Will Spielberg's New Alien Invasion Show Right The Wrongs Of War Of The Worlds?

Illustration for article titled Will Spielberg's New Alien Invasion Show Right The Wrongs Of War Of The Worlds?

Steven Spielberg is the executive producer for Untitled Alien Invasion Project, a one-hour TV drama slated to air on TNT. What's Spielberg's show about? ER's Noah Wyle and Moon Bloodgood of Terminator Salvation, on the run from victorious alien conquerors.


In the script for Spielberg's upcoming alien show, intergalactic invaders have kicked humanity's collective keister. The pilot - "Live and Learn" by Robert Rodat, writer of Saving Private Ryan, stars Noah Wyle as widower Tom Mason who must escape with his two boys — 16-year-old Hal and 8-year-old Matt (Maxim Knight) — from alien warmongers in Boston. They must evade "alien hovercrafts," mechas, and "skitters," which are described as dog-like insect creatures. Basically, it sounds like War of the Worlds if Dakota Fanning and Tom Cruise were turned into humanburgers (with a garnish of Cloverfield thrown in for good measure).

New York magazine fills in the rest of the pilot's script:

Passing groups of human captives as they run, our heroes return to an encampment where a leader explains that "skitter aerial sensors" are now able to spot people in groups of 500 or more (previously they'd been able to detect only 900-plus). So the inhabitants of the base are divided into teams of 300 and sent in different directions. Tom is made second-in-command of one group, and they flee Massachusetts in search of food. They arrive at one supermarket and discover it's already been raided, so a smaller crew (including Tom and Hal) have to double back to another store closer to the advancing aliens. Meanwhile, above the city, aliens build a massive mysterious cubelike structure [...]

Other characters of note: Anne ([...] Moon Bloodgood, no stranger to post-apocalypses), a psychologist who attends to human refugees, a love interest for Tom, and a surrogate mom to Hal and Matt; Weaver, the hard-ass leader of Tom's group who has lost his own family; Karen (Jessy Schram), Hal's sorta girlfriend with whom he rides ahead of the main group as a motorcycle scout; and Lourdes (Weeds' Seychelle Gabriel), a pretty orphan with a crush on Hal.

2005's War of the Worlds was potent survivalist science fiction, until the aliens (112-YEAR-OLD SPOILERS!) unceremoniously rolled over and died. It's like Spielberg is righting that limp, happy-ending wrong. Now his WotW uglies can have their revenge, give Tom Cruise's teen-angsty son a proper blast of the disintegrator ray, and we'll all cheer from the comfort of our rumpus rooms. Of course, TV means no unnecessary, fan-pandering Moon Bloodgood topless scenes.



Can we really fault Spielberg for Wells' perfectly logical ending?