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 Post subject: How Spielberg Won The 'War Of The Worlds'
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:21 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:01 pm
Posts: 1259
Location: UK
It's a dream Steven Spielberg - a man who feels so strongly about such things that he named his company DreamWorks - has long cherished: Earth's destruction by really nasty aliens.

A fan of H.G. Wells' seminal science-fiction novel "War Of The Worlds" since his college days, the director of "E.T.," "Saving Private Ryan" and the Indiana Jones trilogy has wanted to make an up-to-date movie version of the 1898 book for at least a dozen years.

"I wanted to do a much more sober look at what it would be like if this event actually happened," the acclaimed filmmaker says. "I had been planning to do this picture for a number of years. Before I started a screenplay, I started an idea for a theme park attraction for Universal Studios but was not able to acquire the rights from Paramount."

But that studio, which produced the well-regarded, 1953 "WOTW" movie, was more than eager to let Spielberg direct a state-of-the-art film version. And it didn't hurt that Tom Cruise came along as the star of the package. Indeed, delays on another Spielberg project and Paramount's Cruise franchise entry "Mission: Impossible 3" enabled the long-gestating "WOTW" to come together with unusual swiftness late last year.

Equally attractive for studio, star and director, Spielberg and Cruise loved working together on their previous sci-fi collaboration, "Minority Report."

"Tom spreads a kind of team spirit to everyone involved," Spielberg says admiringly. "I mean, this guy could win NBA championships if he coached any basketball team. He's a total inspiration, let alone being a great actor."

Unlike previous versions, which include Orson Welles' 1938 radio play that panicked much of the nation into believing we actually were under extraterrestrial attack, we learn more about Cruise's narrator character, who now has a name (Ray Ferrier) and two children of his own to save. Tim Robbins, Dakota Fanning and Miranda Otto fill out the cast.

"I think it's more scary when you see through the eyes of characters you like, and certainly want to see survive, than see it from what I call the Hollywood Eye-In-The-Sky point of view," Spielberg says.

Was that a swipe at the popular but superficial "Independence Day"? Or Tim Burton's jokey "Mars Attacks," maybe? (Spielberg notes that his aliens aren't Martians, since that would not be believable in the light of today's scientific knowledge). "Signs" had characters -- but very little in the way of big-scale scares.

The director of "Jaws" and "Jurassic Park" assures us that, human's-eye view or not, he's not about to skimp on massive special-effects mayhem.

"The aliens are really trying to re-terraform our planet to configure it to their own environment. There's a lot of CGI in this movie; it's got the most effects I've had in a movie in a long time."

There will still be the massive tripods and icky tentacles associated with earlier incarnations of the story, too. But what, you might well ask, happened to the friendly space cases of Spielberg's earlier "E.T." and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"? After exploring so much of humanity's dark side in films such as "Schindler's List" and an upcoming feature about the aftermath of the Munich Olympics massacre, has Spielberg lost his boyish hopefulness?

"I still look at the sky, and all I really see is hope and life. But as a filmmaker, I wanted to step out of those beliefs and, basically, change my character, as actors are often allowed to do."


ARTICLE HERE : http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/entertai ... 486552.htm


Lee
Eve Of The War Webmaster
http://www.eveofthewar.co.uk
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