Since its publication near the turn of the 20th century, H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds has seen lots of adaptations. One that didn’t happen, however, and we really wish had, was by legendary filmmaker and stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen. Now we can finally see what Harryhausen had in mind.
The footage has been online for a while but is just now coming to our attention. According to Blastr, it was originally brought to studios in 1949 as a pitch to let Harryhausen adapt the novel. For some reason, though, this didn’t take, and in 1953 we got the Byron Haskin version. It was a fine film to be sure, especially for the time, but check this out:
It’s an animation test and concept art for Harryhausen’s version of the film, and yes, it’s set to Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio play of War of the Worlds. It’s also a very cool piece of Hollywood history.