The War of the Worlds, became the foundation text of a whole lineage of alien invasion narratives. The film adaptation hit home so well due to the time it came out, during all the geopolitical tension (the Cold War, War on Terror, etc.). The film was meant to approach both the historical and ideological contexts. Also adding the blend of phenomenon and melodrama from War of the Worlds, it made the film an ideal cinematic material. That being said, it did take a half a century for the novel to make it to the screen. 1953 and 2005 are the dates when this novel was filmed for cinema. Paramount Pictures gave $50,000 for the right to film in 1926.
The novel was adapted for radio in 1938, and television in 1988-1989. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds (1898). Howard Koch, is the individual who can take credit for writing the script for War of the Worlds that took off on the radio. Orson Welles had virtually nothing to do with the writing. And it was Koch who devised the idea of presenting the first part of the program as a series of radio news bulletins and "live" interviews with eyewitnesses. The effect was phenomenal, as hundreds and thousands of listeners were panicked into believing that Martians had actually landed in New Jersey. The huge impact of the broadcast drew Welles to the attention of Hollywood and a contract with RKO. A few myths actually arose from this incident, and one of those myths consisted of people assuming that Welles had something to do with both the concept and adaptation. Which we all know by now, Welles was only responsible for conducting the adaptation of The War of the Worlds - not the concept.