Over the past couple of days, I have been listening to the musical version of The War of the Worlds.
As you may know, the album follows the basic plot of the book, with Richard Burton reading in key passages, and playing the narrator. However, listening to the CD, it reminded me that in the upcoming film, Speilberg has transferred the story from 19th century England to 21st century America, so I started to wonder quite how much of the original story would survive.
It seems I am not alone. The new issue of SFX makes a couple of comments in an article about the trailer (which can be seen here). Points they highlight are the tagline, “They’re Already Here” – as they say, that wasn’t in the book. They also they jokingly subtitle the article “Has anybody confirmed the other world is Mars yet?”…
So, this has led me to suggest a little game to play before seeing the film, guessing quite what will and won’t survive from the book to the film. Points will be awarded for every plot point succesfully spotted to be missing. Special bonus points will be awarded if you spot any plot holes caused by leaving something out, or leaving it in, but putting it in a 21st century context. Incidentally, there aren’t any prizes, it’s purely an opportunity to predict how much the story will be sliced and diced in the name of pleasing the cinema going public.
Having said that, it is not the only movie on the way. Take a look at Pendragon Pictures and their slightly lower budget attempt to make a film true to the original book. Also there is the proposed movie version of the Jeff Wayne album I’ve been listening to, which has been postponed until 2007.
Anyway, if you want a place to start, you can remind yourslef of the original story with the text of the original novel, available as a free ebook from PlanetPDF.