War of the Worlds: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Newcomer Justin Chatwin is in negotiations for a coveted role opposite Tom Cruise in Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, an adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel for Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks.

Chatwin beat out several young actors for the part, which casts him as the son of Tom Cruise's character. Their strained relationship is a significant plot point in the film, sources said, though the script has been closely guarded.

Dakota Fanning is on board to play the daughter in the family, and Tim Robbins and Miranda Otto recently signed on for parts. DreamWorks and Paramount are co-financing "War," a contemporary adaptation of the 1898 novel.