Martians coming? Spielberg scouting Shenandoah

Scenes for the Martian-invasion film War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, will be filmed in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, according to an area tourism official.

Jean Clark, tourism director for the Rockbridge County area, says she does not know exactly when or where the movie will be shot in the Valley. But, "I know they're shooting something,'' she says.

Clark expects filming in the area will be done before the year's end.

Movie publicist Deborah Wuliger says filming is now taking place in New Jersey, and industry publication Variety reports that Spielberg is also shooting scenes in upstate New York.

Wuliger says she does not know whether any commitments have been made for Virginia.

But Clark says many production support people have been in the area preparing for filming.

When scouts came to the area in September, they looked at parts of Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro, according to Sergei Troubetzkoy, Staunton's tourism director.

Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks are financing the movie, a modern version of the H.G. Wells novel. It is scheduled to be released next summer.