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War of the Worlds in our magazines

THE MOVIE: War of the Worlds

Tom Cruise • Dakota Fanning • Tim Robbins • Miranda Otto • Steven Spielberg

Family problems THE CONCEPT:
On June 29, 2005, Earth goes to war, in Steven Spielberg’s latest movie, a contemporary retelling of HG Wells’ Sci-Fi adventure about the extraordinary battle for the future of Mankind through the eyes of one American family who are fighting to survive. On the set of the movie in California, Spielberg and star Tom Cruise spoke about their collaboration in bringing this classic to the screen.

U.S. RELEASE: June 29 2005, Nationwide • Rated: tba


“Twelve years ago [after buying the only surviving script from the radio show], I said, ‘Oh man, this would make an amazing movie.’ And then a bunch of scavenger films came out that sort of picked the bones of HG Wells over the years, and when Independence Day came out, I said, ‘Well, maybe I won’t make it.’ They didn’t pick it clean, and they picked different bones than I would have chosen to pick from the original HG Wells, but that kind of put me off for a while. And then I got interested in it again in the course of trying to find something to do with Tom.”

“It was the best birthday gift I got. Steven read the script first, and he goes, ‘I’m going to send it to you.’ and I was jumping up and down reading it. First draft. It’s just so accurate. War of the Worlds was always a book that I really enjoyed, and I felt that the story could be relevant, all the elements are exciting.”

“I really have great respect for the book, but not to the extent that I would set the movie back in 1898. I was not going to do a Victorian science fiction movie. I feel more at home in today’s world. And I think, in the shadow of 9/11, there is a little relevance with how we are all unsettled in our feelings about our collective futures. And that’s why I reconsidered War of the Worlds, post 9//11, it began to make more sense to me, that it could be a tremendous emotional story as well as a very entertaining one, and have some kind of current relevance.”

“When Steven makes movies they are not rushed, it’s just he works at a different pace that doesn’t compromise story or character at all. We show up on the set and he’s just deadly accurate in his choices and direction. We did a scene in Newark that, when you see the film, we shot in five days. Other directors, I’m telling you, would have taken three weeks to get it, but when you’re that confident and that able, there’s that creative exploration, it’s just alive and really fun.”

“When I first saw Lawrence of Arabia, I thought that was the biggest smallest movie I’d ever seen. It has the most intimate, sensitive, personal, up-close story, and yet it was told against some of the greatest scenes we’d ever beheld in 70 mm. In a sense, I’m not comparing our movie to that movie, because I’ve never made a movie as good as Lawrence of Arabia … yet! But we have a similar point of view.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official War of the Worlds site
Images above © Paramount Pictures
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #654, March 2005 cover

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