Actor Keanu Reeves has signed onto Twentieth Century Fox’s remake of the 1951 science fiction classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, to be directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) from a script by David Scarpa.Reeves will be playing the part of Klaatu, a humanoid alien who arrives on Earth accompanied by an indestructible, heavily armed robot and a warning to world leaders that their continued aggression will lead to annihilation by species watching from afar.

The production is looking at a late fall or early 2008 start as a planned tentpole for the studio.

Returning Reeves to the world of science fiction for the first time since “The Matrix” trilogy, plans are to update the original 1951 movie, which was directed by Robert Wise, using the advances in visual effects. The role of Klaatu in the original movie was played by Michael Rennie.

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