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H.G. WellsThe War of the Worlds is one of those stories that never gets old. Possibly, because there is the potential of an alien attack and it’s deemed a cautionary tale. Or, people just really like a good sci-fi story.

Whatever the reason, The War of the Worlds is being reimagined for an eight-part miniseries, starring heavy hitters Gabriel Byrne (Maniac) and Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey). Set in modern-day Europe, a signal is detected that can only be explained by extraterrestrial life. After contact is made, and the majority of the population is wiped out, we see small groups of people scrambling to find their loved ones and… avoid being killed.

The recently released trailer fills in the blanks:

What we don’t see are the aliens themselves. The first look footage provides glimpses, with a little girl watching something crawl by and then a ceiling panel being pulled up, but we don’t actually get an eyeful. It will be interesting to see what creator Howard Overman (Misfits) comes up with for the uninvited visitors.

The War of the Worlds has been brought to the screen a number of times, with the first adaptation going back to 1953:

And as recent as just last year, with the BBC miniseries starring Rafe Spall and Eleanor Tomlinson:

In addition to Byrne and McGovern, you can also look for Léa Drucker (Two of Us), Natasha Little (Absentia), Daisy Edgar Jones (Cold Feet), Stéphane Caillard (Traitors), Adel Bencherif (AMC’s The Little Drummer Girl) and Guillaume Gouix (The Returned).

War of the Worlds will premiere on Epix on February 16.

Do you prefer this retelling in movie form or TV form? 

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By Brigid Brown