They’re coming. We just don’t know when!
For some European countries and the UK, War of the Worlds from Fox and StudioCanal is on its way at the end of this month. For Finland, Sweden, Germany, and other countries, it will arrive a little later in November.
But for North and South America? We have nothing. Zip. Zilch. Zero information.
So far! But hang on to your alien fears, because it seems likely they will be coming here soon!
Meanwhile, enjoy these enticing and illuminating interviews with cast and crew. Our favorite Irishman is, as always, particularly eloquent.
Behind the Scenes With Gabriel Byrne, Elizabeth McGovern on ‘War of the Worlds’ Variety October 14, 2019
“To carry a secret is a great thing,” says Gabriel Byrne, reflecting on his latest role. “You never have to show the secret, because the audience knows it… and they’ll do the work for you in that situation.”
The actor was doing press rounds for a new, and very loose adaptation of “War of the Worlds,” from Urban Myth, Canal Plus, Fox Networks Group Europe & Africa, AGC Television, and Studiocanal – a powerful combination – which updates H.G. Wells’ alien invasion novel by grounding the story in the here-and-now and by focusing more on character than on spectacle.
Functioning instead as a survival thriller set in both England and France, the eight-episode series follows a diverse group living in the aftermath of a cataclysmic attack that has wiped out most life on Earth. . .
Written and created by BAFTA winner Howard Overman (“Misfits”) and produced by Urban Myth Films, the sci-fi drama hopes to foreground the characters’ struggles — and secrets – alongside the requisite genre elements.
Because, as Byrne sees it, “[The show’s] aliens are almost metaphorical. They could be climate change, or the nuclear apocalypse or the unpredictability of war – they’re all of those things.”
For many in the cast, the show’s cross-border nature held significant appeal.
“It was incredibly liberating and exciting to work with a multi-national team, as opposed to just an English one,” says Elizabeth McGovern. “The nature of this story suits this international scope, and it was so stimulating to be directed by a Belgian filmmaker while working with an Irish actor alongside a French crew.”
Whereas for Léa Drucker, who performs in her native tongue, “I think it’s interesting that it’s international, because this [inciting] attack has equalizing effect. No matter if you’re a powerful figure or a migrant already in survival mode, everyone ends up on the same ground.”
Gabriel Byrne agrees, and hopes that this partially French language series can make greater inroads into predominantly English-speaking markets.
“Whether you’re in Belgium, France, Ireland or Spain, you’re getting American culture, and with those films and series come American perspectives and values. That rarely happens the other way on a similar scale,” says Byrne.
“[Certain] audiences are rarely exposed to the perspectives of other countries,” he continues. “But ‘War of the Worlds’ is a truly international story that involves human beings as opposed to stereotyped nationalities… and I think that’s the power of this kind of production. Europe has as much to say as America does.”
The directors, writer, and others involved with this new project are also included in this interview, so be sure to read the entire article! They all obviously had a fantastic time making this series and their enthusiasm is infectious (in a good way!). wink
The Hollywood Reporter Interview
MIPCOM: Gabriel Byrne, Elizabeth McGovern Talk ‘War of the Worlds’ Series The Hollywood Reporter, October 13, 2019
“Sometimes we can care more about fiction than we can about fact,” Byrne said of how the sci-fi series can be seen in this tumultuous political time. . .
Shot Game of Thrones-style on an intense schedule with two separate sets, directors and crews working simultaneously, the show also has an emotional claustrophobia as everything changes in a matter of minutes and people escape underground to try and survive the end of the world.
Byrne sees parallels between the original story and this modern day take. “In some ways the world is unrecognizable, but what the book does brilliantly and the series does it, too, is that it provokes bigger questions about what it means to be alive, what keeps humans going in the face of despair,” he said, adding that humanity is facing a slow burn environmental disaster but doing little about it. Byrne blames information overload.
“We’ve become so inured to news now that we pick up the paper and just flick the page, refugees, Donald Trump or whatever. It looks like climate change will annihilate the planet, yet nobody is calling their mother from the car,” he said, calling to mind some desperate scenes in the first episode. . .
The alien invasion plays a unifying force for humanity, bringing people together as well as flipping the social order — refugees already know how to scrape and survive, while scholars and scientists have to learn new skills. McGovern said that is part of what drew her to the story. “The differences between people have broken down because of this outer enemy that has unified them. The things that divide us are not as important as we think they are when faced with the prospect of the end of the world.”
Both stars agree that the show’s aliens are a stand-in for the current crisis of climate change but humanity is ignoring the impending environmental disaster.
“The danger is coming from within,” said Byrne. “People have an incredible ability to deny the truth — that it won’t happen here, that it won’t happen within my lifetime.”
He partly chalks the tendency up to Hollywood’s often easy answers. “When you look at all these Superman and Spider-Man movies and all these guys that save the world, the message is that there is one person, [President Barack] Obama or [French President Emmanuel] Macron or [President Donald] Trump, one person will come in and save the world. Actually, the answer is not one person — it’s collective action,” he said.
“In the world of TV, entertainment, movies, books, we enforce the idea that there’s a left and there’s a right and there’s a good guy and a bad guy and we tend to live by that,” Byrne continued. “But it doesn’t matter how many green juices you drink. That’s not going to help you in the end.”
Video Interview at SerieastenTV, Germany, October 15, 2019
The War of the World series starts on November 6, 2019 on the FOX Channel and is based on the H.G. Wells science fiction classic from 1898. Our editor Gregor attended a special screening in Paris and had the opportunity to interview cast members Gabriel Byrne & Elizabeth McGovern.
Screencaps by Verónica (thanks!)
So, there you have it. Now we wait.
You can prepare for the arrival of the alien goodness that is War of the Worlds by stocking up on your popcorn (and maybe some survival gear as well! It can’t hurt…)! heart