The original War of the Worlds radio drama is a historical event that is unlikely to ever be duplicated. Last year, Deadline reported that Bharat Nalluri would be directing the Orson Welles biopic, We Interrupt This Program, from a script written by Sean Sorenson. According to the logline, the movie will explore the struggle Welles and his producer John Houseman faced behind the scenes.
We Interrupt This Program: Logline
WE INTERRUPT explores the chaos of creative genius that results in the infamous Orson Welles’s radio broadcast of WAR OF THE WORLDS. While most know about the panic caused by the vivid description of invading Martian armies, few know about the struggle that was taking place behind the scenes. WE INTERRUPT digs into the stormy relationship between Welles and his producer, John Houseman, and how they nearly derail what would become the most influential radio broadcast in history.
John Houseman – Producer
The studio has been hard at work trying to find the right actors to portray these real-life characters. We now know that Martin Freeman is currently attached to the film as John Houseman. People have described Houseman as the producer who’s overseeing the adaptation of War of the Worlds and clashes with Orson quite often due to Welles’ narcissism and the way he treats Houseman as a punching bag. Despite this, Houseman’s belief in Orson is a large part of why the show and Orson himself are a success.
Orson Welles – The Man Himself
While Martin Freeman is currently the only cast member who has signed on, there are other actors whom the studio is courting. Leading the list for the role of Orson Welles is Andrew Garfield. The studio has sent him an offer for the part. Orson Welles is an EXTREMELY interesting person. If you’re not familiar with him, you should check out F is for Fake and read up on what happened behind the scenes there. Or, maybe check out the outtakes from his commercial for Paul Masson Wine (they’re amazing).
Orson’s drunk performance:
In this film, they are describing Welles as “Flat-footed and graceless, yet somehow swift and agile.” When his broadcast has real-world consequences, Orson has a breakdown, but the controversy surrounding it boosts him to an overnight celebrity.
Anne Froelick – Writer
Anne Froelick is a typist who has dreams of becoming a writer and pursues it vigorously. Anne ends up succeeding in and is brought onboard to co-write the adaptation of War of the Worlds. While working together, John Houseman takes a liking to her. For the role of Anne Froelick, they have sent an offer to Shailene Woodley.
Howard Koch – Writer
Anne’s writing partner is Howard Koch. Though he’s officially a lawyer, he’s not able to make a living at it and begrudgingly accepts the assignment to adapt War of the Worlds. He and Anne turn out to be a great team, but he’s not very happy when his script is changed on the fly. For this role, the studio is looking at Seth Rogen and has sent him an offer.
When Can You See It?
Currently, there is no release date for the film, however, we expect Principal Photography to wrap by this Fall. So, which version of War of the Worlds is your favorite? Are you a fan of the Spielberg film from 2005 starring Tom Cruise? Perhaps the 1953 George Pal film? Maybe you prefer the 1938 Radio Play at the center of this film? Whichever one it is, let us know in the comments! And stay tuned here to That Hashtags Show for all your up-to-date information on We Interrupt This Program as it happens!
Listen To the Original Broadcast:
If you want to listen to the original broadcast of War of the Worlds, you can do so right here: