photography has already started on Scott Derrickson’s "reinvention" of The Day the Earth Stood Still, but there’s some eleventh hour casting news to report: Jaden "Son of Will" Smith will play the "rebellious" eight-year-old stepson of Jennifer Connelly’s scientist character. This will be a quite the stretch for Jaden: he’s due to turn ten this July.

It sounds like David Scarpa’s screenplay is incorporating some of the original film’s elements; in Wise’s version, the young Bobby takes Klaatu to see the brilliant Professor Barnhardt, who endures the extraterrestrial’s yammering about nuclear war, the destruction of the Earth and a whole mess of other unimportant stuff. I wonder if they’ve conflated Barnhardt with Patricia Neal’s character. I guess I could track down the script and find out for sure, but I’m just not interested enough in this project to bother.

Keanu Reeves is playing the peacenik alien Klaatu this time out, while Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm co-stars as "Dr. Granier". Kathy Bates will also appear. As Gort. I hope.

20th Century Fox is currently positioning The Day the Earth Stood Still as their big December ’08 release (it’s sitting on the I Am Legend weekend). I bet there’ll be less talking and more ‘splodin’ this time out.