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Tom Cruise Talks M:I-3 & War of the Worlds
from ComingSoon!, August 30, 2004

Paramount Pictures recently swapped two of their summer tentpole movies for 2005 and 2006, with Tom Cruise and director Steven Spielberg now first taking on the adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic, The War of the Worlds, for release next summer. Then, Alias creator J.J. Abrams makes his feature directorial debut on the Cruise sequel, Mission: Impossible 3 ("M:I-3"), which is targeting a summer 2006 release.

Entertainment Weekly caught up with Cruise while he was piloting his private jet to Mexico to talk about the two projects. Abrams is the third director to take on "M:I-3", as David Fincher and Joe Carnahan were each attached at one point. "It's deceiving, these kinds of movies," Cruise says about the challenge. "They're very complex. It's not just action, it's not just suspense, it's not just the spy genre - it's all of that." So why Abrams? "He's the first guy I went through the movie with who absolutely clicked in terms of being able to discuss the intricacies of character and story and tone." He added that while he doesn't watch much TV, Cruise checked out the Alias DVDs, liked what Abrams did with the story and character, and called him up.

The magazine asked whether or not the second sequel would be completely reworked now. "We don't know yet," said Cruise. "We're just now talking about story. But it's J.J. Abrams' 'Mission: Impossible' that I'm interested in. The conceit for [the movies] was always that each one is different; it's the director's 'Mission: Impossible'. You want the director to come in and own it."

Which brings us to casting. Carrie-Anne Moss, Kenneth Branagh, and Scarlett Johansson were all announced to star in "M:I-3", but Tom says that now depends on what Abrams wants. He mentions that at this point it's "just me. I want to work with Carrie and Scarlett, and Kenneth is someone I've been wanting to work with for years, but you have to start with the director and see where he's going to take us."

Cruise also talked about how The War of the Worlds came about. "We were just releasing 'Minority Report' and Steven and I were looking for films to make together. I visited him on 'Catch Me If You Can' and we were talking about a couple of things and he says, 'You know what? I think we should do 'War of the Worlds' together.' I just looked at him and said, 'Oh my God'. I was so excited. I've never made a sci-fi movie like this before."

He adds that we have much to look forward to! "It's going to be exciting, it's going to be really scary, and it's going to maintain the tone of H.G. Wells' book. These guys are coming to dominate Earth. But I can't get too much into it because David Koepp has already done a rewrite and Steven has been working on it and things are going to change. We're just in the dream stage. We haven't even cast it yet."

Cruise says "Worlds" will be set in the U.S. but they have not decided on exact locations yet. Filming is expected to start in November.

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