The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Tom Cruise stars in Spielberg’s ‘War of the Worlds’

Tom Cruise hopes his upcoming summer blockbuster, “War of the Worlds,” “scares the heck out of everyone.”

Cruise teamed up with legendary director Steven Spielberg, once again, this time for another sci-fi film, “War of the Worlds.”

“When you look at great sci-fi, you see that there are characters you can relate to,” Cruise said. “There are themes that are timeless.”

Cruise said the two decided to do the movie after their last flick together, “Minority Report.” The decision was a no-brainer in Cruise’s opinion.

“Who doesn’t want to work with Steven Spielberg?” Cruise said. “Without a doubt, he’s our greatest storyteller in cinema.”

The film is based on H.G. Wells’ novel of the same name.

“We really went back to the original book,” Cruise said. “I just think he’s a great writer.”

He added that it was not a remake of the 1953 movie. Nor does it draw inspiration from the radio program that caused a panic.

“It’s our interpretation,” he said. “It doesn’t mean it doesn’t have originality because it’s derived from another source.”

Cruise said the original screenplay for the film was “the best first screenplay [he’s] ever seen.”

Despite the movie’s size, Cruise believes the movie, filmed in New Jersey, will still connect with audiences on an emotional level.

“It’s the largest scale picture I’ve been involved with,” Cruise said. “Also, it’s very intimate.”

He said this film is told from a “subjective point of view.” His character, Ray, is a deadbeat dad, whose children are dropped off with him for the weekend when the war breaks loose.

“He’s the total opposite of who I am,” he said. “He’s not taking responsibility for his family or the future.”

“He’s a guy who’s a bigger kid than his kids.”

Cruise’s daughter, played by Dakota Fanning takes on a central role in the movie and Cruise said working with Fanning was a treat.

“I just have great respect for her as an artist,” he said. “She can just do it. She absolutely was there every take.”

As for the other supporting characters, the actual catalysts of the war, Cruise maintains a healthy skepticism when it comes to the existence of aliens.

“I believe what I’ve seen empirically,” he said. “I think it’s truly arrogant to believe that we are the only sentient beings.”

Cruise believes mankind’s true enemies come from our own planet.

“When you look at mankind — we do have cognizant enemies — crime, illiteracy, drugs,” he said. “It stymies cultural motivation.”

As for war itself, Cruise said he believes in “uniting people.”

“I don’t like war, I want a world without war,” he said. “It’s easy to criticize what others are doing.

“Instead, of talking about it, why don’t they do something.’

Cruise, however, is entering a war of his own — the competitive environment of summer blockbusters. For him, it’s been there done that and critics and the intake of the movie are nothing.

“I’ve never been concerned with critics. I just do what I like. My expectations are higher,” he said. “No one can put more pressure on me than myself.”

Despite the movie’s big budget and massive set, Cruise is truly feels he’s made an intimate movie.

“The size of the budget doesn’t reflect the type of movie,” Cruise said. “I hope [this film] resonates with people.”

“War of the Worlds” is not yet rated and opens nationwide on June 29.

“It’s going to be intense,” Cruise promises.

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