Latino Review had the chance to sit down with Scott Derrickson, director of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" remake coming out this Friday, and they discussed spiritual undertones, DVD release and CGI effects.
Here are some clips from the interview.
Do you see any sort of spiritual or religious undertones in the original or with your remake?
Derrickson: I don't think I would say yes to that question as you posed it. I don't think there's spiritual or religious undertones. There's no question that there's a strong Christ allegory in the character of Klaatu. That was something that was in the original, that he's kind of this Christ figure. In the original he literally dies and is literally resurrected. I liked that in the original film. He was called Mr. Carpenter and a lot has been made of that aspect of the original. That's part of what attracted me to the story. It fits this genre, this tale and I certainly don't think that it's something that should've been discarded. I don't think you could discard it. I don't think you can extract it from the story really. So I like that aspect of it and it's intriguing to me, but I don't think too much about it or try not to make too much out of that. I just think that's an interesting part of the story itself.
Was it hard for you to direct the scenes that are really CGI heavy?
Derrickson: Yeah, it was hard. It was something that I hadn't done before and had to really learn how to do it. I did a lot of research in the years before doing this film. I was hoping to move into bigger filmmaking because I like these kinds of films and so I knew theoretically a good amount about visual FX technology and what could be done and how it was being done in various films. But it's a whole other thing to actually do it. It's a lot of work.
Why did you guys leave out a back story for Gort because in the original they talk about building these guys to keep them in check. In the remake though we don't really know a whole lot about him except that he'll attack if Klaatu is getting attacked. Can you talk about that?
Derrickson: There's a short answer and a longer answer and I'll try to give you the short answer and the short version of the long answer. The short answer is that it wasn't in the script that was sent to me. To get it in there would've been a pretty massive thing, to put that into the story that was already written that I thought was a good update and a good adaptation of the original. However, it was something that I really considered because it's an incredibly cool thing. It's an incredibly cool idea from the original, the idea of these kinds of global cops. I liked that idea too. I talked about this earlier, but I still to this day cannot reconcile that philosophically. I have real problems with what that means in terms of the themes of the movie and what it has to say. I've done a lot of remembers and so I don't know if I've said this, but the thing that impacts me about the ending of the original is that's really a movie that's critical of war. It's a pro-peace movie and it's been accused of being a fascist movie because of Gort and because of the ending.
Do you have plans for the DVD?
Derrickson: There are a lot of plans. I don’t know what all of them are. I'm not working on it, but I know they're compiling a lot of stuff. I have to keep approving material, saying, 'Yeah, you can show this.' I'm just approving everything, like, 'Yeah, show whatever you want.' They wanted to know if it was okay to show all the bad versions of Gort that we were working on.
Go to Latino Review to check out the rest of the interview about Gort, religion in the film and possible other sci fi remakes.
"The Day the Earth Stood Still" comes out Dec. 12, 2008. Enjoy!