with a TDTESS T-shirt (XXL only) and awesome Gort figurine! Pre-order it or put it on your Amazon.com wishlist now!

    When the various issues in the movie have been addressed, the plot will be further enhanced by CG special effects until every frame practically pops out and beats your retina into submission with a tire iron. A tire iron made of Computer Graphics! And probably the Internet! The result will be an in-your face roller-coaster ride where nothing is as it seems and the tables have turned because now it’s personal!

    The Day The Earth Stood Still – 2k7: Coming soon to every theater we can possibly sell this in and make money from!

  23. Daniel H.

    Personally, I’d hazard a guess that they’re remaking it because they’ve run out of ideas the people that fund Hollywood think will make money. Out of ideas would explain why they’re remaking a lot of movies recently, and why at least a couple of books that were on the reading list 15 years ago when I was in fourth grade have recently been made into movies.

  24. Actually, the 1980s version of the The Thing is superior to the original, but they are two very different movies. I loved the original, too.

  25. Plutocrat

    If it makes you feel any better, the world narrowly avoided a remake of Casablanca, featuring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez as the leads.

    http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/12047914

  26. Matt A

    Somebody mentioned Casablanca 2010 as the nadir of idiotic movie remakes. Two words for you, Mike; Barb Wire. Well, it was allegedly 2017 instead of 2010, but essentially it was Casablanca. Don’t believe me? See http://www.agonybooth.com/barb_wire/
    Or, alternatively, see “Better Than Life” from Red Dwarf Series 2; “They remade Casablanca? Philistines! Everyone knows the version with Peter Beardsley and Myra Binglebat was definitive!”

  27. Ruth

    Another in a long, long line of movies that I will not be watching. They probably think it needs more sex :o/

  28. gazza666

    I dunno if it’s really world crushingly bad. Lots of people won’t see “old” movies; it might serve to introduce the Generation Y lot to a decent sci-fi tale. Maybe even get them to see the original.

    Then again… Hollywood really does seem to be running out of ideas. Rocky Balboa? War Games 2? SOMEBODY must have a decent idea that isn’t a remake or a sequel.

  29. Kaptain K

    Ray Bradbury wrote a screenplay (actually two of them) for a sequel to TDTESS in the early 80s, set 30 years in the future featuring Klaatu’s daughter Klaata. The studio turned both of them down flat as being to “cerebral”!

    Every time I think I’d like to see [book X] made into a movie”, all I have to do is remember what Hollywood has done to other great science fiction novels to backtrack and hope they NEVER make a movie of it!

  30. There are so many good SF stories that could be made instead – how about Arthur C. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End” (the opening scene of which was stolen for “Independence day” but after that it’s a totally different story). Or Asimov’s Foundation books? Anything by Robert Silverberg… I could go on and on.

    As for The Ten Commandments, that’s well overdue for a rehaul – and I’m not talking about the film!

  31. Antonio

    I know that studios have to do a remake in order to extend the copyrights for another 70 years (so there is a chance that this new movie will go directly in the videorental, if ever will be out) so they can make money from the old one.
    I just wonder how they can make today a movie in which scientist are the only one able to save the planet.
    I can just figure the people outside the studios protesting :)

  32. They probably want to change Klaatu’s original message to more closely match Bush’s.

  33. ummm…. you do get “more picture” with the wide-screen version.

  34. James J. Murphy

    I did not see the movie nor do I have any desire of seeing the imaginations coming out of tinsil town. But I do believe the Bible even if others don’t, or are skeptical. Following is a quotation from the Book of Joshua, Old Testament, showing that in fact the Earth did stand still for a day. Joshua 10:12-14.

    12* Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
    13 So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
    14* And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.

  35. MattFunke

    This brings to mind an author’s note that Dean Koontz put into one of his books (though I can’t remember which one at the moment). The novel featured a man who had some supernatural whatsis going on, and satisfied himself with the delusion that its source was an alien craft that was buried beneath a lake in his backyard.

    Now, it’s important to the story that there *was* no alien craft. Part of the story involved the power of this man’s delusion, and his struggle to hold onto it in spite of the evidence.

    Some of Koontz’s books have been made into movies. He’s gotten multiple offers to make this particular one into a film. But every single producer he’s ever spoken to about it — EVERY SINGLE ONE — has had the same line for him: “I like your story as it is, but what if we throw in a creative twist? Listen, this’ll blow your mind: What if there really *is* an alien craft under there?”

    “But there isn’t. That’s the whole point.”

    “But what if there *were*?”

    “What would they do down there?”

    “*Everything*! And listen, here’s the best part: these aliens are like *nothing you’ve ever seen*!”

    Considering that every single producer he’s ever spoken to about this book has had the same “creative” flash, and one that would undermine the story at that, this particular novel has never been made into a movie.

  36. jrkeller

    Let’s not forget that in 2001 Fox also gave us that wonderful TV Moon hoax show,

    Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?

  37. UmTutSut (Sure, why not?)

    >I cannot think of a single example of the remake being superior to the >classic.

    I’d nominate John Carpenter’s “The Thing” (1982). The original “Thing” with James Arness as the alien is a great film in its own right, but the remake is not only better (and a different movie) but also much, much closer to the source material, the short story “Who Goes There?”

  38. uudale

    Greetings. First time poster, love the site.

    Does someone here recall reading or hearing about a movie version of Stranger In A Strange Land starring Tom Hanks? I can’t remember where I read this.

    Movie version of Stranger In A Strange Land? It had better be good, I don’t see how it can be transported from print to screen very well.

    Now that would be blasphemous…

  39. pianomanzero

    My grandmother bought me a VHS copy of The Day the Earth Stood Still when I was nine years old (which I still have, BTW, seventeen years later.). It was the catalyst for my love of sci-fi, which in turn, generated my interest in astronomy and physics.
    I’ve got some conflicting feelings about a remake; I’d love to see what they could do with it in the hands of a good director, but at the same time I’m terrified of how it might be butchered….
    Lords of Kobal, bless us this day…;-P

  40. Boy, I wish we could stop that remake.

    My ringtone on my cell phone is the theme music of that great old movie. You know how it goes “woo woooo, woo woooo…” Well, not like that exactly. It’s hysterical when it comes on. It’s unlike anybody else’s I’ve heard. I recommend it to fans of the movie!

  41. Mark Martin

    My wife’s ringtone is “Tina come get some ham! Tina come get some ham!”

  42. Mapnut

    In the original, we Earthlings were warned by a representative of more advanced societies which occupied every other planet in this solar system. Since that is no longer remotely plausible even to Fox viewers (or is it?), where should Klaatu come from? Why would any far-distant civilization care about us?

  43. Alex Whiteside

    By far the worst (IMO) is the upcoming remake of “The Mummy”. Not so much because they’re remaking a remake, but because they’re remaking a remake which is significantly less than a decade old. Perhaps they’re converging towards a continuum in which Hollywood just makes and releases one film over and over again.

  44. Gary Ansorge

    Remakes? When there still hasn’t been a movie made of Heinliens, Methuselahs Children yet? Sheesh!

    On the up side,,,

    Anyone here familiar with George R.R. Martins series, A Tale of Fire and Ice, (???) beginning with a Game of Thrones, which will be made into an HBO miniseries(12 hours) as announced on Georges site and in Variety. The game plan involves making each of his books in that series into a 12 hour miniseries.

    For really complex story lines with great character development, there’s nothing like the miniseries(see, the Stand).

    I’m drooling in anticipation,,,

    Just to remind folks, there ARE a few people in LaLA land with something more between the ears than saw dust,,,

    Gary 7

  45. Mark Martin

    They’re remaking the Mummy again already? That’s very interesting; in the very early days, movies used to get remade almost as frequently as I change my underwear (often, I assure everyone). It was a very marketable practice- at that time. Naive audiences were satisfied seeing the same thing repeated endlessly. That appears to be the trend again. The target audiences are getting more naive.

  46. Personally, I think it’s more of a travesty that they’re remaking both Revenge of the Nerds and Weird Science.

  47. Well, considering all that’s come out of Hollywood in the last few years, is this lack of imagination really that surprising?

  48. Robert

    You are right. Almost 60 years old and still beats virtually every other science fiction film ever made, with a couple of notable exceptions (2001: A Space Odyssey). What a shame.

  49. alfaniner

    What I really dread is the “hit song” that will invariably be placed in the movie in order to sell the soundtrack. Considering it takes place in DC, it will probably be in the hip-hop style as well, instantly dating the flick.

  50. Kaptain K

    uudale,

    Stranger in a Strange Land is exactly the book I was thinking of earlier when I said I would love to see a movie of [Book X] but shudder to think of how Hollywood would do (butcher) it.

  51. Michael

    What’s wrong with remakes? We’ve been doing remakes since we learned to speak. “Did you hear about what Tommy’s friend Anna had happen yesterday? She was eating an apple and a GIANT worm crawled out and bit her nose! I heard it was *THIS LONG* with red eyes and huge teeth!”

    Not much different than what Hollywood does; take a story, embellish the points that stood out to them, minimize the points they didn’t care for, and stylize it in a way that makes sense to them. Also, they usually try to relate things to the current audience. Sure, I could take a movie like Arthur and make all the subtle jokes and comments sensible to someone in the dark ages, but very few people watching nowadays would get them.

    They’ve done this with a lot of the “older” disney movies I watched when I was a kid. “The Parent Trap”, “That Darn Cat”, umm. . . I know there are others. Anyhow, I watch the new ones and think “This is kinda silly-why’d they need a remake?”, but kids now look at the old ones and don’t understand these silly, old-fashioned concepts, even though I’m only 5-10 years older than them. Or Heidi; how many remakes have there been of that story?

    I understand I’m talking about kids movies, which will necessarily be out of date much faster than an adult movie, but the concept is the same. To me, the new Dune is the same as the old Dune, but I can actually understand the dialog and see the action. However, I’m sure an avid lover of the old Dune could point out a million things that are different in “major” ways that “completely change the story”.

    Now, some movies are just bad, like the new War of the Worlds or Planet of the Apes (seriously–you’re on a world with *talking monkeys* and you want to go home?!?). But just because it doesn’t follow the original book/story/movie to a “T” doesn’t make it bad.

  52. Rand

    Sure, they will probably botch the movie.

    But isn’t it worth that risk to try to get the message of the movie to a new audience?

  53. How do folks feel about Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong? (The recent one, not the 1970s one.) I haven’t seen the original in a while, but I think this version wasn’t bad.

  54. Daffy

    I liked the new King Kong, although the dinosaur stampede was way over the top.

  55. Quiet_Desperation

    I hate to break it to you all, but New Line Cinema owns the current rights to a Forbidden Planet remake.

    Maybe I’m the odd man out here, but I hated The Day The Earth Stood Still. Oh noes! The humans got nukes! Oh woe is the galaxy!

    Klaatu: “Hmm. So I’m going to come to this primitive world, land without warning, and point a menacing device at a line of armed soldiers. Oh, and then I’ll have the nerve to be surprised when I get shot.”

    Way to study your Cliff’s Notes on Earth culture there, space nut.

    >> They probably want to change Klaatu’s original message to more
    >> closely match Bush’s.

    In which parallel universe would *Hollywood* do that?

    >> I cannot think of a single example of the remake being superior
    >> to the classic.

    Some have already mentioned Carpenter’s “The Thing”. I’d nominate Cronenburg’s “The Fly” and Jackson’s “King Kong”.

    How about a remake where Earth pwns Klaatu even in the 1950’s? We can drop a rocket boosted B-52 from low orbit on Gort’s head (if the material is dense enough to withstand that, the robot would sink into the ground) and send Klaatu packing. We’ll work out our own problems, thank you, you alien fascist.

    I guess I’m just more Campbellian in my SF tastes.

  56. Way to study your Cliff’s Notes on Earth culture there, space nut.

    He took his information from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
    Earth: harmless
    (update: mostly harmless)

    J/P=?

  57. Paul

    I agree with Rand… yes, they will probably mess it up, but the message of the movie is a great one, and yet (sadly) it’s almost impossible to get most kids to watch anything in B&W. So I would be in favor of a remake if for no other reason than it will spark a renewed interest in the original.

  58. JayMac

    As a longtime sci-fi fan, I am really disturbed by the idea of remaking “The Day…”. Just look at the remake of The Time Machine. It was horrific.
    If Hollywood wants to create a CGI spectacular, how about Larry Niven’s Ringworld? In my opinion, Niven is the best sci-fi author ever and his finest accomplishment is Ringworld. I could be amazing…

  59. Mark Martin

    JayMac Says:

    “I could be amazing…”

    Always it’s YOU, YOU YOU!!!

  60. Mark Martin

    Paul,

    Speaking of kids + B&W, a few weeks ago I was on a board discussing Schindler’s List, when a 15 year old kid chimed in that it was being shown in class, in pieces, over several days. She complained about how hard it was for her to stay awake during the movie, because as she said, “It was 8:30 in the morning; the movie was black and white. How could I keep my eyes open?”

  61. Melusine

    She complained about how hard it was for her to stay awake during the movie, because as she said, “It was 8:30 in the morning; the movie was black and white. How could I keep my eyes open?”

    Tell her to look for the little girl in red…the one spot of color in the movie.

  62. Mark Martin

    She did want to see the red dress. In fact, she asked someone to give her a landmark, something in advance to let her know the red dress was soon to appear. She somehow figured that, with an advanced signal, she could neglect paying attention and still manage to see the red dress. I pointed out that either way she had to pay attention the whole time.

  63. Quiet Desperation

    >>> She complained about how hard it was for her to stay awake during
    >>> the movie, because as she said, “It was 8:30 in the morning; the movie
    >>> was black and white. How could I keep my eyes open?”

    They should show footage of the death camp liberations. I saw one years ago that showed the lampshades. That’ll wake her cheeky little a** up.

    If you don’t know what I mean by lampshades, shame on you.

  64. Badger3k

    I guess they need to show that the aliens are all atheist-islamofacists who are in league with Bill Clinton and Liberals, and only Bill O’Reilly and the Culture Warriors can save the day!

    Oh, and the aliens are all Teh Gay.

  65. csrster

    Who wants to take a bet that the “Einstein” character from the original becomes a really hot babe in the remake?

  66. MikeNJ

    Let’s see…..

    Klaatu – Unknown pretty boy actor……..or Nicolas Cage
    Gort – CGI (….or Vin Diesel…….)
    Helen – Reese Witherspoon
    Bobby – Hmmm….he’ll be moody and troublesome (because he doesn’t have a dad)……Does Edward Furlong have a kid brother? Get me his agent on the phone!
    Helen’s boss/father figure (new character) – mature minority actor (Morgan Freeman, anyone?)
    Helen’s boyfriend – Ben Affleck

    Boarding house setting and occupants will be replaced by relatives of single mom Helen.
    Her relatives will be Right-wing Republicans who hate gays and minorities.
    One of them will be a closet gay
    Bobby will be a rebellious, outspoken lib/environmentalist/civil liberties-type. He’ll get that from Helen’s hippie-mom who baby-sat him while single mom Helen went to work every day. His idealism will be a point of friction for the Helen character. Of course, Bobby will be acknowledged as ‘truly wise’ by Klaatu at movie’s end. Mom and Bobby will then hug.
    Also, the gay relative will come out of the closet by movie’s end.

    Did I mention that Helen is single? Know who else is Single? Klaatu! See where this is going? Hey! Maybe at the end of the movie we can get a shot of Klaatu’s ship flying away….then the camera will slowly pan to Helen as she gently rubs her slightly-swollen tummy! As the words ‘The End’ appear they’ll morph into a big ‘?’ (Damn, I’m good!)

    Plot: Humans have to be baby-sat…..global warming….terrorism….blah-blah-blah.
    Klaatu sez: Get it together or we’ll seriously kick yer azz.
    Right-wingers, Christian fundamentalists, and Ben Affleck will want to hunt Klaatu down like a dog.
    By movie’s end, Republicans will see the error of their ways and embrace the nearest Muslim.
    And at some point in the movie there’ll be a minority character saying something ‘minority-like’…..”Yo, my man! Gort got some fo-shizzle!”….or “Why you be buggin, dawg?” But it will be acceptable because they’ll be portrayed as ‘folksy and wise’.

    SFX:
    Lots of slow-mo, ‘Matrix’-style, ‘Let’s ignore basic physics’ cgi crap
    Astronauts/hero characters will walk towards camera in slow-motion
    Gort will probably….scratch that: will definitely shape-shift.

    Plot holes:
    Gort walking. You’ve conquered anti-gravity…..so why is he relying on foot-power?
    And if we’re dangerous enough to warrant a visit by Klaatu, then why ask us if we’ll behave? Just deposit a Gort on Earth and hope for the best.

    Reviews: It will suck……..out loud.

    And Michael Rennie and Robert Wise will be asking for more dirt atop their coffins.

  67. MikeNJ

    OOOPS!!!

    Forgot to cast the ‘Einnstein’ character.

    Hmmmmm………..Halle Berry!

    A woman, a minority, AND a babe!

  68. Brian K

    Gort! Klaatu Barada Nikto!!

    And by that I mean, “We must fight the aliens over there, so that we don’t have to fight them here.”

    Sigh.

  69. Irishman

    I generally worry about the quality of SF/Fantasy being converted to movies (or in this case, remade). The right director who understands the theme, meaning, and emotional content of the original can do wondrous things. Like Peter Jackson and Lord of the Rings. (I have not seen King Kong yet, though I intend to.) Unfortunately, good directors for SF/Fantasy are in short supply. The studio executives just don’t get it. They see SF/Fantasy as Action-Adventure movies, and focus on the effects rather than the script, casting, acting, theme, story, or meaning. Thus you get butchery of good material. Scriptwriters thinking they need to improve the original.

    Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters is a perfect example. I read an article from one of the two main scriptwriters on this project. He described the industry bizarrity that went into the making of the film. It started with him and a buddy getting okay from the studio based upon their success in another endeavor. After starting the script, they were replaced. Then Body Snatchers 4 came out, telling much of the story they intended to tell. Finally they were put back in charge of the script, and cobbled up their best attempt to condense the essential scenes of the book into a script without looking just like BS4. The movie had a decent cast (Donald Southerland), and ultimately a script from people who had a passion for the book. But the studio butchered it anyway. The female lead was morphed into a set dressing. Why? Because a studio exec said, “That’s how women in these type of movies are supposed to be.” And that exec was female. In the end it wasn’t horrible, but combine the sabotage with the poor marketing and it was in theaters for maybe a week.

    Or look at Starship Troopers. Besides the infathomable change of deleting the powered armor, thus rendering the battle methodology bizarre and insensible, the project was directed by Paul Verhoeven. Verhoeven is that wonderful director who did Show Girls. He has a pattern of trying to make movies explicitly to challenge Hollywood stereotypes, like being good. That in itself is bad enough, but he is decidedly anti-facist, and determined that Heinlein was obviously a facist and was advocating facism, so he purposely crafted the movie to highlight the facism and then mock it. Thus you get Heinlein’s scenes corrupted to something they were not. You get Doogie Howser as the psychic agent, wearing a black military uniform with jack-boots resembling a cross between a Nazi SS and a Star Wars Imperial Commander. Oh wait, that’s the same thing. You get Sargeant Zim purposely breaking a recruit’s arm just because he can, rather than the break occurring as an incidental occurrence during a hand-to-hand session. That movie should have had Heinlein’s name removed and been renamed “Bug Wars”. The scenes are crafted to create a subtle feeling of unease during what are supposed to be positive moments. It is a well-crafted sabotage.

    Given the track record, I fear any attempt at Stranger In A Strange Land.

    Similar commentary can be made about Eregon. I liked the book, even though it is a bit derivative. It still has a certain charm and creativity to it. However the movie systematically had every element of originality and creativity from Paolini squeezed out of it, until it’s just a mangled hash of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, with some Dragonriders of Pern thrown in for good measure. And maybe a little Dune – the Lynch 80’s movie version. (Can anyone say “Baron Harkonnen”?)

    Actually, the Lynch Dune is a perfect example. I had no clue the first time I watched it, but a few years ago after I read the book, I purposely rented the movie to watch again. It was an amazing experience to watch along and see exactly the scene they were trying to reproduce, and when Lynch went elsewhere. The most striking thing (other than the “Weirding module” insertion) about the movie flow was how the movie suffered from time compression. To squeeze a lengthy epic into a movie format, the scenes play out with the minimal amount of time to get from point A to B. It just feels robbed of the richness of the scenes in the book while appearing to duplicate most of the events. That is very much the way that Eregon felt.

    So no, I don’t have high hopes for the remake of TDTESS.

  70. antaresrichard

    Anyone recall the UK knock-off of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still': ‘Stranger from Venus’ (1954) with Patricia Neal as “Susan North” and Helmut Dantine as “The Stranger”? Then there’s ‘The Cosmic Man’ (1959) with John Carradine as the title character.

    As for me, I’m still busted over ‘Zontar, the Thing from Venus’ and ‘The Eye Creatures’. Who could imagine anyone remaking ‘It Conquered the World’ or ‘Invasion of the Saucer Men’? Travesty, sheer travesty!

    I agree Klaatu’s final line: “Gort, merringa!” We’re outta here!

  71. antaresrichard

    Oops! I left out an article of speech.

    The last line should read: “I agree with Klaatu’s final line…”

  72. Dale Boone

    I’m sitting on a treatment for a sequel for Forbidden Planet.

  73. Dr. Morbius

    TDTESS should not be remade, but there was one SFI remake that was much better than the ’53 original: Invaders from Mars ’86 with Karen Black. Very Scary!

  74. THE EXCELLENT PERFOMANCE OF THE UFO, THE BIG ROBOT WITH NO EYES PARALIZING EARTH AND THE WAY THAT THE ALIENS WANTED PEACE ON EARTH; THOSE ARE THE REMARKEABLE ACTIONS OF THE MOVIE

  75. Nick

    “When Worlds Collide” is a terrible movie, from beginning to end. It takes the premise of the end of the world, strips the characters of all emotion, assumes the audience doesn’t care about everyone else on the planet dying (including everyone who isn’t a white American, incidentally), treats the subject of who gets to escape and who doesn’t in an incredibly cavalier manner (they leave room for A DOG?!) and slaps on a half-baked biblical allegory. The only thing I’m concerned about with them remaking it is that they won’t improve it enough for it to be passable.

  76. mike burkhart

    If they remake the day the earth stood still it will problay be so gorse you will throw up the popcorn you ate like with Jhon carpters remake of the thing or its ending will be pesamistic like the 1978 version of invasion of the body snachers

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