SOURCE: Vision Media

December 16, 2008 03:04 ET

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" Remake Shows Earth Not the Same -- Vision.org

The Film's Message Concerning Our Moral Obligations as the Dominant Species on the Planet Need Not Be Cast Aside

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - December 16, 2008) - In an article titled, "The End of the World, Continued," Vision.org examines the storyline of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and director Scott Derrickson's effort to re-invent the classic 1951 version.

With a first weekend box office of just $30+ million, the new "The Day the Earth Stood Still" starring Keanu Reeves fell well short of 2007's "I Am Legend" which opened on the equivalent, pre-holiday calendar. With a similar "end-of-civilization" scenario, "Legend," starring Will Smith, grossed $77 million in its opening and went on to pile up more than $500 million worldwide.

"Alien encounters hold a fascination for us -- and encourage high box office hopes for the moviemakers," Vision notes and asks, "Where would Hollywood be if our cosmic neighbors did mind their own business?"

Set in the present, the film hinges on Reeve's character Klaatu, an extraterrestrial visitor to the Earth, and his relationship with astro-biologist Helen Benson played by Jennifer Connelly. Jaden Smith (Will Smith's son most recently seen in "The Pursuit of Happyness") plays Helen's step son.

In the original version, Klaatu was on a mission to bring peace to our world destabilized by the nuclear arms race and the potential for atomic annihilation. Although nuclear terror remains a potent possibility, Derrickson's remake focuses on humankind's environmental impact. Calling himself a "friend of the Earth," the new Klaatu is just that: he is here to protect the planet from its most invasive species, Homo sapiens.

The article continues, "'The Day the Earth Stood Still' begins by proposing that the human species must be dissolved from the planet. Klaatu is not on a meet-and-greet visit; and he is certainly not here to mind his own business."

"This was a fantastic opportunity to retell it in a way that addresses the issues and conflicts that are affecting us now," Derrickson told reporters including Vision at a pre-release press conference.

Reeves added, "In reimagining this picture, we had an opportunity to capture a real kind of angst that people are living with today, a very present concern that the way we are living may have disastrous consequences for the planet." Continuing in a press release Reeves remarked, "It's holding a mirror up to our relationship with nature and asking us to look at our impact on the planet, for the survival of our species and others."

While the film may not have lived up to early box office hopes, its message concerning our moral obligations as the dominant species on the planet need not be cast aside. "We should not ignore the challenges presented in this film or others that portray sudden environmental unraveling with catastrophic human consequences. Many scientists are agreeing that these possibilities are not just science fiction anymore," Vision.org notes in "The End of the World, Continued."

About Vision:

Vision.org is an online magazine with quarterly print issues that feature in-depth coverage of current social issues, religion and the Bible, history, family relationship topics and insights into philosophical, moral and ethical issues in society today. For a free subscription to the Vision quarterly magazine, visit their web site at http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/default.aspx

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Edwin Stepp
    Vision Media Productions
    476 S. Marengo Avenue
    Pasadena, CA 91101
    Phone (24 hrs): 626 535-0444 ext 105
    www.vision.org

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