Keanu Reeves Signs Up for "The Day The Earth Stood Still"

by Paul William Tenny

the-day-the-earth-stood-still.jpgSome old science fiction "classics" are great, while some aren't. By now, most of them have been written and rewritten and revisited and rewritten yet again. While The Day The Earth Stood Still hasn't been seen for quite some time, the parable of the film has been explored to death in what seems like every single year since it debuted on the silver screen. Alien comes to Earth, warns humans to stop doing crazy things like firing off nuclear weapons at each other. Not so much for our benefit, that theme was well explored even when Stood Still had its day in the sun.

The twist in this feature is a threat: don't bring your nukes and your aggression into space, or the galactic community will wipe you out before you can blink.

Not a subtle message and given the threat of nuclear annihilation that has mostly subsided, I don't know how well this theme will play out set in the here and now. We've still got nukes and we're still threatening to use them, but for the most part, nuclear weapon testing has come to an end. Those that have the technology know pretty much everything they need to know and don't need to test. Those still developing them won't test for fear of being wiped off the map by the rest of us, forget about intergalactic messengers of doom.
The screenwriter for this project is David Scarpa, who only has a single credit to his name on IMDB, that being a film I've never heard of from 2001. You can take that one of two ways; he's a rookie and might be ready for a breakout script, or he sucks and got lucky. I don't judge, but I have no problem evaluating talent and how that talent will play into the quality of an upcoming film. Scarpa is a virtual rookie, and usually that isn't a terribly good sign.

That said, I'm looking forward to this film. The theme, even if well played, is still a pretty good one, and I've come to like Keanu Reeves quite a bit. Pretty decent in The Matrix, really good in Constantine. The boy is making a name for himself in the science fiction/fantasy realm, and why not? It never plays as bad in theaters as nay-sayer's would have you believe. Given a chance, this stuff plays as good as anything.

Reeve's just signed up for the project over this past weekend, which probably means that 1. this is what will get the movie made; 2. it won't be hitting theaters until 2009 at best. Well, at least they've got a long time to make it a good one.


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