Looks like after letting the project percolate for quite some time, Fox is raring to go on their remake of Robert Wise's 1951 sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. And who'll be playing Klaatu -- the strangely human-looking alien who visits earth with an important message AND a massive robot? None other than Neo himself. According to Variety, Keanu Reeves signed a deal over the weekend, which means this remake is officially working in hyper-drive.

The re-do will be directed by third-timer Scott Derrickson, who really displayed his sci-fi chops on The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Hellraiser 5: Inferno. Nah, I just kid the guy. Fox must have seen something in his reel to warrant this kind of responsibility, so I'll lay off Derrickson for now. The fact that Fox is remaking such a classic film ... hell, it seems kinda pointless to rail against the machine now that War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, Psycho and Halloween have all been remade. Sigh. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that it's one of those "Hey, better than I expected!" remakes instead of one of those "Ugh, I just knew it would suck!" ones.

Variety also indicates that screenwriter David Scarpa (The Last Castle) will be on adaptation duty. Good luck Dave! You're remaking one of the classic sci-fi screenplays (written by Edmund North, based on the story by Harry Bates) for your second assignment! Ah, and get this part: "The 1951 film's premise, a response to the rise of the Cold War after WWII, is being updated, and the film will use advances in visual effects." As if we thought they would actually stick with the original themes and laser-buzz special effects.

Previous reports on this project are available here and here. And since Fox looks to be fast-tracking this one in advance of "The Strike," you can expect more reports soon. (Release date: May 8.) And Keanu is easily as wooden as Michael Rennie was, so I don't see a big problem in the casting department. (Just kiddin', Keanu!)
categories Cinematical