According to Variety, Jackson, his wife, Fran Walsh, and their frequent collaborator, Philippa Boyens will co-write the adaptation of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines, with Christian Rivers slated to direct it. This will be Rivers’ first time in the director’s chair for a major theatrical project after spending most of his career working with Jackson as a story board artist, a visual effects supervisor and a unit director on The Hobbit. More recently, Rivers was a second unit director on Disney’s remake of Pete’s Dragon.
Mortal Engines is a steampunk adventure that was first published in 2001. The story takes place in an alternate future in which traditional cities have given way to “Traction Cities,” which travel the world and attack other cities as they vie for dwindling food and water supplies. The lead character of Mortal Engines is Tom Natsworthy, a 15-year old orphan who encounters an enigmatic young woman named Hester Shaw, before embarking on a life-changing journey.
Reeve wrote three sequels to Mortal Engines: Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices, and A Darkling Plain. Considering that Jackson has held the cinematic rights to the series for several years, it seems likely that all four books could be made into a new theatrical franchise. And perhaps Jackson could even direct one of the film’s sequels, if they materialize.
Universal Pictures has already signed on to distribute and co-finance Mortal Engines, which may begin filming in New Zealand as soon as spring 2017.
Are you eager to see what Jackson and his collaborators have in store for us in Mortal Engines? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!