Published On: Sun, Nov 24th, 2019

War of the Worlds MOVIE: Director Steven Spielberg’s shock admission about film version | Films | Entertainment

The War of the Worlds TV series will air the second of its three parts tonight as the small screen adaptation continues to grip viewers on BBC One. Elsewhere, H.G. Wells’ dystopian novel was previously made into a sci-fi classic under the watchful eye of Steven Spielberg back in 2005. Now, an unearthed conversation between the director and James Cameron reveals Spielberg’s surprising admission about the movie.

In the book James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, Spielberg addressed the way the film ends, announcing: “The film doesn’t have a good ending.

“I could never figure out how to end that darn thing,” he told the Avatar director.

“I don’t think H.G. Wells could figure it out,” Cameron replied. “The common cold takes out the bad guys.”

Explaining his own struggle with wrapping the story up satisfactorily, Spielberg said: “I did the same thing. I had Morgan Freeman help me with it with his narration.”


“Morgan Freeman makes everything sound plausible,” Cameron quipped.

The film, which stars Tom Cruise as Ray Ferrier as he battles to protect his family during an alien invasion, was widely criticised for its sudden ending.

The climax sees the aliens defeated by Earth’s germs as they cannot survive coming into contact with the air upon leaving their spacecrafts, dying instantly.

Elsewhere, the BBC’s The War of the Worlds miniseries adapts Wells’ 1898 book once again, setting the story back in the Edwardian era.

While the novel has the invaders descending in a hollow cylinder, the series has them emerging from an orb.

Doctor Who’s Peter Harness, writer and executive producer of The War of the Worlds, previously spoke out about the creative change to the central relationship, saying the book felt more like reportage but that he wanted to create a drama.

“I think what I have managed to do is characterise the people that are mentioned in the book a bit more,” he said. “There are not many characters in the book. The narrator isn’t named and neither is his wife of brother but they all have a crucial part to play in the narrative.

“One of the hardest things to flush out in the adaptation process is to populate the story with characters and make it about their personal journey.

“The book is more like a piece of reportage similar to a piece of journalism. The original text touches on the mental state of the characters but it doesn’t really go very deep into them.

“So, the challenge was to build the architecture of a character drama underneath the larger set pieces and big moments within the story but to make it about the characters.”

In addition to Spall and Tomlinson, The War of the Worlds series also stars Robert Cartyle as Ogilvy and Rupert Graves as George’s older brother Frederick.

The War of the Worlds continues tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

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