You can never have enough giant robot movies and TV shows, and that's why we can't wait to see Steam Wars and MORAV, two giant robot projects that are about to get of the ground. The best part is that both projects are spearheaded by designers, so there is a lot of amazing concept art for both. Steam Wars is an alternate history of nineteenth century warfare in which soldiers fight from inside giant, humanoid tanks.
Steam Wars has been in development for a while but last year creator Larry Blamire announced he was ready to make the movie. He's done a lot of film work, and is the creator of beloved indie Lost Skeleton of Cadavra.
On the Steam Wars site, Blamire already has an elaborate history of US giant robots vs. Prussian ones, along with a list of slang used by the steam rig operators (steam rig is the word for the giant robots). The best part is that Blamire came up with his flick without having seen any steampunk or anime stuff — his original idea was spawned in the 1970s, so it has a very distinctive look that feels fresh compared to all the stuff that's already out there. OK, Blamire, hurry up already and get Steam Wars underway!
MORAV (which stands for Multi-Operational Robotic Armored Vehicle) is a fully-fleshed out concept created by artist and model designer Fon Davis, who has worked on everything from The Matrix to the forthcoming Coraline. The thing I love about the MORAV concept is that Davis has put a lot of thought into the geopolitics of the MORAV world.
In his description of the story, he emphasizes realism:
The story begins with the robot pilots and their peers testing and training then follows them through their struggles with the hardships of war. The audience witnesses the start of a global arms race to build the greatest giant robot army in the world. MORAV covers many decades chronicling the characters through a coup d'etat followed by a civil war that eventually leads to World War Three. The viewer will actually get to see the entire historic saga of robot warfare through the eyes of the men and women immersed in this reality . . . The show is heavily focused on keeping stories character based and making the environment tangible. There is an effort to bring the audience into a world where robots really walk the streets. The robots in this series do not jump, fly, and shoot lasers out of their eyes. They are designed the way giant robots would be if they were real.
The Nation of Kumala. Divided into two separate states, they have endured an uneasy peace for hundreds of years, but now they find themselves embroiled in a bloody conflict that pits East and West at each other's throats for control of the entire country.
Across the Jilta Straits lies her sister country of Tangri Island. A peaceful nation with a rich blend of traditional Asian heritage and Western-influenced modernisms and, not unlike any other paradise on Earth, there are those who wish to exploit her and take what she has to offer, no matter what the cost.
As tensions evolve into all-out war, heroes from both Tangri and Kumala unite with a corporate peacekeeping detachment of the Joint Nations Defense force in an attempt to prevent the onslaught of genocide. If they fail, the conflict could destroy Kumala and threaten not only the stability of Tangri Island, but engulf the remainder of South-East Asia into a global war.
The politics, though fanciful, are recognizably our own. Let's get this made into a miniseries pronto, people.
Steam Wars [concept site]
MORAV [concept site]