War of the Worlds is a contemporary drama series based on H. G. Wells' classic alien invasion novel.

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: In Development

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: None

War of the Worlds - War of the Worlds (2005 film) - Netflix

War of the Worlds is a 2005 American science fiction horror film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh Friedman and David Koepp, loosely based on the novel of the same title by H. G. Wells. It stars Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Miranda Otto and Tim Robbins, with narration by Morgan Freeman. In the film, an American dock worker is forced to look after his children, from whom he lives separately, as he struggles to protect them and reunite them with their mother when extraterrestrials invade the Earth and devastate cities with towering war machines. The film was shot in 73 days, using five different sound stages as well as locations in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. The film was surrounded by a secrecy campaign so few details would be leaked before its release. Tie-in promotions were made with several companies, including Hitachi. The film was released in the United States on June 29 and in United Kingdom on July 1. War of the Worlds received positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, becoming 2005's fourth most successful film both domestically and worldwide, with $234 million in North America, and $591 million overall.

War of the Worlds - Development - Netflix

After collaborating in 2002's Minority Report, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise were interested in working together again. Spielberg stated about Cruise, “He's such an intelligent, creative partner, and brings such great ideas to the set that we just spark each other. I love working with Tom Cruise.” Cruise met with Spielberg during the filming of Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can (2002) and gave three options of films to create together, one of them being an adaptation of The War of the Worlds. Spielberg chose The War of the Worlds and stated, “We looked at each other and the lights went on. As soon as I heard it, I said 'Oh my God! War of the Worlds – absolutely.' That was it.” The film is Spielberg's third on the subject of alien visitation, along with Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Producer and longtime collaborator Kathleen Kennedy notes that with War of the Worlds, Spielberg had the opportunity to explore the antithesis of the characters brought to life in E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. “When we first started developing E.T., it was a much edgier, darker story and it actually evolved into something that was more benign. I think that the edgier, darker story has always been somewhere inside him. Now, he's telling that story.” Spielberg stated that he just thought it would be fun to make a “really scary film with really scary aliens”, something which he had never done before. Spielberg was intent on telling a contemporary story, with Kennedy stating the story was created as a fantasy, but depicted in a hyper-realistic way. J. J. Abrams was asked by Spielberg and Cruise to write the script but had to turn down the film as he was working on the pilot for his television series Lost. Josh Friedman delivered a screenplay, which was then rewritten by David Koepp. After re-reading the novel, Koepp decided to do the script following a single narrator, “a very limited point of view, from someone on the very periphery of events rather than someone involved in events”, and created a list of elements he would not use due to being “cliché”, such as the destruction of landmark buildings. Some aspects of the book were heavily adapted and condensed: Tim Robbins' character was an amalgam of two characters in the book, with the name borrowed from a third. While changing the setting from 19th century to present day, Koepp also tried to “take the modern world back to the 1800s”, with the characters being devoid of electricity and modern techniques of communication. Spielberg accepted the script after finding it had several similarities to his personal life, including the divorce of his parents (Ray and Mary Ann's divorce), and because the plight of the fictional survivors reflects his own uncertainty after the devastation of the September 11 attacks. For Spielberg, the characters' stories of survival needed to be the main focus, as they featured the American mindset of never giving up. Spielberg described War of the Worlds as “a polar opposite” to Close Encounters, with that movie featuring a man leaving family to travel with aliens, while War of the Worlds focused on keeping the family together. At the same time, the aliens and their motivations would not be much explored, as “we just experience the results of these nefarious plans to replace us with themselves”. Although accepting the script, Spielberg asked for several changes. Spielberg had been against the idea of the aliens arriving in spaceships, since every alien invasion movie used such a vehicle. The original Martian cylinders were discarded, where Spielberg replaced the origins of the Tripods with stating they were buried underground in the Earth long ago. Spielberg had Miranda Otto in mind for the part of Mary Ann, but at the time he called her she was pregnant and thought the opportunity would be missed. Spielberg then decided to incorporate Otto's pregnancy into the film, changing the part for her. Lawrence Brown wrote: “Spielberg's decision to present the invaders' fighting machines as having been there all along, buried deep under the Earth, raises questions which did not exist in the original Wells book. In Spielberg's version, these invaders had been here before, long ago, in prehistoric times. They had set up their machines deep underground, and departed. Why? Why not take over the Earth right there and then? Spielberg does not provide an answer, and the characters are too busy surviving to wonder about this. An answer suggests itself - a very chilling answer. The invaders were interested in humans as food animals. When they came here before, humans were very scarce. The aliens left their hidden machines and departed, patiently observing the Earth until humans would multiply to the requisite numbers - and then they came back, to take over. Under this interpretation, all of us - all humans over the whole of history - have been livestock living in an alien food farm, destined to be 'harvested'”.

War of the Worlds - References - Netflix