Bringing the Text to Life
This week, 20th Century Fox will release a remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. You’ve probably already seen the ads for it. The story is about a humanoid alien named Klaatu, played by Keanu Reeves, who arrives on Earth accompanied by an indestructible, heavily armed robot named Gort.
In the 1951 version of the story, Klaatu was a kind of Christ figure, arriving on earth with a message of peace, staying among the common people, dying at the hands of soldiers but later being resurrected. On Earth, Klaatu used the name “John Carpenter,” reminiscent perhaps of Jesus as the carpenter’s son. It’s expected that the new version of the movie will essentially follow that same line. In fact, the director, Scott Derrickson, is a professing Christian.
In the original film, before leaving the earth by spaceship, Klaatu steps out and speaks to the assembled scientists. He tells them that the earth’s proclivity for violence, coupled with this planet’s first steps into...