Directed by Fred M Wilcox, “Forbidden Planet” is considered by many to be a classic in the science fiction genre. It was the first sci-fi film that let fans see humans travel faster than the speed of light which is a mere 186,000 miles per second.
The film was MGM’s first big budget science fiction film and is part of Gene Roddenberry’s inspiration for Star Trek. The film is also recognized by the American Film institute for its groundbreaking electronic musical score by Bebe and Louis Barron.
In the 23rd century, Cmdr. J.J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) guides United Planets cruiser C-57-D on a rescue mission to faraway planet Altair-4. Twenty years earlier, Earth ship Bellerophon disappeared while en route to Altair-4. Only the ship’s philologist, Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), survived; in the intervening decades, Morbius has created an Edenlike world of his own, for the benefit of himself and his nubile young daughter, Altaira (Anne Francis).
His private paradise is zealously guarded by Robby the Robot, a piece of technology far in advance of anything on Earth. When Adams and his crew land on Altair-4, Morbius announces that he has no intention of being rescued and returned to Earth. When Adams attempts to contact home base, he finds that his radio equipment has been smashed by some unseen force. Holding Morbius responsible, Adams confronts the scientist, who decides to tell all. At one time, according to Morbius, Altair-4 was populated by the Krel, a wise, intellectually superior race. Using leftover Krel technology, Morbius has doubled his intellect and gained the ability to shape a new world to his own specifications. (Source)
This film is long overdue for a remake and we think that the time is now. From the mind of Brady Goldsmith and the artistic vision of Studio Ronin, “Forbidden Planet” could see the light of day and take us all on a dark, futuristic journey. Take a look at the teaser trailer they have put together and then check out what Brady had to say when we spoke to him about the project.
BLURPPY – We just watched the teaser for your version of the 1956, sci-fi classic, “Forbidden Planet” How long have you been working on this remake and what drew you to it?
Brady Goldsmith – Forbidden Planet is such an important piece of cinema history, specifically for the Science Fiction genre. I mean, who didn’t fall in love with it when they first saw it? So much of what we see and love today is directly because of Forbidden Planet, both in it’s design, and it’s scientific approach to real world problems.
Albeit, they were considerably otherworldly problems, but they were rooted a sense of reality as we know it. Such as the rise of artificial intelligence as seen in Robbie the Robot, the distance and disintegration of a relationship between father and daughter, the good hearted protagonist against the power obsessed antagonist, the overwhelming love and passion of a woman that’s never seen another human being other than her father, the great rise and the condemning fall of an advanced civilization, and the depth and darkness of the subconscious mind used as murderous intent to keep the secrets of the planet safe from outsiders- Forbidden Planet had everything, packed into one brilliantly mastered sci-fi package. It’s certainly one of my favorite films from that era. Being that as the case, I’ve always wanted to revitalize everything that Forbidden Planet represented, while bringing a newer age sense of life to it. I myself have been working on the re-envisioning of the classic film for little over two years now. The entire thing started with a script that my father and I had put together as a kind of passion project, and it kind of just went from there.
Blurppy – How does your story compare to the original? Where does it stay the same and where does it venture into a different direction/ is it a remake or a completely different version that references the original in some aspects?
Brady Goldsmith – I can easily say that eighty percent of the concept is on par with the original, and that’s because so much of the original is extremely important, and vital to the overall plot point. So much of its story has power in its principle, which, still applies to us, both individually and as a species today. In other ways, its only a slight variation of the original, as to better tell the overall more important plot lines of the original. For example, Commander John Adams is a father figure in our version, rather than an intricate part of the love triangle that forms between he, Altaira, and Jerry Farman.
Though Altaira tries to put the moves on Commander Adams, he maintains his core structure of wanting to be a strong, more resounding roll model of a human being, while keeping what he can of the overall situation under control. Robbie the robot is still very much the same, he has only been upgraded in the sense of being rooted in a bit more realism, both in the storytelling sense, but in a world that has changed much since the 1950’s. That being the case, Robbie looks a little different, however, all of his key features remain the same, such as his voice, and much of his facial components. You cannot do Forbidden Planet without having something is iconic as Robbie the Robot, and having such that it still, in some way, connects you back to the 1956 film, while creating something new and fresh that can capture new interest. It’s a careful balance. Robbie is also more present in this version, and much more important to the overall story. One of the more challenging things that I had to consider when writing this re-envisioning is that, because of modern science and advanced technology, we’ve discovered that the star known as Altaira has no habitable worlds, or rather, no worlds at all. So, I decided the best course of action was to invent a new system, rather than draw from what we know. This way, all integrity is maintained because its originated in total fantasy, being that the system itself is completely made up– if that make sense.
The new Krell home world is called Zycie-4, being that it’s apart of a large system simply referred to as the Zycie System. Zycie-4 has two moons, Reven and Adonis, and the home world itself is, if anything, is far more beautiful than the original. Here’s another major change. If you’re a fan of the original film, at this point you may be asking, “then why is Altaira named Altaira, if you’re changing the home world, being that it matched the star with the same name (Altair-4)?” Well! In order to maintain continuity, Altaira was born while on board the Bellerophon as it passed by the star known as Altair, thus, her name, however Altair was never the destination. Another such example can be seen early on, as the C57D and its crew are sent to Zycie-4 under direct comment to investigate an emergency beacon sent from a recently lost research and mining vessel. This actually acts as the major backbone to the drama that is Forbidden Planet, mainly because now the crew of the C57D, and more specifically that of Commander Adams, have to uncover the mystery as to why this vessel was there in the first place, and how it was destroyed. This, all being significantly important because of the internal data recorder still somewhere in the wreckage. That alone is further fuel to drive Dr. Morbius to drastic measures to keep the secrets of Zycie-4 safe, and, his power there intact. One more example that I think is very important, is in two facets. One being the Krell. The Krell are vastly overhauled to better portray the perfect advanced civilization. This was amplified specifically to enhance the understanding that, being that the Krell were essentially perfect, they still had a way to fall, and the parallels that it seems to the human race. (We also have a very unique way of explaining how it was that the Id came to be) The Krell were always portrayed as giants, which in this, they’re not quite giant. They’re nine to fifteen feet tall, and much of the underground Krell facility is the same, only bigger. Massive underground networks and cities beneath the surface of the world above, all of which operate by thought, much like the original when connected with the Krell super computer.
This is what brings me to the second major plot point change. When Dr. Morbius takes his daughter Altaira and descends into the bowels of the Krell underground, intent on getting to the system core, Commander Adams and some of his men are left to deal with an extremely hostile Robbie the Robot. Yes, Robbie has what’s called a “threat mode” (despite them being told he’s completely harmless), and he uses it at the request of Dr. Morbius. Once this hostile situation is quelled, and, all the while the infamous Id creatures are trying to break into the compound, Commander Adams proceeds in a daring chase into the depths of the Krell underground in the attempts of rescuing Altaira. Now, while you read what we’ve done, you should notice that everything is opening for Commander Adams, doors, etc. This is all despite him not being connected to the Krell super computer, so, you are forced to ask yourself “why is this happening? Why is he almost effortlessly catching up to Dr. Morbius?” You realize at the end that Dr. Morbius, much like the proof positive that the subconscious has everything to do with the story, as well as the creation of the Id– he subconsciously wanted Commander Adams to stop him, which, paints Dr. Morbius in a greater light, only truly visible in the last moments of his life. These are just to name a few, there are a lot more, and I can easily talk about this for days.
Blurppy – The original musical score was nominated for an Academy Award, do you have plans to keep that an integral part?
Brady Goldsmith – You know, I thought about that, heavily. It was extremely iconic, and I believe it was the first synthesized score at the time of the films inception. However, the one thing that needed to be maintained throughout this envisioning of the story is the darker, more brooding mystery and thus, I feel like the score should be overhauled– in a sense. Aspects of the original can be kept, but what must be kept in mind is a movie is only as strong as its musical score. Words are just words when they’re read, but when their spoken, they have emotion and attitude attached to them, in a sense, to direct the course of a conversation. Music does the same for film. Music has everything to do with the tone of the film or story, and thus it becomes extremely important to nail this down. For the teaser trailer, I specifically chose to go with the Johan Johansson score from the film Sicario, because when you hear it, its three things right out of the gate. Its foreboding. It’s mysteriously alluring. And it’s powerful. These are all feelings that I want the reader or viewer to feel when experiencing this Forbidden Planet.
Blurppy – We absolutely LOVE the collaboration with Studio Ronin. How did this come about?
Brady Goldsmith – That’s a great question, and I have to start out by saying, Studio Ronin is absolutely amazing. The work that they do, is unrivaled. I stumbled across Studio Ronin while wanting to further my horror epic, The Book of Gray, by having it illustrated as a Graphic Novel. I had always been looking for an artist to tackle that story, given its very dark and werewolf based themes. It needed something unique, and dreary, and yet something that can be very beautiful. Christopher Shy’s artwork was a perfect fit, I mean, it was the art that I was looking for, and right away we hit it off. I’m extremely thankful to have worked with Christopher at Studio Ronin, and we’re still working together presently on other projects, not just Forbidden Planet. But, while we were working together on The Book of Gray and few other properties, I started sharing with him the vision I had for Forbidden Planet, and the script that I had written. He immediately became interested because he too was such a fan of the original film. From there, it all just fell into place.
Blurppy – I have to agree, Chris’ work has a dark, ethereal tone to it that is eerie yet intoxicating. We absolutely love how he had re-imagined Robby the Robot. Where are you at with the project? What are the next steps?
Brady Goldsmith – Well, we’ve reached the point of completion with this teaser, which we all agree came out exactly the way we wanted, in every respect. The content of the teaser isn’t quite what the script portrays, but it’s definitely the feeling and tone that we want, and its certainly enough to hook you right away. We’ve been actively trying to get it noticed by Warner Brothers being that they are the present rights holders to Forbidden Planet, and chosen to do so by going viral. It’s extremely difficult to communicate with any of the powers that be in the motion picture industry, and going viral was our next best thing. We’re actively exploring all options in getting Forbidden Planet into the right hands, and we will continue doing everything that we can, however, I have to ask…if there’s anyone out there who can lend us any further support, the assistance would be greatly appreciated. We’re dedicated to this project, and seeing it through until completion. It isn’t about the money, it’s about good story telling. It’s about bringing back to life a film that was vitally important to multiple generations that followed in its wake. We just want to share what we’ve done. If there’s anything you can do, or anyone you can direct us to, please help us get noticed so we can make that happen!
Blurppy – How can fans follow or stay up to date about this project?
Brady Goldsmith – The best way is to follow our Forbidden Planet project is via our Facebook page, Studio Ronin: Forbidden Planet. Any and all updates will be posted there.
Our fingers are crossed that this project gets major attention from the studios. This film is RIPE for a remake and this version looks and sounds absolutely incredible. Huge thanks to Brady for his time and Christopher/ Studio Ronin for the amazing images.