After the protagonist and his kids spend a night hiding in a suburban basement while havoc is wreaked on the world outside, they emerge the next morning to a scene of utter devastation. At its heart are the twisted remains of a downed Jumbo Jet, its guts ripped out and strewn amid shattered houses.
Arguably the most impressive movie set from Steven Spielberg’s 2005 adaptation of H.G. Wells’ sci-fi classic War of the Worlds, the wrecked Boeing 747 and surrounding structures are now on public display, viewable to anyone touring Universal Studios in LA.
The retired Jumbo, which retains the markings of its previous operator All Nippon Airways, was purchased by the studio and transported from a desert boneyard to Universal at a cost of $2 million USD.
The crew then set about creating the scene, which had to look as though the plane had hurtled into suburbia and destroyed part of the neighbourhood in the process.
To achieve the effect, they broke the massive film prop into several sections before cutting away the cabin to reveal seats and other internals. Houses were constructed around the aircraft, while a liberal scattering of smaller items of wreckage completed the scene.
The end result: a meticulously designed film set that pulled-off the look of a catastrophic accident. And while this particular aircraft’s fate has been destructive, it has at least escaped the scrap man’s axe – for now.