Hugo Weaving Climbs Aboard Peter Jackson’s Fantasy Epic Mortal Engines

From Middle-earth to Mortal Engines, former Lord of the Rings star Hugo Weaving has inked a deal to climb aboard Peter Jackson’s long-in-development adaptation.

Per Variety, this marks the pair’s first collaboration since orchestrating The Battle of the Five Armies three years ago, when Weaving played the iconic role of Elrond. And though his role in Mortal Engines is yet to be confirmed – sources close to Variety claim he’ll play Valentine, head of the Historians – securing Hugo Weaving’s services is certainly a massive coup for Universal’s wildly ambitious adaptation. Lifted from the pages of Philip Reeves’s four-part steampunk series, we know that the studio has already appointed Christian Rivers at the helm, who will direct a script from Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

Set thousand of years in the future, Mortal Engines follows the remnants of humanity as they roam the ravaged landscape aboard huge, mobile platforms known as Traction Cities. Left to scrap over a pool of diminishing resources, the life of Tom Natsworthy is turned upside down when he encounters a mysterious young girl from the Outlands. Robert Sheehan, star of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, is set to take point as Natsworthy, leading a cast comprised of Stephen Lang, Hera Hilmar, Aaron Jackson and Ronan Raftery of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them fame.

It’s currently eyeing a production start this spring in New Zealand, which puts Mortal Engines on course to enter theaters on December 14th, 2018. Weaving, meanwhile, was last seen in Mel Gibson war pic Hacksaw Ridge, and has also lined up a minor role in Lance Daly drama Black 47.