Director Steven Spielberg has attended the world premiere of movie War of the Worlds, saying its unpleasant aliens suited this "time of great unease".
Spielberg directed Cruise (right) in the latest version of HG Wells' story
Spielberg and star Tom Cruise were at the Tokyo screening of the latest movie of HG Wells' classic sci-fi tale.
"It seemed like the time was right for me as a film-maker to let the audience experience an alien that is a little less pleasant than ET," Spielberg said.
"Today, in the shadow of 9/11, I think the film has found a place in society."
Spielberg previously portrayed aliens as benevolent explorers in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as friendly companions in ET and manipulative abductors in his US mini-series Taken.
In War of the Worlds, he presents aliens as monsters bent on destroying mankind. Its original 1930s radio broadcast caused panic at a time when many feared the rise of Naziism while the 1955 movie version was made during the Cold War.
Cruise said the movie was more about family values than interplanetary disturbances, however.
"The idea was always about family," Cruise said. "What would you do for your family, how far would you go? Can you protect your family?"
War of the Worlds is released in the US on 29 June and in the UK on 1 July.