The Day the Earth Stood Still


klaatuandgortdepartThe Earth first stood still over 50 years ago, when from out in space came a Warning and an Ultimatum.   And on December 12, it’s halting again for a remake.

So what does this have to do with math? Two things.  The first (which is the one that initially led to this post) is that one of the people in this Friday’s film is 10-year old Jaden Smith.  And do you know what is favorite subject is?  That’s right, math.  Thus says People magazine, after an interview with him last night at the New York City premiere:

“It’s math,” Jaden told PEOPLE at the New York premiere of Earth on Tuesday. Why math? “Because I’m good at it,” he added.

And the second reason, which I only discovered while trying to find out if anyone else in the movie also had math as a favorite subject, is that there is an Actual Math Equation in this movie.  Apparently there’s a chalkboard scene with John Cleese (who plays Professor Barnhardt), which Director Scott Derrickson referred to in this interview on SciFi Weekly:

Derrickson: It’s a real math equation about a real significant high-physics theory about the universe, and we tried to be truthful to the scientific aspects. I just did an interview with Discover, and the interviewer was really surprised at little things in the movie, but that being the biggest one. We had an astrophysicist who worked with Keanu [Reeves] and John. I still remember watching them for quite a long time. I don’t remember where we were in the production, but for quite a long time in a room working out the back-and-forth of that, and then we added material to make it longer at one point … just to get that kind of flow and rhythm to it. I didn’t have much to do with that. I’m just remembering, because it was really Keanu and the math guy, the theoretical physicist, and John Cleese. The three of them just kind of figured that out, and I saw it and thought it was fantastic.

And fantastic it is.

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