Tom Cruise To Lead 'War Of The Worlds'

Tom Cruise is to star in War of the Worlds which is to be directed by Steven Spielberg, and has been set on a crash pre-production schedule. Meanwhile two major productions have been put on the back burner, according to Variety.

Spielberg's untitled project for Universal and DreamWorks about the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics, with Tony Kushner rewriting Eric Roth's script, has been pushed back to June at the earliest.

And Paramount's Mission: Impossible 3, with newly hired J.J. Abrams set to direct based on his rewrite of Frank Darabont's script, has been postponed until next summer.

Both 'M:I3' and War of the Worlds represent risky adventures in high-budget filmmaking. The Mission: Impossible franchise is being committed to a first-time director in Abrams; War of the Worlds, a complex CGI production, has been put on a very fast track, with only 10 weeks of pre-production.

War of the Worlds, a contemporized adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel, will have to be rushed to make its November start date and a 2005 release. David Koepp wrote the script.

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