Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise will bring The War of the Worlds remake to the big screen, with Cruise expected to star. David Koepp, whos film Secret Window just came out, will rewrite a Josh Friedman first-draft script based on the classic H.G. Wells alien-invasion novel. Read on for more on this amazing news!
Variety reports that Depending on how quickly the two (Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise) get a “War of the Worlds” script they like, the sci-fi epic could start in late 2005. Spielberg is now completing work on “The Terminal” with Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
David Koepp will rewrite a Josh Friedman-penned first-draft script based on “War,” the classic H.G. Wells alien-invasion novel.
Cruise and his C/W Prods. partner Paula Wagner set up the pic at Paramount in May 2002. DreamWorks will come aboard as a partner, now that Spielberg is involved.
Cruise and Wagner will produce, and it is likely Spielberg and DreamWorks Pictures co-heads Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will be involved in that capacity as well.
“War” became permanently etched in American culture when Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater performed the story on radio in 1938 and ignited a nationwide panic when listeners didn’t realize it was fiction.
H.G. Wells wrote “The War of the Worlds” in 1898. In addition to the Mercury Theater radio production, the book inspired a 1953 film starring Gene Barry and Les Tremayne.
Producers have been toying with “War” for many years. David Brown persuaded Paramount to commission a script by Anthony Burgess during the Barry Diller regime, but the project didn’t gel. Years later, Brown pitched it to Spielberg, resulting ultimately in the development of a related story, “Deep Impact.” But, the Wells story was again sidetracked.
The emergence of a Spielberg-Cruise pairing gives Paramount another opportunity to alter its image as the town’s most cautious studio, and instead show it will step up for occasional swing-for-the-fences projects. Studio recently engaged Robert Rodriguez to write and direct another sci-fi classic, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1912 novel “A Princess of Mars,” which is being prepped by Alphaville’s Jim Jacks and Sean Daniel. Par’s also signed Charlize Theron for sci-fi fantasy “Aeon Flux” and Adam Sandler for “The Longest Yard” in a Sony co-production.
As a scribe, Koepp was the go-to guy for Spielberg on the first two “Jurassic Park” films. He also proved adept at large-canvas fare with “Spider-Man” and its sequel, and he most recently scripted and directed the Johnny Depp starrer “Secret Window.”