Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, ...
Credit: War of the Worlds: Frank Masi

We’re dying to see ”War of the Worlds”


WHY WE CAN’T WAIT (Steven Spielberg + aliens) x Tom Cruise = Us + bucket of popcorn

THE PREMISE Mars attacks — and divorced dad Tom Cruise is unlucky enough to be at the epicenter, along with kids Justin Chatwin and Dakota Fanning (left).

SOURCE The 1898 H.G. Wells novel

THE BACKSTORY As with the notorious Orson Welles radio version, Spielberg updated the story to set it in contemporary New Jersey. ”I never thought of doing it as a period piece at the turn of the century,” the director says. ”It just wasn’t an interesting way to go. I just can’t stand the styles of that time.” Still, he promises, fans of the book will see familiar sights, like the alien tripods and the red weed growing everywhere.

BURNING QUESTION Spielberg and Cruise’s previous sci-fi collaboration, 2002’s Minority Report, barely earned back its production and marketing costs at the box office. Will this one be a hit?

COME FOR The epic spectacle

STAY FOR The intimate family drama. ”It’s not just a movie about aliens,” Cruise insists. ”It’s a story? about a dad and his kids and their struggle to survive. It’s really a very small, emotional movie.”

War of the Worlds

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 117 minutes
  • Steven Spielberg