According to Creative Screenwriting‚s Gavin Hartnett, The War of the Worlds coming from DreamWorks on June 29th 2005, will not be the only version of this movie hitting the movie screens this year. In fact, three months before, Timothy Hines and his Pendragon Pictures will be releasing their version of The War of the Worlds on March 30th, 2005. If you are scratching your head, let Mr. Hines explain.
"We approached DreamWorks with our version before they had thought of doing a version of The War of the Worlds. Tom Cruise announced his intention to do a version a full two years after ours had been publicly announced in Variety with a half page ad. We were about ready to shoot when Steven Spielberg signed on, and two thirds of the way through filming when Cruise and Spielberg dropped their other projects and decided to fast track a version out. Needless to say, we received a hefty blast of cold wind."
The magazine goes on to state that this wasn‚t the only problem Hines and
Co. encountered. Wanting to tell a "period accurate" version of the famed H.G. Wells story, there was constant pressure from the production powers that be that he modernize the script. He and partner Susan Goforth did and then 9/11 happened.
"Some of our financial people were directly involved in being at Ground Zero. Also, our updated screenplay frighteningly mirrored many aspects of the 9/11 attack."
This tragedy actually afforded Hines the ability to tell his story the way he originally intended.
"We convinced our remaining investors to let us move forward with the production in it‚s original period setting."
So it seems like we will have a very interesting box office battle on our hands. In one corner we will have DreamWorks with their $128 million dollar movie which is also starring and directed by arguably the worlds most popular actor and director. In the other corner is Timothy Hines and his 8 figure passion project.
Despite many hurdles, Creative Screenwriting reports that Hines is undaunted and in fact quite optimistic.
"This is the first time The War of the Worlds will be brought to the screen in it's original context and setting. As far as I know, this is the first time any Wells novel has been adapted with such accuracy. People who have never read Wells will find out for the first time why the passion for his novels has lasted over a hundred years."
With all the Multiplexes and time between the War releases it seems there just might be room for two tentpole movies to stake a claim.