Universal Studios has added the plane crash set from “War of the Worlds” to its theme park collection of Spielberg esoterica. Along with the shark from “Jaws” and the dinosaurs from “Jurassic Park,” tourists in trams can also gawk at the crumpled 747 from the upcoming summer tentpole.
Home to the largest remaining studio backlot, U’s tour allows visitors a glimpse of productions in progress. For the past month or so, that’s included the full-size plane crash set built for the Steven Spielberg-Tom Cruise sci-fi pic “War of the Worlds,” as well as other sets like Wisteria Lane from ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”
But with “War’s” profile picking up in advance of its June 29 release, the theme park decided to keep its set intact and promote it as more of a permanent attraction.
The “War” set joins Whoville from “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the destroyed lab from “Jurassic Park: The Lost World” and the Bates Motel from “Psycho” in the studio’s permanent set collection.
“War of the Worlds” is a co-production of Paramount and DreamWorks. Universal Studios typically features U properties, though there have been plenty of exceptions (such as the “Shrek 4-D” ride). In any event, Spielberg is not exactly a stranger to the theme park.
The director receives 2% of the gross revenues from U’s Orlando parks and share of the revenues from the studio’s Japan park. Spielberg doesn’t have a cut of the Universal City park, but many of the non-U films that have appeared in the park tend to have a Spielberg connection, like “Men in Black” (produced by Spielberg, released by Sony) and “Twister” (produced by Spielberg, released by Warners).