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Greg Kinnear in Talks to Star in Canal Plus, Fox Adaptation of ‘War of the Worlds’

Greg Kinnear is in talks to star in “War of the Worlds” from Canal Plus and Fox’s Europe and Africa arm. Sources said Kinnear could take the lead role in the series adaptation of H.G. Wells’ alien invasion classic.

Kinnear is understood to have seen a script but not signed on yet for the series as talks continue. Sources close to the project indicated that interest is being sounded out with a variety of talent ahead of full production getting underway in 2019.

The eight-part adaptation is coming together as a rival project for the BBC – “The War of the Worlds,” starring Rafe Spall, Eleanor Tomlinson and Robert Carlyle – readies for launch. That three-part miniseries is produced by ITV-owned Mammoth Screen and sticks to the original period setting of Wells’ book.

The Fox and Canal Plus project will move the action to the present day. It was created and written by Howard Overman (“Merlin”) and will be produced by Urban Myth Films. When the series was greenlit, Overman said his adaptation would explore themes of “racial superiority and ethnic conflict” and promised it would be “bold, fresh and relatable.”

Kinnear, who was nominated for an Oscar for “As Good as It Gets,” is the first name being mentioned in association with the Fox-Canal Plus “War of the Worlds.” Fox will run the show on its networks in Europe and Africa. It has been moving into originals with this and action drama “Deep State.”

Canal Plus will launch “War of the Worlds” in France and French-speaking territories. Its sales arm, Studiocanal, will sell it elsewhere.

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