Gabriel Byrne & Elizabeth McGovern to lead War of the Worlds TV series

It's been announced that Gabriel Byrne (STIGMATA, THE USUAL SUSPECTS) and Elizabeth McGovern (ORDINARY PEOPLE, DOWNTON ABBEY) have been set to lead Urban Myth Film’s WAR OF THE WORLDS, an upcoming TV series based on H.G,. Wells' classic sci-fi tale.

Upon boarding the project, Byrne and McGovern have set themselves up to be joined by Léa Drucker (CUSTODY, IN MY SKIN), Natasha Little (VANITY FAIR, ANOTHER LIFE), Daisy Edgar Jones (SILENT WITNESS, POND LIFE), Stéphane Caillard (BASTILE DAY, MARSEILLE), Adel Bencherif (SPECTRE, A PROPHET) and Guillaume Gouix (22 BULLETS, ATTILA MARCEL), as a part of the project's ensemble cast.

The WAR OF THE WORLDS endeavor is quite the collaborative effort, with AGC Television, Canal+ and Fox Networks Group Europe & Africa all working in concert to co-finance and co-distribute the English-speaking series. Each studio will be responsible for rolling the new series out to their respective areas, which has been written and created by MISFITS and FUTURE MAN scribe Howard Overman. The series, which will run for 8 episodes at one hour a piece, will feature two different directors. Helming the first four episodes of the series is DE DAG and CARGO director Gilles Coulier, with OUTLANDER and DOCTOR WHO director Richard Clark set to shoot episodes five through eight.

According to sources, WAR OF THE WORLDS wil be set in contemporary Europe and will follow the few pockets of humanity left on earth following an apocalyptic extra-terrestrial strike.

Fun Fact: On Halloween morning, 1938, Orson Welles was shocked to find that his reading of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds had caused nationwide hysteria. As the story goes, Welles and his Mercury Theatre on the Air had done such a convincing job in their reading of Wells' classic on the radio that many listeners believed the fictional invasion to be real. Reportedly, during the broadcast, many of those who'd been tuning in resorted to forming mass stampedes, with some even contemplating suicide over the concept of being invaded by war-mongering aliens. Some who'd believed the radio play to be real even went so far as to threaten Welles' life, a concept we're all too familiar with after the boom of social media.

 “If I’d planned to wreck my career,” Welles told several people at the time, “I couldn’t have gone about it better.” (via SmithsonianMag.com)



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