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ITV Studios Global Ent. Sells ‘The War of the Worlds’ to the World

80 territories have been confirmed as closed for the first-ever British TV adaptation of the literary classic

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01
Matt Squire/ITV

Buzzed-up heading into this year’s Mipcom and selected as one of Variety’s top titles at the market, ITV’s Mammoth Screen-produced “The War of the Worlds” has announced international pre-sales covering 80 territories.

Based on the classic novel by H.G. Wells, the series is set to be the first ever British made-for-TV adaptation of the story, produced for BBC One by ITV-backed Mammoth Screen. The company is right in the thick of it when it comes to high-end TV drama with a catalog boasting the likes of Jenna Coleman-led “Victoria” and the HBO miniseries “Parade’s End” staring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Territories sold include France – TF1, Spain – Movistar +, Italy – LaF via Sky Italy, Russia – RUV, Australia – Foxtel, Canada – Blue Ant Media. A deal agreed to with M-Net will see the show distributed across 50 African territories.

The three-hour series stars Rafe Spall (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingfom”), Eleanor Tomlinson (“Poldark”) and Robert Carlyle (“T2: Trainspotting”). It was adapted for a three one-hour episode format by Peter Harness and is directed by Craig Viveiros.

Shirking recent trends to relocate or update the story, this version will take place in Horsell Common in Surrey, England during the first decade of the 20th century. Humanity becomes subject to a vicious alien invasion when a meteor carrying the hostile creatures lands in the countryside. The Martians who have made their way to earth will stop at nothing short of human extinction in an attempt to claim Earth as their own.

Amidst the chaos, George (Spall) leaves his loveless marriage in the hopes of starting a new life with Amy (Tomlinson), in spite of the condemnation of the community around them. Things get especially rocky for the two when they and every other human on the planet’s lives are thrown into the balance. Carlisle will play Ogilvy, an astronomer dealing with the extra-terrestrial invasion.

“’The War of the Worlds’ is an incredible and truly ground-breaking production full of mood and atmosphere, which is bringing to life some of literature’s most notorious foes,” said ITV managing director Ruth Berry in a press release, adding: “It is event television at its best that viewers won’t want to miss.”