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Comic-Con 2008: “The Day The Earth Stood Still” Panel

UPDATED 7/25/2008 AT 6:00PM: has put up their report of the panel.  Read it at this link.


20th Century Fox had stars Keanu Reeves (Klaatu) and Jennifer Connelly (Dr. Helen Benson) and director Scott Derrickson and producer Erwin Stoff present at the panel for The Day The Earth Stood Still.  The studio presented an exclusive first look at the 1951 sci-fi remake, showing three scenes from the film.  Here are some highlights, courtesy IGN:

  • Derrickson spoke of his love for the works of Robert Wise, the director of the original TDTESS, and how he had the opportunity to meet Wise when he was a young film student.
  • Stoff recalled how he first tried to develop a remake fifteen years earlier and had his Speed star in mind for Klaatu even then.
  • The first scene that was screened showed Klaatu being brought to a compound in custody where is interrogated by a government agent. Klaatu, however, turns the tables on is captors in a most shocking manner. He discovers how he can escape from the base, steals the suit from his interrogator and takes out his guards without ever having to lift a finger.
  • Reeves said that Klaatu is contained in a human body and is not as warm or human as his 1951 incarnation. Derrickson said that, as with the original movie, he wanted to keep the story very much in the real world with just a few elements not of this world. He wanted a more organic and different feel than was in the original and less mechanical.
  • Derrickson said Klaatu will discover what it is about humanity that is remarkable, and commended Reeves for his subtle performance.
  • Derrickson also confirmed that Gort would appear in the movie, contrary to earlier Web rumors.
  • The panel then presented an extended clip highlighting the movie’s (still unfinished) special effects. Much of it was seen in the trailer, but the film’s global scope was evident in its scenes in China and Egypt. The spaceship was like a small planet rising from the ocean to wipe the earth clean.

The Day the Earth Stood Still opens December 12.  Click here to read another accounting from the panel (from /Film) and here for another (from

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