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War Of The Worlds, (Jeff Wayne, 2007)

Jeff Waynes War Of The Worlds.

Back in 1978 Jeff Wayne released a record that still stands the test of time as a fantastic evocation of The War Of The Worlds. It benefited from the perfect narrative tones of Richard Burton and the singing talents of David Essex, whom Wayne had previously worked with on a number of highly acclaimed albums. At the time of the original album release, Wayne had arranged for the production of a 4 minute animated promo using some of the amazing imagery that accompanied the album, but until now that was as close as we have been to what could surely rate as the definitive War Of The Worlds movie. However, the album received a major remastered release in 2005 and better yet, a CGI movie is apparently in preproduction that will utilise the music.

The details are very sketchy at present,but the budget is apparently penciled in at 48 million dollars and the film promises to retain the original Victorian setting. The full CGI approach is a bit of a gamble. I was able to glimpse some test footage of the Thunderchild at a recent science fiction event and while the hardware looks great, the stumbling block is always going to be the human characters, who looked quite offputting. However, test footage is exactly what it claims to be, so there is always room for improvement. As previously stated, the hardware looks fantastic and several short clips at can be viewed at the waroftheworldsmovie site. The Martian Tripod is especially impressive.

Jeff Waynes War Of The Worlds flying machine.The film is also going to give us a first look at the Martian flying machine mentioned in the original novel and apparently we can expect a new prologue which will set the scene and explain the reason for the Martian invasion. This seems to have received a try-out on the recent stage version of the musical, but I must say it comes across as pretty clunky and superfluous. But again, it is very early days and the fact that we are likely to get a big budget War Of The Worlds set in Victorian times has got to be cause for celebration.

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The War Of The Worlds by Jeff Wayne

The War Of The Worlds by Jeff Wayne. The original musical version of The War Of The Worlds is still an amazing realisation of the story.

The War Of The Worlds by Jeff Wayne

The War Of The Worlds by Jeff Wayne. Big stage version of the classic record that has toured the UK to great acclaim.

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