Just saw Spielberg's new version of War of the Worlds, and I must say, it's quite impressive, at least from a visual effects standpoint... Storywise, of course it may be a slightly different matter, but it's still a very thrilling and very entertaining movie. However, it certainly IS NOT based on the Welles radio show, but much more on sequences from George Pal's original film version.
I just read an interview with Spielberg where he states that his interest in remaking WOTW's stems from when he brought Orson Welles' personal copy of the 1938 WOTW script, back when it was up for action in June of 1994 (for about $50,000.) So along with the Rosebud sled Mr. Spielberg has spent over $100,000. on artifacts from Orson Welles career. I think this is one valid reason why Oja Kodar has questioned why Spielberg wouldn't be willing to spend a little time or money to help to fund a filmmaker like Orson Welles, who Spielberg supposedly so openly admires...
Even if he didn't want to invest his own money, a simple call from Spielberg to any studio head in Hollywood saying, "why don't you invest $5 million so we can bring out THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND, would surely create some offers or interest.
Anyway, at the time the Welles WOTW script was put up for auction by Christie's, the buyer was not identified as being Mr. Spielberg, but the fact that it fetched such a large sum amount of money, was I think, reported on.
Welles original WOTW script was put up for action by someone he had sent it to for safekeeping, presumably way back in the 40's, and came with a hand-written Welles cover letter on Mercury Theater letterhead stating the following:
This is to certify that this is my own directorial copy of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS radio scrpt. Needless to say I scarcely anticipated the reaction accorded what seemed to us to be a fairly routine hour radio show.
(signed) Orson Welles
The 45 page script (by Howard Koch) was heavily annotated by Welles, with many changes, many drawings by Welles (one apparently of Hitler on a back script page) and also contained no mention of Howard Koch. Instead, Welles has scrawled his own name, "WELLES" in large letters on the top of the opening page, along with a drawing of a fat man in a tuxedo, and at the bottom of the same page is Welles' own signature.
It would certainly be nice if Spielberg would allows some book company to reproduce the script with Welles notations and drawings, but that seems most unlikely, as unlike Welles' daughter who put out Les Bravades, Spielberg certainly doesn't need the extra money.