When Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings) announce a collaboration, it’s worth standing up and taking notice.
Just last month, we brought you the news that Jackson and Walsh were beginning to make some headway on a big-screen rendition of Mortal Engines, the novel saga penned by Philip Reeve. Together with Philippa Boyens, the creative pair had conjured up an early screenplay for the adaptation, while there was also mention that Jackson was set to pass the proverbial torch on to Christian Rivers. A long-time protege of the Kiwi director, Rivers cut his teeth as a visual effects specialist, nabbing an Academy award for his contribution to 2005’s King Kong in the process.
More than a decade later, the pieces are beginning to fall into place for their next tentpole; Universal and MRC have formally announced that Mortal Engines has set sights on a late 2018 release date – December 18, to be specific, where it’ll likely open opposite James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar 2.
Rooted in a post-apocalyptic world where the remnants of humanity live out their days on vast, mobile cities, Mortal Engines is the story of two unlikely heroes who, when put together, discover a destiny that involves changing the course of their world. That merely scrapes the surface of Reeve’s saga, though, which also involves a desperate war for resources thousands of years into the future.
With Christian Rivers behind the wheel, Mortal Engines will plow its way into theaters in time for December 18, 2018. Production is due to get underway Down Under early next year, so expect Universal and Co. to fire up their casting spree before long.