Movie Picture
War of the Worlds: As production rolled out this week for the Steven Spielberg directed reimagining of the sci-fi classic, The War of the Worlds, tons of fansites have been keeping up with the latest paparazzi buzz and the photos they've been taking.

CLICK HERE for a bunch of high resolution images of Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg and more on the set!

CLICK HERE for even more pics and a ton of info on the production!

CLICK HERE for even more photos of the set and crashed casr props here.

In addition, Saratogian.com has some recent info on the production schedule at the beginning of December...

Paramount Pictures is seeking 1,000 extras for a Steven Spielberg production of H.G. Wells' classic thriller, 'War of the Worlds.'

Filming will take place Dec. 6-9 in Athens, about 25 miles south of Albany, on the Hudson River.

A casting call for extras will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday at the Athens Community Center.

'It's not a remake. It's a contemporary version of the movie,' said Athens Deputy Mayor Andrea Smallwood.

Most filming is taking place in metropolitan New York. One scene requires a waterfront setting where people flee onto a ferry trying to escape invading aliens.

Site scouts scoured the Hudson Valley for such a location and settled on Athens, Greene County, several weeks ago, Smallwood said. In the early 20th century, Athens was a vibrant river community with ferries crossing to Columbia County on a daily basis. The old Athens ferry slip is still intact.

'They're bringing in a 168-foot ferry,' Smallwood said. 'People will run down Second Street onto the boat.'

'The scenes are at night. It will be cold.'

Filming will begin at 3 p.m. each day and last well into the night.

This marks the second time that Athens has been chosen as a movie set. In the late 1980s, scenes for the film version of William Kennedy's book, 'Ironweed,' starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, were shot there.

Smallwood said 'War of the Worlds' is due for release next July. 'It's on a fast track,' she said.

Extras will be paid $80 per day, and only adults are sought for such spots. Interested people should arrive at the Community Center early with a photo of themselves.

Smallwood said a contract between Paramount and Athens has been drawn up, and is just awaiting formal approval. She said the village doesn't get a large monetary payment, but that there is a significant economic impact, even if it's only for a short-term basis.

On Nov. 15, about 20 pre-production people will start preparing the site for shooting. During filming, about 200 production people will be on hand, not counting extras. Movie companies have been known to pay property owners considerable sums for letting them set up lights and make minor exterior changes to homes.

Spielberg's take on the movie is set in modern-day times.

Paramount released a previous version of the movie, starring Gene Barry, in 1953.

The book by H.G. Wells, written in 1898, is a science-fiction tale about Martians invading Earth. On Oct. 30, 1938, a broadcast adaptation of the story caused widespread panic throughout the United States when people who tuned into Orson Welles' Mercury Theater On The Air thought they were listening to a real alien invasion.

The only invasion this time is by Paramount crew members, and Smallwood said local residents are thrilled with the project.

'Everyone's pretty excited,' she said. 'It's a great thing to happen for the village.'

In H.G. Well's 1898 novel, "The War of the Worlds," he invented the myth of invasion from outer space. Martians land near London, conquering all before them, and ruin the metropolis; the fate of civilization and even of the human race remains in doubt until the very last. "The War of the Worlds" is disturbingly realistic both because of its setting -- Wells bicycled the route the Martians take on landing -- and because of its characters: the superstitious curate, boastful artilleryman, and enterprising medical student are believable if not sympathetic figures, as well as signifying types of fin-de-siecle change and vision.

The film is scheduled for release in 2005.