50 Of The Coolest Cars From Movies & TV Are Together For The First Time In This LA Exhibit
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Have a need for speed, but prefer that speed be contained to TV and movie screens? You can get a glimpse of those devices in Hollywood Dream Machines, a new exhibition at the Petersen Automotive Museum. It focuses on vehicles from science fiction and fantasy movies, ranging from the '60s Batmobile to an Audi R8 from Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
The show brings together more than 50 vehicles, including some smaller-scale filming models.
"It's very common to see one of these cars at a car show, or a convention like Comic-Con, but gathering a number of them together — let alone 50 of them — is something that's never been done anywhere in the world," Stevens said.
The museum believes they've been able to get just about every important or significant vehicle used in the science-fiction/fantasy genre, according to Stevens.
Stevens was most excited about the vehicles being showcased from Mad Max: Fury Road.
"Which is essentially a movie about vehicles," Stevens said. "They're some of the most wildly designed and inventive and imaginative vehicles that have ever appeared on film."
The film, which utilized vehicles made for its flat, desert-like dystopian environment, was shot in Australian and Namibia— the museum managed to bring a couple of the surviving vehicles over from Australia.
Most of the vehicles on display are functional and were either driven or operated on screen, according to Stevens. Others were moved artificially by crane or other device, with the use of special effects to hide their true nature.
It's the museum's 25th anniversary — and part of the exhibition's inspiration was their founder, Robert E. Petersen, who collected and displayed Hollywood vehicles going back to the 1970s. He opened the Hollywood Motorama Museum on Hollywood Boulevard at the time.
A showcase piece is a an Audi R8 from Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War that was turned into a sculpture, creating the illusion of seeing the car mid-explosion as pieces hang in the air. It was inspired by the work of Swiss creator Fabian Oefner, who creates photographs of "exploding" cars by taking photos of each part of a scale model and Photoshopping them together into one image, creating the frozen car blow-up effect. The design's also meant to reflect how some versions of Iron Man's suit operate, according to Stevens, coming on and off in panels.
Speaking of superheroes, the show has plenty of Batmobiles. They range from the 1966 TV Batmobile to one from the 1989 Batman movie, and even the Batpod motorcycle-like vehicle from the Dark Knight series.
The vehicles come from a wide variety of sources, according to Stevens. That includes movie studios, private collectors, car companies, and the museum's own assemblage. Steven Spielberg lent them a Minority Report vehicle from his own collection.
Comic-Con International helped to conceive of and curate the exhibition. It may end up traveling south as one of the first shows at Comic-Con's new permanent museum, which will open in San Diego, so the organization wanted to be involved from the ground up, Stevens said.
One of the collections the museum managed to pull together includes six cars from Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, brought to the same space for what Stevens said was likely the first time ever.
Going more into the futuristic fantasy realms, some of the vehicles are representations of cars from CGI movies, like a Tron lightcycle....or from a video game, like a Halo Warthog.
If you want to enjoy some of the more fantastical features of these vehicles, you can use a special Microsoft HoloLens experience created for the exhibition. You can use the augmented reality tool to see the Back to the Future DeLorean fly, see hidden vehicle components come out and go into action, and more.
While the cars are the stars, the exhibition also includes other film props and memorabilia, including some scale models used on screen — such as a taxi from The Fifth Element.
"When you see these pieces of cinematic history in person it truly offers a different perspective than seeing them on the big screen," the museum's Executive Director Terry Karges said in a press release. "It is truly like nothing else we have done here at the Petersen."
Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy is open now at the Petersen Automotive Museum, and runs through March 15, 2020. You can buy tickets here.
See photos below of more cars from the exhibition: