War of the Worlds: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, which just got an accelerated green light from Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks, is likely to reteam the director with VFX whiz Dennis Muren and Industrial Light + Magic.
Producer Kathleen Kennedy is already beginning negotiations with the Northern California effects house, and Muren is likely to oversee the job, with Paramount exec Mark Baski supervising for the studio. As it happens, Muren was in Los Angeles this week taking meetings while also attending Siggraph, the annual computer graphics confab.
The shot count for "War" has yet to be determined, but it is not expected to be as large as some recent summer films. Minority Report, overseen by ILM's Scott Farrar (while Muren worked on The Hulk), contained about 400 shots, while Artificial Intelligence: AI, on which Spielberg and Muren last collaborated, had close to 300 shots.
If ILM does land the job, the timing would be fortuitous: The facility has nearly completed work on Paramount's Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and is looking at boards for shows with late-winter/early-spring starts.