Peter Jackson and the LoTR Team Are Making a "Mortal Engines" Movie

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 - 2:14PM
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 - 2:14PM
Peter Jackson and the LoTR Team Are Making a "Mortal Engines" Movie
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First off, let's get something straight: even Peter Jackson and his team didn't like The Hobbit movies. When Guillermo Del Toro left the production, PJ & Co were thrown into a movie that was already in progress but not fully planned out. Either way, Peter Jackson's name now carries with it some unfulfilled promises. All of that may be swept away, however, with Jackson's new project, a film adaptation of the award-winning Mortal Engines books, written by English author Phillip Reeve.

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Mortal Engines takes place in a postapocalyptic, dystopian Europe where people live in giant, mobile cities on wheels that roam around the continent hunting other cities for their resources in a system termed "Municipial Darwinism." It's part Howl's Moving Castle, part Mad Max, and though it's published by Scholastic as a YA title, the material has the potential to be as dark and gritty as Game of Thrones, complete with cruel mutilations and chaotic city-wide murder-sprees. The cities themselves have the potential to be terrifying, hulking masses on screen, and the world-destroying "Sixty Minute War" that turned the continent into a wasteland will ring familiar bells for fans of Fallout.

Though Christian Rivers is actually directing, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens are going to be co-writing the script. What may be most impressive of all is that Jackson and his team have been interested in a Mortal Engines movie since 2009, and that Rivers, who worked on storyboarding for Jackson and rose to second-unit director on Pete's Dragon  (as well as working on the award-winning visual effects for King Kong), has now made it into the director's seat. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jackson endorsed Rivers on his directorial debut:

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"Christian is one of my closest collaborators," says Jackson. "The combination of emotion and jaw-dropping visuals in 'Mortal Engines' makes this the perfect movie for his move into feature directing. What Christian intends to do with Philip Reeve's terrific story is going to result in an original and spectacular movie. I wish I could see it tomorrow!"
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No release date has been set for the movie, but it'll be interesting to see Jackson and the team back in the saddle, adapting wildly popular British SF series  again. This time, let's hope that they give themselves enough time to make something special.
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