Various Adaptations of War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds adaptations

Credit: War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds may have been introduced to most with the movie that starred Tom Cruise. Still, the original book from the 1800s has been noted as one of the most revolutionary and inspirational pieces of literature credited with the evolution of space science and exploration, as well as endless inspiration throughout novels and Hollywood. Aliens, time travel, and other seemingly far-fetched scientific ideals have all been popularized by the works of H.G. Wells and War of the Worlds. The various adaptations of War of the Worlds across television, film, radio, and beyond are proof of that, especially with more than one adaptation at a time. Below, we’ve detailed the original War of the Worlds book by H.G. Wells, the radio shows, movies, and series inspired by it, and much more about the highly inspirational science fiction work.

Tom Cruise Dakota Fanning

Credit: War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds Book and Radio Show

As stated above, the first War of the Worlds book has inspired other pieces of literature and media since the book was first published and then adapted into several radio broadcasts. The book was released in 1898 and featured a first-of-its-kind detailed experience of mankind’s war on Martians as they invaded planet Earth and eliminated most of the planet. The original book detailed two brothers in different areas of Southern England as they fought off the aliens in their respective areas. From the book detailing such events, the radio series that have premiered have been an even more disturbing story, as it was reported when the radio series had broadcast that events such as mass panic were being reported, but this was eventually targeted as a ploy against radio from paper publications. While the original War of the Worlds book has inspired nearly all aspects of modern science fiction, work in all forms of media today, and the radio show portrayed a more accurate sense of the book, future adaptations such as the newest series or the Tom Cruise movie attracted wider audiences to the science fiction book. Even Scary Movie 4 took massive inspiration from the film and included the alien tripods as one of the main issues throughout the film, mixed with other comedic horror elements.

Tom Cruise War of the Worlds

Credit: War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds Tom Cruise Film

The above-mentioned Scary Movie 4 plot, in which the aliens of War of the Worlds were included as an enemy that had to be overcome throughout the film, was mostly inspired by the Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning War of the Worlds movie premiered in 2005. The 2005 adaptation wasn’t just the first significant use of technology to create a solid film. Still, it was also directed by Steven Spielberg, and the inclusion of Tom Cruise at such a pivotal point in his career also helped the film. While the original novel followed two brothers separated by the violence and distance of the scattered southern British wasteland, the 2005 War of the Worlds adaptation introduced Tom Cruise as a dockworker in America as he attempted to keep his family safe from the alien invasion. While the scene for the 2005 War of the Worlds adaptation was dark and destructive, it wasn’t nearly as war-torn as the original novel or even the radio adaptation described it.

War of the Worlds adaptations

Credit: War of the Worlds

Epix Series

Other adaptations of War of the Worlds have premiered across various forms of media since the 2005 War of the Worlds Tom Cruise film, or even Scary Movie 4. Still, in the late 2010s, two different War of the Worlds shows were making their way to their respective homes to premiere. In 2019 Fox and Canal+ released their more detailed chronicling of the events of this adaptation of War of the Worlds, while the BBC had their series that only had a three-episode run, as more of a limited series than the Fox series that has been renewed for more than three seasons with the third season premiere in September 2022. As War of the Worlds from Fox and Canal+ hasn’t been created for American broadcasting, the episodes have been licensed in the United States through Epix from Fox, a less-known streaming service than Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. War of the Worlds in 2005 was modern-day, while the original book had also been in the modern day for the 1890s. The Epix War of the World adaptation is modern-day, but the series takes place in France instead of Essex and overall England like the original book. Finally, in terms of setting, the BBC three-part miniseries adaptation was set in the Edwardian Era, about a ten-year time frame after the release of the setting of the original War of the Worlds novel.

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