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Peter Jackson has announced Mortal Engines is heading to the big screen

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Peter Jackson has shared the news that Wingnut Films is working on a film adaptation of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines book. Christian Rivers is set to direct the film. Rivers first met Peter Jackson as a 17-year-old, and story-boarded all of Jackson’s films since Braindead. He also cameoed in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and King Kong.

MORTAL ENGINES launched Philip Reeve’s brilliantly-imagined creation, the world of the Traction Era, where mobile cities fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic future.The first instalment introduces young apprentice Tom Natsworthy and the murderous Hester Shaw, flung from the fast-moving city of London into heart-stopping adventures in the wastelands of the Great Hunting Ground

I read the books a few years ago and they should make excellent movies. Lots of action and adventure, good characters and the mobile cities should make for some brilliant visuals.

Here is what Jackson had to say about the project.

Hi Folks,

It’s been a quiet few months, but I’m very happy to tell you that our next project is now underway.

WingNut Films be producing a feature film based on Philip Reeve’s book Mortal Engines, to be directed by Christian Rivers. The script has been written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and myself.

Some of you may recall that Christian was going to direct the Dambusters a few years back. Since then he’s kept himself busy, making short films, and directing Second Units on The Hobbit and Pete’s Dragon.

Our involvement in Mortal Engines actually pre-dates Dambusters (which is still happening) – Christian actually worked on Mortal Engines previs way back in 2009. It’s very exciting to finally get it underway!

We’ve had the rights to Philip’s book series for several years, but have had to wait for the right time to make it.

If you haven’t read the books, you should. They present a stunning look into the future, when all of Earth’s major cities are now mounted on wheels, roaming across the landscape as massive “Traction Cities”. Our society has build itself on the principals of Municipal Darwinism – this basically involves the bigger cities hunting down, and consuming, the smaller ones. And that’s only the backdrop to an original and emotional personal story.

Philip Reeve has created a range of intriguing characters, following their adventures in our strange future world through four books – “Mortal Engines”, “Predator’s Gold”, “Infernal Devices” and “A Darkling Plain”.

The moment we read these novels, we knew what exciting movies they’d make. I literally can’t wait to see them!

The movie will be financed by MRC and Universal, and shooting will get underway next March, in New Zealand. Producers Zane Weiner and Amanda Walker, who both worked on the Hobbit, will be spearheading the NZ based team, along with Deborah Forte in the US.

No casting to announce yet, but Weta Workshop and Weta Digital are both onboard.

With the wheels now rolling on Mortal Engines, I’ll bring you a lot of news and sneak peeks at what we’re doing over the coming months.

Cheers,

Peter J

mortal-engines

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