It’s not everyday Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh – two parts of the creative driving force behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies – pledge their support to a budding film franchise, so it’s small wonder why Mortal Engines has already generated so much excitement.
An adaptation of Philip Reeve’s dystopian novel series, Jackson and Walsh initially signed on to produce the big-screen rendition of Mortal Engines many moons ago, and are currently in the process of constructing a screenplay with Philippa Boyens and Christian Rivers. The latter was elected director on the project late last year, and just recently we learned that Robert Sheehan and Fantastic Beasts star Ronan Raftery had climbed on board. According to Variety, we can now add Hera Hilmar’s name to that preliminary cast list, as the up-and-coming actress has been set as the film’s female lead.
Best known for her involvement in The Ottoman Lieutenant and The Oath, Hilmar is a relative newcomer to the Hollywood scene, but Mortal Engines could signal an exciting – and indeed long-running – foray into blockbuster filmmaking. Philip Reeve’s four-part steampunk saga imagines a far-future scenario wherein the remnants of humanity scrap for dwindling resources to fuel their giant Traction Cities. Each mobile metropolis is propped up on massive wheels, allowing the last vestiges of human life to roam the ravaged landscape in search of food, water, life and protection from savages. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) will anchor the story of Mortal Engines, after having “an unexpected encounter with a mysterious young woman from the Outlands who will change the course of his life forever.”
In what could be the first in a newfound franchise of films, Christian Rivers and Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Mortal Engines will lurch into theaters in time for December 14th, 2018. Production is due to get underway in the spring.