Klaatu's (Keanu Reeves) mission on Earthis tied to the spheres that have also arrived on the planet.
Photo credit: WETA.
™ and © 2008 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
PG-13 for sci-fi disaster images and violence
December 12, 2008
Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, Jon Hamm, Kyle Chandler, Kathy Bates
David Scarpa (screenplay); based on screenplay by Edmund H. North
Twentieth Century Fox
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The Day The Earth Stood Still: Klaatu as a Christ Figure
By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer
“I think that everyone’s life as a Christian takes different forms. There are different things that become important to those individuals, and that is the work of God in their life and their calling. For me, it is meaning. I care so much about meaning, what is meaningful,” said director Scott Derrickson.
With this obsession for meaning, is it any wonder that this Christian filmmaker would add in Christian imagery to his new movie?
And should it be any surprise that Keanu Reeves gets to play another Christ-like figure in yet another science fiction film? We have come to know him as Neo in The Matrix series. Now we are seeing him as an alien called Klaatu in Derrickson’s revamped The Day The Earth Stood Still, which opens in theatres December 12.
“I thought the Christ analogy of Klaatu was very strong,” said Derrickson. “I get asked about it at every press conference. At the beginning when they do the DNA sample, the wound in his hand – the stigmata image. He walks on water.”
In several scenes, we see Klaatu able to heal himself of his wounds and even heal those around him. In fact, in one scene of the film, a young Jacob Benson has just been attacked by what look like black nanotechnology “bugs” from the menacing and out-of-control robot Gort. These tiny bugs are crawling under Jacob’s skin and threatening to take his little life. That is when a rather stoic Klaatu lays his hands on the boy and takes the nano bugs into his own body. Thus, we have the cinematic representation of Christ taking on the sin of the world.
Instead of humanity dying for those sins of aggression and violence, humanity lives. But that is only because Klaatu takes care of the sin situation himself.
“I wanted to take on that aspect of the original in that I loved the fact that he [Klaatu] makes a sacrificial death in the end. The final affirmation he is leaving is the ascension – he is not gone; he is not dead. For me, that Christ story of Klaatu is so embedded in the narrative, it is inescapable,” he said.
Visit the official movie site for The Day The Earth Stood Still.
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