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Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Cruise revives War of the Worlds
Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise may also star in the movie
Hollywood actor Tom Cruise has announced plans to produce a new film version of the HG Wells sci-fi classic War of the Worlds.

Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner will make the movie with Paramount Pictures.

The film is scheduled to begin filming in 2003 and Cruise has not ruled out taking a leading role.

The War of the Worlds centres around a Martian invasion of Earth.

The tale, first published in 1898, is considered a groundbreaking piece of literature for its time.

Orson Wells
Orson Welles: His broadcast created panic

Paramount's film chairwoman Sherry Lansing described the story as a "treasure".

"The War of the Worlds is a timeless literary treasure and one of our most exciting properties," she said.

"Since Paramount has enjoyed such tremendous success partnering with Cruise and Wagner, there is clearly no better team to entrust this to."

Cruise and Wagner worked with Paramount on the two Mission: Impossible movies and the recent thriller Vanilla Sky.


In Wells' story, the Martian invaders destroy all human defences only to succumb to the planet's viruses.

The tale was most memorably told by the legendary actor Orson Welles in his infamous 1938 radio broadcast in the US.

The production was performed the day before Halloween in the style of a breaking news report.

But the gimmick was just that bit too successful because it created a panic among listeners who believed aliens were actually attacking Earth.

The upset was only calmed after the news media reported the truth.

A 1953 film adaptation, produced by B-moviemaker George Pal, starred Gene Barry as a scientist who witnessed the fearsome power of the Martians.

Cruise has previously acted as producer on his Mission: Impossible movies and the films Without Limits and The Others, in which he did not appear on-screen.

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