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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
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

Getting a grip THE CONCEPT:
Earth finds itself at war in Steven Spielberg’s contemporary retelling of HG Wells’ Sci-Fi adventure about the extraordinary battle for the future of Mankind, seen through the eyes of one American family who are fighting to survive…

U.S. RELEASE: June 29 2005, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


“I thought why can’t I try my hand at the kind of film that Ridley Scott made when he did the first Alien, which is one of my favorite scary science fiction movies of all time. It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do. I told Tom that I had wanted to do War of the Worlds every since I read the book in college, before I actually became a filmmaker. It’s a great story, it’s a great piece of 19th Century classic literature, it began the entire revolution in Science Fiction and fantasy in my opinion, Jules Verne and HG Wells, and it was something I really respected when it was first made by George Pal in 1953-54, and I just thought we could make a version a little closer, a litter darker, toward the original novel.”

“I love how Steven Spielberg deals with families in his movies. I find them to be very real, unique. I’ve always personally wanted to be a father growing up, and when we started talking about the story I couldn’t wait to play this character.”

“I know in Close Encounters, because I wrote the script, it was about a man whose developing obsession and a kind of psychic implantation, drew him away from his family, and with only looking back once walked onto the mother ship. That was before I had kids; that was in 1977. Today I would never have the guy leaving his family to go on the mother ship, I would have the guy doing everything he could to protect his children, so in a sense War of the Worlds does reflect my own maturity in my own life, growing up and now having seven children.”

“I think it’s supreme arrogance to think that in all the universes, that we’re the only [inhabitants]. I personally am a very practical person, unless I meet them one day, I don’t know. Of course when we were on the set all of us would go, ‘Okay, the aliens are going to come down here,’ and we’d be very intense in between the takes, and then we would all look at each other and go, ‘Aliens, ooohhh.’”

“I have hope for the future, which is why I’m probably not the best person to tell a story that leaves you with nothing to hope for. I tried to make it as open for interpretation as possible without having anybody coming out with a huge political polemic in the second act of the movie. I think there are politics certainly underneath some of the scares and some of the adventure and some of the fear, but I really wanted to make it suggestive enough that everybody could have their own opinion. But I certainly gave you enough rope to hang me with.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Paramount Pictures
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #659, July 2005 cover
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