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By Film Threat Staff | June 13, 2001

The principles of Pendragon Pictures are in negotiations with the representative of Academy award winner Sir Michael Caine, to lead the cast of the $42 million dollar WAR OF THE WORLDS, which will begin filming this fall. Pendragon Pictures has also approached representatives of Charlize Theron, and Matthew McConaughey. The international cast will be anchored with British and American talent. Pendragon is also in the process of screen testing national and international news and media personalities as well as newcomers and semi-unknowns. Harry Knowles of fame has agreed to perform a cameo in WAR OF THE WORLDS where he dies a horrible, gruesome death on screen.
Talks are progressing between Pendragon Pictures and Universal Pictures acquisitions for a worldwide distribution arrangement. WAR OF THE WORLDS’ director Timothy Hines emphasizes this adaptation will be serious and hold back nothing when it comes to the darkness of the original story. “I intend to cut the film as NC-17 and resubmit until the ratings board allows an R. This won’t be from gore and violence, which goes along with the territory in WAR OF THE WORLDS, but from the sheer psychological terror that the script invokes.”
Hines balks at criticisms concerning his updating of the material. “Wells wrote WAR OF THE WORLDS in the 1890’s and set it in the 1890’s. He didn’t set it in the 1790’s. He never intended it to be a period story. He meant it to be a contemporary examination of strong and powerful forces rolling over militarily defenseless cultures. We remain completely true to that spirit, and not in a cartoonish way.”
As for issues of updating and technology, “The beloved fans of WAR OF THE WORLDS will just have to wait and see,” says Hines. “I’m enjoying watching the world trying to figure out how we are going to handle modern Earth technology, versus Alien technology conceived in the mind of a Victorian genius. Nobody has even come close to figuring out how we will make it work. But I’m excited as to how people will react when the film opens.”
On the $42 million-dollar budget, which some consider small for such an epic, producer Susan Goforth comments, “Technology is changing so rapidly, no one can speculate from the outside as to what we are doing. It’s an amazing time right now. Every time you blink, something has evolved to a new level. We are taking total advantage of what’s available and at the same time using older technologies in new ways, to bring the best special effects possible to the large screen.”

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