The Day the Earth Stood Still Movie Poster

Trivia for The Day the Earth Stood Still

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  • The design of GORT is similar to his original portrayal in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), but GORT is now a biological form, rather than mechanical, as Scott Derrickson considered some extraterrestrial races would develop advanced biological forces, instead of technology.
  • The orb was supposed to be filled with white limbo light, but Director Scott Derrickson felt the concept would then be unoriginal, and changed the color to greenish, a more appropriate color for an environmentally conservative race.
  • Renowned astronomer Seth Shostak was hired as a consultant on the film. He reviewed the script several times for errors, and gave suggestions for making the scientists less dry: "Real scientists don't describe an object entering the solar system as 'notable for the fact that it was not moving in an asteroidal ellipse, but moving at nearly 3*10 to the 7 meters per second'. More likely, they would say that there was 'a god-damned rock headed our way!'" He also noted the scientists should refer to one another by a first name basis.
  • The DVD and Blu-ray release of the film came packaged with a disc containing the original classic. This is a new disc, and does not contain any special features.
  • According to the filmmakers, John Cleese was the most difficult choice in casting, as he was primarily noted for comic roles. Cleese felt that at his age, a dramatic role with subtle humor would be an easier role to play, rather than another manic old man.
  • The film was primarily filmed in tones of green and blue, the Earth's natural colors.
  • The film was released on December 12, 2008, which was Jennifer Connelly's 38th birthday.
  • Keanu Reeves was Producer Erwin Stoff's first and only choice for the role of Klaatu.
  • When Jacob is watching television at Professor Barnhardt's house, it shows various pictures of riots from around the world. One shot shows actual riot footage from Serbia on October 5, 2000, the day Slobodan Milosevic was overturned. A large crowd is in front of Serbian Parliament. Smoke is visible, because part of a building was on fire.
  • As part of the German (and probably too in other countries) promotional campaign, advertisements changed the title of the film to include the name of the city where the ads were published (for example, "The Day Cologne Stood Still").
  • Keanu Reeves recorded the line "Klaatu barada nikto" twice, and one recording was played backward and spliced with the other (which was left normal) to make the overall dialogue sound more otherworldly.
  • "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates is the short story, upon which this film is based.
  • The filmmakers thoroughly enjoyed working with John Cleese, and were sorry when shooting was finished.
  • According to Keanu Reeves, in the original, Klaatu was an alien WITH a human body, while in this film, Klaatu is an alien IN a human body.
  • The words "Klaatu Barada Nikto", which are in the original 1951 film, spoken by Helen Benson to GORT the robot, has featured in many other productions, for instance, in Army of Darkness (1992), Ash must speak it, to stop the undead army from appearing.
  • Klaatu uses the phrase "tipping point", which is a climatological term meaning the point at which the reversal of climate change becomes impossible. Some scientists believe that this has already happened.
  • The computer game Jacob Benson (Jaden Smith) plays is World of Warcraft (2004).
  • Jennifer Connelly was Scott Derrickson's first choice for the role of Helen Benson.
  • As in the 1951 original, Klaatu was going to travel in a spaceship, but Scott Derrickson wanted the extraterrestrial aspect of the film to be more mysterious, and replaced the ship with a glowing orb.
  • The joysticks, used by the Drone pilots during the first air raid, are modified versions of the Saitek X52 Flight Control System.
  • The toll-free number seen on television to report seeing Klaatu, is 1-800-472-0391, which is actually NOAA's National Weather Service Alaska Weather Information Line.
  • Scott Derrickson was an ardent admirer of science fiction film director Robert Wise, and had wanted to remake The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) since 1993.
  • Jaden Smith's father Will, turned down the lead, which became Keanu Reeves' for The Matrix (1999).
  • Self-replicating robots are the Holy Grail of Nanotechnology Research.
  • Helen drives a Honda hybrid, an appropriate vehicle for a heroine in a movie with an environmental message.
  • John Cleese says he is not interested in extraterrestrial life, as he often philosophizes about the purpose of life, and why humans are distracted by trivial matters.
  • In the original movie, GORT was eight feet tall. In this film, he is 28 feet tall.
  • The coordinates for the "impact location" that appears on the big screen (Latitude 40.75136, Longitude -73.98712) falls on the The Haier Building, 1352-1362 Broadway Avenue, at the corner of West 36th Street, in midtown Manhattan. The building used to be the headquarters of the Greenwich Saving Bank from 1833 to 1981.
  • The initial description of the ship in the briefing near the beginning, is very similar to the way Rama, in Rendezvous with Rama (2003), is initially described, including the name of the Agency that detected it, and the manner in which the object was moving.
  • Kyle Chandler's character's last name is Driscoll. He appeared in King Kong (2005), whose lead character, played by Adrien Brody, had the last name Driscoll.
  • This movie is rich with Oscar winners and nominees, directly or indirectly associated with this movie. A quick glance reveals; John Cleese for A Fish Called Wanda (1988) (Nominated); Jennifer Connelly for A Beautiful Mind (2001) (Won); Kathy Bates for Misery (1990) (Won); and Edmund H. North (original 1951 screenplay) for Patton (1970) (Won).
  • In 1980, when Sherry Lansing became head of production at 20th Century Fox, she announced that she would be remaking "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with Nicholas Meyer.
  • Italian censorship visa # 102232 delivered on 4-12-2008.
  • Jon Hamm plays the "Hugh Marlowe" type character from the first "The Day the Earth Stood Still"(1951) even to the point of giving Jon Hamm's character the look & haircut
  • The name is only used once, as the acronym G.O.R.T., which stands for "Genetically Organized Robotic Technology", assigned to the robot by the military and scientists.
  • While traveling in a car with Klaatu, Jacob Benson remarks that his father would have fought the alien visitors. Benson is played by Jaden Smith, whose father notably battled extra-terrestrial invaders in Independence Day (and policed them in the Men in Black franchise).
  • The double engine helicopters seen in the beginning of the film (transporting the scientists) is the MH-47 / CH-47 "Chinook". The Marines used to call them the 'sh**hook'.


  • In the final scene, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge can be briefly seen from the point of view of Mrs. Macquarie's Point - the same park used for the final scene of Keanu Reeves's other science fiction apocalypse story, The Matrix Revolutions (2003).
  • The line "Klaatu barada nikto" from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), was re-used in this film at Keanu Reeves's insistence. In both films, the line is used to stop Gort from attacking the humans. It is also the same phrase that Ash from Army of Darkness (1992) must say before he removes the Necronomicon.
  • WILHELM SCREAM: Heard when Gort breaks out of the military facility and the metal door crashes on top of multiple soldiers.
  • In the original, Klaatu instructed Helen to say the famous line "Klaatu Barada Nikto" to GORT in the event of his death, which she did. In this film, Klaatu himself says the famous line to GORT shortly after arriving on Earth, after being shot by the Army.
  • The bridge under which our heroes shelter during the finale is the same bridge sheltered under by the heroes of Cloverfield (2008) in that film's finale.
  • Klaatu used the famous line, "Klaatu Barada Nikto" twice in the movie. At the beginning, after he is shot by the military, to stop GORT from hurting them, and then at the end of the movie, when Klaatu touches the sphere and says, "Klaatu Barada Nikto" to stop GORT, who now is in the form of the Nanobots, from destroying the world. Once he touches the sphere and says, "Klaatu Barada Nikto", the nanobots all die.
  • GORT's trademark eye beam is used twice in the movie. The first time, to cause all electric to go out in the area, when Klatuu is shot in the beginning of the movie, and the second time to destroy the two drones, and the sidewinder missiles, that they launched to try to destroy him.
  • In Harry Bates' short story "Farewell to the Master", upon which the movie is based, the last line revealed a dramatically different angle. It reads: "'You misunderstand,' the mighty robot had said. 'I am the master.'"
  • The military group guarding the base where GORT was being analyzed is Whiskey Task Force. Presumably, it was specially created for dealing with unknown threats by someone with a sense of humor, giving it the initials WTF.
  • In the original 1951 film, the earth's electricity was only disabled for 30 minutes as a demonstration. In this film, the world's electricity is shut off permanently when the sphere deactivates the nanite swarm, per Klaatu's warning that there will be a price to the modern human way of life.
  • The stadium seen being eaten by the nanite swarm is the Giants Stadium, which was located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Opened in 1976, it was demolished in 2010 to make room for the new MetLife Stadium.
  • Klaatu Barada Niktot This phrase is used in movie Army of Darkness .... Although character forgets the lines ..
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