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UPDATED: WAR OF THE WORLDS film, it is really happening

Hey folks, Harry here.... I just got off the phone with Timothy Hines... the man directing this WAR OF THE WORLDS film. This movie is his EVERYTHING... Thus far he's made films on a shoestring and a bit of tape... A virtual one man everything on his films. Having to settle for single takes... Having to make do with little to no budget... Having to deal with shady distributors and hair-raising pressures... But through it all... he's had the dream of WAR OF THE WORLDS.

The first question I had for him had to do with the rights... His investors are willing to face not having the film distributed in Europe due to Jeff Wayne's refusal to sell or share rights on WAR OF THE WORLDS... Where did he get the money? Well, he wouldn't say out right, but he's in Seattle... This is a science fiction film.... There are incredibly rich people that dig science fiction in Seattle... Ahem...

Tim has a $42 million dollar budget to make WAR OF THE WORLDS. He has a script set in modern times, but with a premise of reducing modern society to a Victorian era... in terms of technology. The film will be set around the Seattle area. However, otherwise Tim says that the film will move step by step through the plotlines of Wells' original story... Computers will be used for wire removal and that sort of thing, but he prefers the look and feel of models (AGREED). Explosions and that sort of thing will be a mixture. He is quite proud of his script, which he's sending my way. As for the 'no-name' actors... He is in talks with a major distributor... he's in talks with SAG, but more than anything he's making this movie and doesn't want to be caught in the middle of a strike, if a SAG strike were to occur... but he's looking to avoid it.

When I talked with him about the questions one would have based on his past work... He talked about the zillion different problems with SUPER-LOW BUDGET filmmaking... But folks... Tim is going to be making WAR OF THE WORLDS... It seems that he's going to be busting his balls to make it the best film he can. This is his first time with the big toys... He's excited and ready to have a go at it. They are in the process of renting a 67,000 square foot warehouse in Seattle... and that is where they will begin to make his epic. He had an audition call in Seattle of 600 some odd wannabe actors... looks like he found one out of the group that he can use. He wants to use solid actors, not stars... He wants to make a serious non-campy dead on take of WAR OF THE WORLDS... and folks, if you heard the enthusiasm in his voice... the passion that he had to make this... Well... it is undeniable. And infectious...

I don't know how good this film will be, but I'll tell ya how the script is when I read it... and folks... he's giving it his all... But rest assured, we'll be letting you in on it.

*******************************

OLD REPORT BELOW

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While I was at Cannes last week, Garth over at Dark Horizons broke a story about an alleged WAR OF THE WORLDS project that:

Lensing in September is a new $42 million-budget movie based on the H.G. Wells sci-fi classic which, unlike previous attempts, will be more of a gritty hardcore sci-fi chiller than the slightly campy style of the 1953 film adaptation. One big new thing will be ten-storey tall fighting machines with tentacles and poison gas weapons mentioned in the book but not seen in previous adaptations. Pendragon Pictures will produce the film which isn't expected to star any major actors (thus saving a lot of the cost) whilst the premiere is set for Cannes 2003.

And today, Garth is running pictures of pre-production art from this alleged production. Well... my interest instantly shot through the roof... WAR OF THE WORLDS is one of the all time great science fiction books, radio shows and films..... PERIOD....

And the 1953 version was definitely not CAMP. Anyone that would say that doesn't know the meaning of the word. The original George Pal WAR OF THE WORLDS is nearly perfect in effects, design, story, score, cinematography... Though in the realm of 'accurate adaptation' even George's great film falters.

Many have dreamed of making an up to date, technologically speaking, WAR OF THE WORLDS. In late 1999, screenwriter Peter Briggs related the entire convoluted hell that surrounds WAR OF THE WORLDS. (CLICK HERE TO READ THAT ACCOUNT) Knowing that the film was in the midst of major 'rights' issues... any creation of a WAR OF THE WORLDS film will be highly unlikely... so long as Jeff Wayne is still alive and renewing his European rights.

So... Who is Pendragon Pictures and what the hell are they doing with WAR OF THE WORLDS?

I made a few quick stabs at trying to find out, and learned that Pendragon Pictures is apparently a company formed in 2001 based out of Seattle, Washington. The president is a Susan Goforth, whom I can't seem to find any established credits or history on. And the director listed with the company is Timothy Hines.

Now that's a name I know. You see... Timothy Hines directed a TROMA film called HOUSE OF THE RISING. This is where I began to sniff a rat. So I decided on a hunch to look up PendragonPictures.Com and sure enough.... there was the page on WAR OF THE WORLDS and the company.

On other movies, there was the listing for Timothy Hines' other work.... All grade z direct to video or less features made on the cheap.

I called and left messages on three different phones, but folks... If some how they managed to actually secure the rights for WAR OF THE WORLDS, when Paramount Pictures couldn't.... Let's pray that this film doesn't come about because... well... Timothy Hines might very well not be up to the task. Check out that Pendragon link above, you can see more storyboards and some pics from Hines' other.... work.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 18, 2001, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Maybe they can get this one right

    by Acappellaman

    Independence Day had potential, but in my opinion, there was waaaay too much unnecessary humor written into the script. Between Will Smith's banter when flying against the aliens to Randy Quaid screaming "I'm baaaaaack" when doing his kamikazi run against the alien ship, I felt too much was detracted from what could have been some really touching/tragic scenes in the movie. Oh, and also the fact that a virus written on a Macintosh can infect an alien species' communications transmission, let alone even have a port that would accept the freaking DISC, was too much for my blood. The action sequences were good, but those major flaws just killed that movie. With that said, I hope they can get the War of the Worlds remake right - make it serious. DEAD serious. It'll make a WORLD of difference! I'm crossing my fingers...

  • May 18, 2001, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Everyone knows what the white flag means right?

    by Son Of Batboy

    Oh God please let this "film" die a quick death.

  • May 18, 2001, 10:20 a.m. CST

    War Of The Worlds? Nay! An ID4 remake, methinks!

    by Musashi74

    What's up with this? This is gonna suck hard. Why do they always have to 'update' everything? It would be much cooler if they did a straight adaptation. How cool would it be to see 30 foot tall Martian war machines roaming a 19th century English countryside? Egads...

  • May 18, 2001, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Talk about your small companies...

    by fairfax

    Hmm.. Susan Goforth is listed as the president of Pendragon? Well isn't that interesting.. she's also the star of several of their movies.. heh heh... I wonder if she's the coffee girl too.

  • May 18, 2001, 10:34 a.m. CST

    War of the Worlds

    by human2

    The only movie I would pay to see would be the one set in H.G. Wells' book exactly, which is apparently what this Briggs has done. Victorian era England versus Martian tripod fighting machines, rendered as realistically as possible without Will Smith and Randy Quaid making idiotic one-liners. Please? I'd like to see some action pieces on the streets of London with Martian fighting machines, using the same kind of cinematography as, say, the beach landing in Saving Private Ryan. I would pay full price for that movie ticket.

  • May 18, 2001, 10:39 a.m. CST

    I'm all for it

    by raindog5

    I'm not going to pass judment on a guy that makes B-movies that are meant to be B-movies. He could be more than capable of making this film. I imagine few people thought Sam Raimi could pull off a serious film like A Simple Plan, and that's not saying that this guy has shown the same level of creativity in his films as Sam did with the Evil Dead series, but I've never seen them so again, I won't pass judgement. I'm all for a new director being put out there, and I say this as a War of the Worlds fan. I'm just relieved that it's not being turned over to Michael Bay, Ron Howard, or the guys that did Independence Day and Godzilla.

  • May 18, 2001, 10:49 a.m. CST

    How about...

    by Eirenical

    I'd like to see an adaptation that included the radio show. I mean, a story about people getting freaked out about a story on the radio. Which of course turns out to be NOT REAL LIFE. Duh. Could be boring, but could be cool/funny.

  • May 18, 2001, 11:20 a.m. CST

    "War of the Worlds," from the creators of the sci-fi classic, "B

    by Tuck Kirby

    From their website: "When two women volunteers come out of a cryogenic freezing experiment planned to last one year, they find that over 100 years have passed and humanity has annihilated every living thing in a doomsday war. The women make the best of their world of ruins until a race of spider-like aliens descend from the skies. Assisted by a giant robot, the bugs begin colonizing the earth and converting its atmosphere to an ammonium-methane mixture, which is deadly for humans. When the aliens begin attacking, the women are forced to become warriors. Amidst explosive laser battles, the women attempt to blow-up the alien factories and repel their grotesque enemies in a taught struggle for survival to win back the planet Earth." A "taught" struggle? And these guys want to re-make a classic like "War Of The Worlds?" Well, at least we know they'll keep all the scantily-clad-bisexual-kick-boxing-gun-toting-supermodel action and huge explosions of the originial intact!

  • May 18, 2001, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Somebody please kill this project

    by Roosterbooster

    I want to see a proper Victorian Gothic/steampunk vision on the screen not this abortion. If they won't film Gibson and Sterling's The Difference Engine then WOTW is the next best thing.

  • May 18, 2001, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Absolute Shit, or Merely Relative Shit?

    by Mr. Smegma

    Bud, given what else was available to UHF stations (remember those!?!) in the mid to late '80s, that War series wasn't THAT bad. Had a nice proto-X-Files paranoia vibe underneath all the cheese. But you knew they were getting tight with the dollars when all of a sudden the Martians starting looking just like humans. That and the revolving door cast. And, oh didn't it wind up deep in V land with some lame resistance movement? Always cheap TV there! Run around in caves or near some steam pipes with dirty faces, hide and crouch alot whilst trying to effect the evening's small explosion. Even so, this movie looks to be WORSE.

  • Why do people have to compare ID4 and WotW? Sure they both have aliens that invade the Earth but simularities end there. ID4 was toturous to look at with their friggin one liners and corny ass dialog. Not to mention Will Smith, with his annoying hip hop attitude. Can he play another character other than the Fresh Prince?? Even in the MIB caroon his character is annoying, it's the worst thing about that whole thing. The only thing good about ID4 was the effects... thats it.

  • May 18, 2001, 11:37 a.m. CST

    METEOR SHIT!!!!!

    by Chen_San!

    That's what this film is all about.

  • May 18, 2001, 11:37 a.m. CST

    HARDLY A SCOOP

    by Shelly

    Don't you people read Variety? Obviously not. MOST of us in the industry have known about this project for many weeks now. What a crack up.

  • May 18, 2001, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Its

    by Fred

    a film version of the '70's music album " Jeff Wayne's musical version of the war of the worlds."

  • May 18, 2001, 12:28 p.m. CST

    I love rooting for the underdog

    by cohen

    Come on tim, make a clasic sci-fi film. We'll love you forever. Hell, we'll love you just for trying. -el cohen

  • May 18, 2001, 12:32 p.m. CST

    What is the point of making this movie?

    by Batutta

    When are people gonna stop recycling old stories that have been done to death? Come up with some original ideas! PLEASE!!!

  • May 18, 2001, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Doomed, doomed, doomed.

    by RobinP

  • May 18, 2001, 1:04 p.m. CST

    any gamblers out there

    by The_Black_Hair

    How bout a wager on how many times we'll see someone claiming this is a rip off of Independance Day. I put the odds at 3 to 2.

  • May 18, 2001, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Please, i beg of you, QUIT RAGGIN' ON ID4

    by XTheCrovvX

    All right, let's get this perfectly straight....anybody that doesn't recognize that ID4 wasn't supposed to be nothin' else except your average bad ass summer flick needs to wake up...granted, this serious, sci-fi thriller version of War of the Worlds has piqued my interest, but ID4 wasn't supposed to be anything but straight up fun....i didn't expect anything more than that....God, people, not every movie has to change the damn social structure of the planet....of course, thinking like that is a contribution to why movies like Fight Club and Requiem For a Dream didn't do better, but there has to be a balance between the pseudo-real, and the fantastical...a movie like Dancer In The Dark has to find its niche in the same movie atmosphere that The Mummy Returns occupies in movielover's minds, and vice versa....it can't be all unrealistic mindless fun all the time, and it can't be brooding hyper-realistic darkness 24 hours a day either....if it was, film would get real boring, real quick...think about that before bashing a film for being "not as real as you'd like"....one would think reality is real enough for some people....Revolution is my name....

  • May 18, 2001, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Just to throw in my two cents on this thing...

    by XTheCrovvX

    I'll more than likely check this thing out, but far as i'm concerned, ID4 pretty much nailed down the Flying Saucer Invasion type movie....so, whoever this guy is, he's got some balls for trying, but nobody should be surprised if it doesn't deliver as well as he'd like...

  • May 18, 2001, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Jeff Wayne

    by Redbeard_NV

    Many years ago, I sat with Jeff in the backyard of his Malibu home and talked of animating WOTW, with rotoscoping characters, digital backgrounds and computer generated war machines, even a cool ending tied to the original record. Now, nearly twenty years later, the idea of bringing it to the big screen still survives, but with everybody and his cousin wanting to make it. It's all in the marketing. They were planning a UK themepark called Wonderworld, which would have featured a concert stage made from a full sized replica of a war machine. But, like a bunch of musicans trying to market a new synthesizer, The Thunderchild, it went nowhere without the funding.

  • May 18, 2001, 2:50 p.m. CST

    So let me get this straight...

    by nazismasher

    This had me just a bit confounded for a second. "He has a script set in modern times, but with a premise of reducing modern society to a Victorian era... in terms of technology." Oooooooooooooookaaaaaay. Now, does that mean the film will be set in the Victorian Era or can we expect to see Gansta' Rap go barbershop quartet and Britney Spears wearing a corset?

  • May 18, 2001, 3:23 p.m. CST

    So his private investor(s) might be Bill Gates and/or Paul Alan?

    by Ambrose Chappell

    Cool. Go Seattle!

  • May 18, 2001, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Technology

    by Anduin

    "...He has a script set in modern times, but with a premise of reducing modern society to a Victorian era... in terms of technology..." WTF!?!??! That has to be the most stupid fucking idea I ever heard.

  • May 18, 2001, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Too bad it's not given a Victorian setting

    by Hardyboy

    What many people don't realize is that H. G. Wells was responding to what Cecil Rhodes was doing in the portion of Africa that would later bear his name. . .clearing out land by mowing down tribesmen with a Gatling gun. Wells was appalled and horrified by the genocide brought on by European colonialism, and he wanted to critique it by showing what would happen if a "superior" race (his Martians are pure brain) with superior weaponry should enter the heart of the British Empire. This theme could easily be transferred to film by opening on a tableau of what was happening in Africa before transferring the action to Victorian England. . .but I guess that won't happen.

  • May 18, 2001, 5:13 p.m. CST

    I agree that a film about Orson Welles' Radio broadcast would b

    by Sgt. Bilko

    The inspiration behind it, the hysteria surrounding it, the aftermath...I mean, this could be a great movie. Sure there would need to be a lot of fictional material added...characters perhaps..A family, a small boy, a police officer...Could be a really enjoyable work of historical significance, especially with Reality TV and the state of entertainment these days. I don't know who could pull it off, but it seems like a much more suitable project for a "low-budget" director than what this guy is about to attempt. Of course, whoever plays Orson has got to be someone brilliant.

  • May 18, 2001, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Of course if they don't want to do that...

    by Sgt. Bilko

    I agree it should be set in Victorian England so that its context can really be understood. It was social commentary at the time and many of its themes are still viable story-telling points. ID$...I mean, ID4 had no message or point. I fear that we might, if this route is taken, end up with another Mummy Returns or Knights Tale that doesn't even try to realistically present its setting. I agree it's all in good fun, but 20 years down the road they're going to look silly. Sillier.

  • May 18, 2001, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Eirenical; WotW; ID4 ... and more

    by cripster

    1)Eirenical: probably the best thing done so far along the lines you suggest was the classic Twilight Zone ep "The Monsters of Maple Street." 2)As to the new WotW, personally, I've been hoping for a new version for awhile, but I'm concerned that this will be Hines' first film with a real budget. Maybe he should do a less beloved work (or, Cthulu forbid, something original) with a real budget first. The original film is such a classic (and, amazingly, the SFX still hold up pretty well), but we shouldn't forget that it, too, updated and translocated the original story. So maybe there is hope for Hines' version, but I agree with others here that a film that attempts to be a visualization of the novel would be much preferable. I also agree that it should be as serious as the novel, without the lightheartedness of ID4 or the recent Mummy films. The serious nature of the '50's version is one of the things that lifts it well above the B-(not to mention the C-, D- and Z-)movies of the era. I should say here that WotW is one of my all-time favorite SF films, and by the time I was eighteen (we won't get into how long ago *that* was!) I had seen it at least thirty times (but only on TV ... when's the Special Edition 50th anniversay DVD coming out? ;-). To DrBotonus: apparently, you haven't seen, or have forgotten, this film ... they *did* use a nuke on the martians, to no avail. 3)Comparing WotW to ID4 is just wrong. A better comparison would be between ID4 and a Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan film, with the aliens as the white hunters and Randy Quaid as Cheetah. These films were nothing but an adventurous romp, with simple stories, plots, and characters ... a soda-pop for a hot summer day instead of a fine wine. All of which leads me to ... 4) My personal movie rating system: I use a dual-ratings system. The first I call the "film" rating, which judges a movie along traditional critical lines: plot, story, character, direction, structure, etc. The second I call the "flick" rating, which, basically, is "how enjoyable is the movie?" In other words, the two systems boil down to: "how good is it?" and "how fun is it?" Some examples: ID4 and The Mummy Returns are a bad films, but fun flicks, while at the other extreme is Schindler's List and Requiem for a Dream which are good, but not very fun. The '50's version of WotW falls somewhere in the middle of both scales. Thus, while the five above-mentioned movies are slightly to wildly different, I would give a "thumbs up" to all (though, I must admit, when it comes to actually recommending a movie to someone else, or putting it on a top 10 or 100 list, I always give much greater weight to the "film" rating).

  • May 18, 2001, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Sheesh.

    by Hegemony Cricket

    Okay, I know James Cameron directed Piranha2: Flying Killers. So, I'm not about to give the guy a hard time for making wretched crap. By the sounds of it, really wretched, awful, soul-shattering, crap. But honestly, how can anyone be excited about a movie called WoTW that isn't really WoTW. Sweet Jesus...this is lazy, lazy, lazy sounding shite.

  • May 18, 2001, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Eirenical and Sgt. Bilko

    by cripster

    The Night That Panicked America, a 1975 TV movie starring Vic Morrow, is exactly the movie you are asking for. It is dramatization of the effect that Orson Welles' halloween broadcast of WotW had on a neighborhood. I remember watching this as a teenager and I also remember I thought it a pretty good film. Of course, finding a copy now ....

  • May 18, 2001, 6:46 p.m. CST

    HOUSE OF THE RISING

    by Frank Reynolds

    I'm probably nitpicking a bit, but technically, HOUSE OF THE RISING wasn't a Troma film. Troma didn't produce it, they acquired it for their "non-horror" imprint label, 50th St. Films. I don't even know if the 50th St. Films label is around anymore....I think it was Troma's attempt to go "legit indie" in the mid-90s, when it looked like the future of independent cinema was the Kevin Smith/Ed Burns route... I was working in the Troma office when HOUSE OF THE RISING was picked up...from what little I saw of the film, it looked okay...I remember thinking it was a shame that more wasn't done with it....I also remember they had a hell of a time coming up with a tagline for the one-sheet...

  • May 18, 2001, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Ive been waiting 20 years to see this happen.

    by uullaa

    But now im in 2 minds,should i be exited or scared i think im both.PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do it right.

  • May 18, 2001, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Interesting........

    by SilentBob X

    Could be another ID4 or could be complete shit. Let's hope for the best. The original was good. Kind of like Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, which I saw before WOTW. Finally, that WOTW tv show did suck. But in a funny way(at least to me). And I totally agree w/Harry(I can't believe it either) on the subject of models. They do look better on the big screen than the bloated CG shit that's been floating around these days. Snootch to the Nootch.

  • May 18, 2001, 7:51 p.m. CST

    First SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, Then PEARL HARBOR, Now WAR OF THE WOR

    by Buzz Maverik

    I heard that Steve Buscemi was going to play Hitler, Kathy Bates is going to play Churchill (and the British are pissed even though she's mastered the accent perfectly and lost weight for the part) and Mr. Peanut is going to play Roosevelt. This story follows an elite squad of commandos on a suicide mission behind enemy lines. Steven Segal is Lieutenant John Cholesterol, the hard as nails, akido master commander. Matt Dillon is Long Island, his top sergeant. The grunts: Noah Wylie as Doc, Seth Green as Kowalski, Harry Knowles as Tex, Gov. Jesse Ventura as Hulkster, and Carey Elwes as Philco.

  • May 18, 2001, 8:21 p.m. CST

    best of luck to him...

    by kojiro

    but it probaby would have been a good idea do do something with an actual budget and gain familiarity with the effects he wants to use in War of the Worlds be fore actually doing War of the Worlds. People are going to expect top quality from something that carries the weight of Wells and Welles in its past.

  • May 18, 2001, 9:04 p.m. CST

    AS long as tim burton stays away from it

    by Quo Vadimus

    I almoste crapped myself, when I saw Tim, I missed the part about Timothy Hayes, and I saw tim. Dont get me wrong I love the guy Batman, and Returns, I love, I love bettle Juice, and Edward Scissorhands, I care a great deal for Pee Wee's Big adventure, I enjoyed Sleepy hollow, and will definatly go see Planet of the Apes. BUT I FLAT OUT HATE MARS ATTACKS, and I think he could royaly fuck this up. But I guess Im ramblin cause that isnt gonna happen, ill shut my fat ass now. But Ill go see war of the worlds.

  • May 18, 2001, 10:21 p.m. CST

    The 1953 movie is already out on DVD

    by KingKrypton

    I saw it at Best Buy not long ago. As for this new version...$40 million bucks really doesn't buy as much as it did in the olden days. A new WOTW done faithfully to the book would have to be budgeted at $100 million, at least. This movie sounds too low-budget for my tastes. Additionally, why set it in modern-day Seattle, only to reduce modern-day tech to Victorian machinery? That makes no sense. If Hines wants Victorian-era tech, it should be set in 1890s England, as it was in the book (which is what most on the diehards want to see). If he wants to relocate the story to Seattle, then make it completely modern-day (which would work; the Pal/Haskin film did much the same thing and pulled it off). Don't mess around and give us a lame hybrid. As for Jeff Wayne's musical...it sucked. Why this guy is allowed to clog up the film rights is beyond me.

  • May 18, 2001, 11:02 p.m. CST

    "Ooooooooo-Laaaaaaaa!"

    by Bono

    Does anyone remember the commercial for Jeff Wayne's album that played in movie theaters way back when? It featured some creepy cinematography and very cool walking war machines that resembled the ones on the album cover.

  • May 19, 2001, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Only 12 weeks of model shots and special effects?

    by coop

    I read on that site that they are filming for 18 weeks and spending only 12 weeks on the effects. How can they expect to be taken seriously with a schedule like that? I was assuming that they were going to spend about $5 million on actors, writers, film, permits and bluescreen while spending the other $37 million and a year on effects. This makes me think this thing is going to look worse than the Mummy Returns. I'm all for the little guy, but I'm not going to expect much. Of course if the script is good it'll help but we will see. Good luck.

  • May 19, 2001, 2:48 a.m. CST

    By the way, if anyone's looking for a damn good flying saucer in

    by XTheCrovvX

    There was this episode of the Outer Limits(the Showtime one), about this invasion that happens on the night of Inauguration Day...the new president hasn't even been in his new office yet, and he gets pulled down to an underground military installation to make all the decisions regarding how to deal with the aliens....like whether to take their satellite destroying laser at face value or not, whether to wait after deciphering a message hidden in one of their beams before counterattacking with a joint missile strike with thea U.S. and Russia....the story's handled more like Crimson Tide than ID4, and has a pretty sad ending...unfortunately, i dont know the name of the episode, so i guess, if somebody falls upon it randomly at 2am some night, it's definitely worth your time....Revolution is my name

  • May 19, 2001, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Why...........?

    by Atros

    Set it in modern day? Why? This guy could have the goods and make a great picture, but why do people have to keep changing it? The book is a classic. There is a reason for that. So why change it? How about we have the Lord of the Rings set in 1950's Russia? A change like that would make it even better!

  • May 19, 2001, 6:02 a.m. CST

    No No No No No......

    by ADA

    I hope this project falls through completely! War of the Worlds deserves a proper rendering that follows the HG Wells book, a clasic!! Seatle??!! And I suppose there'll be a love interest, and an annoying CG character for comedic relief!!! Jeff Wayne - sell the rights to a film maker who will do it right.....would be an amazing film if done by Peter Jackson or Ridley Scott......

  • May 19, 2001, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Yep: Also known as Flying Killers

    by Hegemony Cricket

    Maybe you haven't seen the thing overseas...or ever been to IMDB...either way, you're a crack money ppphhhbth :)

  • I wonder if any rich Seattle socialites want to make my dreams come true...

  • May 19, 2001, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Mmmm Dr Clayton Forester....

    by Geekgrrl

    I agree, if the thing is going to be remade, remake it in Victorian England, and make it like the book. We all know how it friggin ends anyway, even the people who haven't read the book. We don't need another modern adaptation of a classic.

  • May 19, 2001, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Ready by 2003??????

    by Monkey_King

    According to the latest Cannes 2001 issue of VARIETY, this film is slated to ready for public consumption(scrutiny) by 2003. They even printed a pic(illustration) from the production.

  • May 19, 2001, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Another thing about updating the time period

    by KingKrypton

    One thing that won't jive if the story is transplanted to modern-day Seattle is the tripods. Think about it. They worked in Victorian England because technology was more primitive back then, and even then their was still an impracticality to them (which I'll explain in a minute). In the present day, the tripods wouldn't work. Why? Because, as anyone who's seen RETURN OF THE JEDI knows, big tanks on legs can be easily tripped up if the opposition has the right tools. Drop a bunch of logs into the tripods' path without warning, and there's a very good chance of disabling more than a few of them, and what are the tripods if not precursors to the Empire's Walkers? Those things could be knocked down pretty easily in any era (provided of course, that the proper tools were available), and in modern times, increased street traffic would present the aliens with severe mobility problems, heat-beams notwithstanding. In a modern-day WOTW, the Pal/Haskin airships or a variation of such would be more practical and logical. No appendages that could be disabled, easier to track aerial attackers, and increased mobility. If the filmmakers want to use the tripods, then they have to set it in 1890s England (with brief segments showing attacks on other nations). If it's going to be modern-day, then the tripods should be replaced with airships. Also, I find it very curious that the studio is being so quick to say that the film will be ready in 2003. Shouldn't they be taking as much time as needed to ensure that the film turns out well? Or is this, like the $40 million budget (which I still think is too low for a story of the scale Wells planned) and the "modern-day Seattle with Victorian tech" idea yet another indication that this film is going to be a rushed hack job?

  • May 19, 2001, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Ever since I saw the 1953 original, I've been thinking...

    by user id indeed!

    ...whaddaya think it'd be like to just be completely disintegrated off the plane of existence? Like when the people get hit, and they freeze, and change colors, and just disappear? Do ya think the soul survived? Would you know if you were disappearing, and would you know you don't exist afterwards? What if people didn't see you get hit? Wouldn't that be awkward? "Hey, whar's Benny, Jimmy?" "I dunna, I hain't a-sain'm saince duh alein-a-diddy-bobs caim what were shooted us!" "Lait's go 'n bay a-lookin' fer um!" "Ur-kay!" Then five days later, they all starve to death! Ha ha ha! Stupid hillbillies! Oh... what was this about? Literature?!? I'll pass. This has been a Moment with User ID Indeed!

  • May 19, 2001, 9:36 p.m. CST

    I want one based off of the novel, goddammit!!

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    I liked the '50's version, it kicked. I thought ID4 was good stupid fun. And I honestly wish this guy luck with his film. I hope it succeeds. But WAR OF THE WORLDS, the novel, was hard core dark gothic Victorian science fiction at it's scare-the-crap-outta-you best. THAT'S what I wanna see up on the big screen! A 19th Century bloodbath of Martian death machines vs the British Army and the Royal Navy, with Oscar-worthy acting, an A+ script and SFX that make TPM look like stick figure theater!! I wanna see Martian nerve gas, desperate artillary barrages, sinking ships, heat rays, hordes of fleeing refugees and empty cities carpeted with bodies from one end to the other!! I want the science fiction equivilant of GONE WITH THE WIND. BRING IT, GODDAMMIT!! It is SO very possible!

  • May 19, 2001, 9:38 p.m. CST

    And FURTHERMORE. . .

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    . . .I wanna see the BBC put it all together!! Awwww YEAH!!!!!!

  • May 20, 2001, 2:06 p.m. CST

    I believe in this director Tim and his WOTW Dream!

    by themightyra

    I have one word to describe this remake which is being make STEP by STEP from the book... "YEEEEEEESSSSSSS!" I hope Tim makes good on his dream and makes a decent film with them ten story tall martian machines, the human blood-sucking alien food part, and the poison gas, and OOH! Let's hope he used the heat ray-not as a beam of light-but like a real life heat ray would look like! Invisible, but you know it's hot, just like looking down a 120 degree highway in Phoenix! The heat "waves." Yes, I hope he makes this work!

  • May 20, 2001, 6:27 p.m. CST

    "Invisible" heat-rays?

    by KingKrypton

    I'm not so sure that would be such a good idea. If you look at all of the varying illustrations based on the book, the heat-rays is always portrayed as a burst of laser fire. It simply looks better than an "invisible ray." If the movie has "invisible heat-rays," the audience is either going to be wondering, "What just made that building/ship/whatever blow up?" or "Did they forget to add the lasers in post-production?" It just doesn't make for a good visual. Showing the heat-rays as red lasers simply works better from a visual standpoint.

  • May 20, 2001, 9:30 p.m. CST

    'Updating' sucks

    by Lord Shell

    A victorian age WOTW done right would be a dream come true. This is not. The overriding themes in the book were the analogies to British colonialism. So what the hell does modern-day Seattle have to do with that? Plus, giant walking war machines might be horrifying before armored warfare, but are ridiculously quaint in modern times. Sigh. This is probably gonna blow, but I'll hope for the best.

  • May 20, 2001, 9:33 p.m. CST

    It should take place in the UK in 1898

    by swordofmorning

    The Movie should take place in the time and place its intended, and thats the United Kingdom in 1898. Its a critique on British Imperialisim. I want to see tripods fighting it out with British Dreadnaughts and artilery batteries. I want to see a tripod go down under a hail of twelve inch shells. I want to see ships sliced up by laser fire. I want to see panicked troops fleeing gas. I want to see hordes of refugees. I want to see Tripods kicking apart London. Seatle! Seatle was a crappy western town in 1898. Making it modern society but victorian technology makes no sense. The society is based on the technology. If I ever become rich enough to shell 42 million dollars out to directors I like I'll make them do this movie right.

  • May 21, 2001, 4:29 a.m. CST

    The original story has legs

    by DrX

    I know "creatives" always want to put their tuppenthworth into the mix but why not just tell the story in the correct timeframe. George Pal did a great job with the 1950's film and I think we all love those flying machines - but there is noting wrong with doing the story in Victorian britain. You could still do all the modern tech stuff with the martian machines and it would be a good contrast with the victorians technology. Modern Seattle is only in the frame because of cost. Thats the only reason I can think of. I imagine the world will be saved by some computer geek with a virus. As if! May I humbly suggest reading Leage of Extraordinary Gentlemen with is just about to deal with War of the Worlds - if Mr Moore finishes it. The tone is perfect. Also I would like to see The Difference Engine made.

  • May 21, 2001, 3:40 p.m. CST

    New WAR OF THE WORLDS - You guys are missing it.

    by LIGHTTROOPER

    I'm amazed how many people have opinions about Tim's movie without knowing anything about it. I worked as an electrician on some of Tim's productions and he's a gifted and conscientious filmmaker who has done amazing things with little money. You all are missing what he's trying to do with WOTW. In the first place, as I understand, he's updating the material because H.G. Wells wrote it as a contemporary story. H. G. Wells didn't set it in the 1790's. It was never meant to be a period piece. Second, Tim's setting it in the U.S. because as a few have pointed out here, the story is about imperialism and Britain is no longer a factor in this issue. The U.S. is. And for all you screaming for a period movie with Kenneth Branagh, does anyone remember his version of FRANKENSTEIN? I think Tim is going to make a smashing dark movie. He's been working on his script for years. I know they are planning it to be R rated.

  • May 21, 2001, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Lighttrooper. . .

    by Hardyboy

    I agree with you that people shouldn't bash a film that hasn't even been made yet; but I have to take issue with your contention that because Wells set his novel in the "present" (actually, he didn't--it's set a few years into the 20th century, which was the future to him) it's OK to set a movie version in OUR present. My Ph.D. is in Vic Lit (hence the "Hardy" in my screen name), and I've always been surprised that Wells is hardly ever considered a product of or commentator on his own times. He's usually typed as a visionary, and people forget that he was a bed-wetting socialist who tried to address societal issues through his "scientific romances." Unfortunately, when filmmakers get hold of his books, they too often try to transfer the kewl Wellsian ideas to the screen and forget everything else he was writing about. If this director can do justice to Wells's THOUGHT, I'll probably like the movie--even if it is set in modern-day Seattle (just destroy a few Starbucks, OK?). But WHO are the Americans wiping off the globe right now? Will the Martians in this new film be destroying people just to secure their own oil interests? OK, those are my two pence.

  • May 21, 2001, 8:43 p.m. CST

    How exactly are we "missing" it?

    by KingKrypton

    The book was only "contemporary" in the sense that Wells was writing for the time period he was living in. The story was intended as a jab at the British treatment of the Zulus by making the British the people who were being conquered and killed. As such, if Hines is so gung-ho about "following the plot" of the book, then why isn't it being set in 1890s England? Granted, Pal and Haskin played a bit fast and loose with the story, too, but they had the Cold War as a political backdrop to fall back on. There was still a political allegory going on, which we don't have in the present day (current politics are far murkier and less defined; with the Cold War the political lines were more clearly drawn). Also, I fail to see the point of setting the story in a modern-day Seattle reliant on Victorian-era tech. To me, that's an oxymoron. If it's going to be modern-day, then the tech should all be contemporary to this era. If Hines wants to change the time frame, fine. Just don't give us a half-baked "modern-day Seattle with Victorian tech" shtick. Give us a full-tilt period piece or update the story entirely.

  • May 21, 2001, 9 p.m. CST

    Lighttrooper

    by swordofmorning

    Your wrong, it shouldn't be updated just because the United States is the only major Imperial power. It shouldn't be updated because the Tripods could not defeat a modern military, a cruise missiel for each Tripod would do the trick. And if I understood the press release right and they are doing modern society and victorian tech that just doesn't make sense. Keep it all victorian or all modern.

  • May 21, 2001, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Some things don't need to be remade

    by Solaris

    War of the Worlds is one of them. This reminds me of when they remade "Invaders from Mars" back in the 1980's. The movie sucked, the studio lost millions, heads rolled,there was a wringing of hands, a gnashing of teeth, and . . .well, you get the point. In the vast world of Sci Fi and Fantasy, can't anyone honestly find NEW STORIES TO TELL??? Any remake of War of the Worlds is destined to end up as a feature of the month on the "Oh the Humanity" website. This baby will flame like the Hindengburg.

  • June 1, 2001, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Modern technology reduced

    by Lora23

    Ok folks, here's the deal: The martians have us all figured out before they get here...They have technology that renders All of our technology useless. Get it?...Cars won't start, Planes won't fire up, computers shut down etc. Thats what Tim means by: "script set in modern times, but with a premise of reducing modern society to a Victorian era... in terms of technology." Lora Oliver Producer/Bug Wars "President" and "Coffee Girl" Escape Entertainment