War of the Worlds Goes Steampunk

Once again, H.G. Wells’ classic invasion tale, The War of the Worlds, is being retold in a different format. This time the story is the inspiration for War of the Worlds: Goliath — an animated film that gives the Martian tripods and Earth’s defense forces a steampunk-ish makeover.


Director Joe Pearson provided the following synopsis:

It’s an R rated, retro-history, steam-punk epic set in 1914, fourteen years after the first failed Martian invasion. Mankind has rebuilt her cities and military by adapting a lot of the abandoned Martian technology. They’ve created an international defense force, A.R.E.S., based on the lower end of Manhattan and under the command of Theaodore Roosevelt. They’ve built a formidable force centered around giant, steam-powered battle tripods [such as the sub-titular Goliath]. Think of Band of Brothers meets Star Wars, meets World WO. It will be cool steam-powered battle tripods, doomed Cossack cavalry charges, Victorian decco, steam-punk Manhattan, 1500-foot-long armored battle zeppelins, Teddy Roosevelt, souped up tri-planes, blood on steaming metal, sex in the cockpit… the usual.”

WotW: Goliath‘s budget is around $3 million, and the film is envisaged as a sequel to the novel by H.G. Wells. Originally intended to be part of a series of Heavy Metal videos, it is being co-produced by Kevin Eastman (owner of Heavy Metal).

Check out these cool production images of the tripods and the homeland defense vehicles:





For more images and an extended description of the project, see the production blog and also the Heavy Metal Magazine Fan page.


  1. […] out more — and check out the superb production sketches — on the Robot War Espresso […]

  2. I wouldn’t call this steampunk as much as it looks like BattleMech. It has a distinct WWII feel to it with the color palette and the exhaust of diesel rather than steam towers. Let’s call it Post-Industrial Mech or PIMtech. Great look still. Needs a few rubberized medical tents and low brim military helmets and you got it made.

  3. I’d tend to agree with you about the genre of it — if that’s the right word. I do think of “steampunk” as something different than this “retro-future” look. Still, steampunk is what the creators are calling it, and who am I to argue? 🙂

    PI Mech is good — though it does make me picture a tale about a robotic private eye….

  4. […] fire”, based on H.G. Wells’ iconic Martian invasion novel, War of the Worlds. (See Robot War Espresso for the last article on it, including lots of […]

  5. […] on its own inherent conceptual qualitiues. Upcoming historical “re-creations” such as War of the Worlds: Goliath and more significantly the Asylum’s take on Sherlock Holmes, which is set to include a slew […]

  6. […] War of the Worlds: Goliath last featured on Robot War Espresso here. […]

  7. Its called “Dieselpunk”

  8. So is this coming to DVD or what its 2013 and still nothing of even an announcement since I saw the teaser trailer on Youtube. And that was by accident!

    • I don’t have an answer to that, Raymond. I’m rather keen to see it myself.

    • But I notice that the film’s Facebook page says “set for release in 2012/2013”. So, I guess that means “soon”.

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