Pendragon Pictures has announced that they’re moving up the release of their version of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” from summer 2005 to summer 2004.
Having just completed live-action photography of his sci-fi action movie “Chrome,” director Timothy Hines explains the “War of the Worlds” schedule change. “For me, “Chrome” opened up better ways to make a large-scope fantasy film. On the “Chrome” shoot, we had partial characters, virtual characters and miniature characters, all composited into amazing fantasy settings of the future. We took advantage of the new technologies for special effects and pushed the boundaries. What we discovered in making “Chrome,” we are applying to “War of the Worlds,” allowing a streamlining of the production and bringing us there sooner than we had originally planned.”
Set in England at the turn-of-the-century as in the book, Pendragon Pictures’ production of “War of the Worlds” will be an accurate translation to the screen. Their previous modern-day version of “War of the Worlds” was abandoned due to the events of September 11th. The majority of fans supported Pendragon Pictures’ actions, though some were displeased.
“Some people wrote us to say they thought we were giving in to the terrorists by shutting the picture down,” reflects producer Susan Goforth. “What they didn’t know is that our updated version had scenes with people jumping from burning buildings and planes falling out of the sky. Portions of the script were so close to the WTC attack, I don’t think the world would ever have accepted that version. There is a staggering amount of interest from all over the world in our production of “War of the Worlds.” Overwhelmingly, people are supporting our decision to set the picture in the correct time.”
Director Timothy Hines adds, “In light of recent and ongoing world events, and with the urging of respected Wells supporters like Charles Keller, director of the Wells Society, I am convinced it’s the only way to do it. It was the first extraterrestrial story and still, over a hundred years later, the most revered by the world.
“There is a great deal of responsibility in getting it right. “War of the Worlds” is the perfect egg of a story. It has everything–suspense, terror, action, alien invaders and the test of humanity’s ability to survive under unimaginable opposition and aggressive force. I will not get in the way of the material. A studio executive expounded at length to me how the story needed modern changes and would require some amount of ‘derivative homage’ to the previous film version. “War of the Worlds” doesn’t need to be rewritten or embellished. Those who think that are missing the story somehow or haven’t read it. It has held up over a hundred years for a reason. It works. Period.”
We’ll see if Pendragon Pictures’ “War of the Worlds” works in 2004.