Sunday, 8 July 2012
And Klaatu barada nikto to you too.
I watched the re-make of The Day the Earth Stood Still recently. Pure hokum, of course, but it had the rather solemn-looking Keanu Reeves playing the part of Klaatu, an alien visitor to Earth with an up-to-the-minute eco-agenda on his little green mind. Personally, I much preferred the classic '50s version which spawned the cult phrase, "Klaatu barada nikto" - and yes, you can get it on a T-shirt if you are prepared to encourage that kind of wardrobe. Being a writer, I thought: when will Hollywood stop mining the films and TV series of yesteryear instead of boldly commissioning sparkling new efforts such as my own? You can understand the profit motive, of course. I probably wouldn't have tuned-in to the 're-make' if it had been called something else. But to a man with a personal stake in creativity, and we all have that if we are comsumers of the end product, this kind of re-hashing does smell suspiciously like a con-trick. Perhaps we ought not to stand for it.