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UPDATE: Both Leads Now Cast For the Mortal Engines Adaptation

Cover art for the Mortal Engines book Predator's Gold, by Philip Reeve - Peter Jackson Writing But Not Directing Mortal Engines Adaptation

The Mortal Engines adaptation from Christian Rivers and Peter Jackson is set to arrive on the big screen on December 14, 2018.

Very quickly on the heels of the news that Robert Sheehan was taking the lead male role in the Mortal Engines adaptation, Deadline is now reporting that relative newcomer Hera Hilmar has been cast in the female lead role of Hester Shaw.

There are still plenty of roles to be cast, important both to the first Mortal Engines movie, and the remaining story, and with the start of production fast approaching, more news should be coming along soon.

UPDATE 2-2-17: First Cast Members Announced for the Mortal Engines Adaptation

With the movie a little less than two years out, Variety has revealed the first bit of casting news for the upcoming Mortal Engines adaptation. Actor Robert Sheehan, who we know and love from his work in Misfits, will be taking on the primary male role of Tom Natsworthy from the novel, while Ronan Raftery (seen most recently in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) will play the supporting role of Bevis Pod.

With this first bit of casting news, a release date already set, and production set to begin next month, additional casting news should be coming along soon.

UPDATE 11-24-16: The Mortal Engines Adaptation Has a Release Date!

If you’re a fan of Phillip Reeve’s Mortal Engines book series, you now have a date to look forward to. THR is reporting that Peter Jackson and Universal Pictures will be releasing the first Mortal Engines movie on December 14, 2018.

The adaptation is being written by Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, the trio behind the LoTR and Hobbity Trilogies, though Jackson is turning over directing duties to SFX wizard and friend Christian Rivers.

Original Post 10-24-16: Peter Jackson Writing But Not Directing Mortal Engines Adaptation

What is the book about?

Published in 2001, Phillip Reeve’s Mortal Engines is a grungy steampunk adventure set in a dog-eat-dog post-apocalyptic London which has been motorized and placed on giant wheels in an attempt to avoid the aftermaths (volcanoes, earthquakes, scavengers) of a devastating war. Once other cities saw what London achieved, they began building a motorizing their own giant city-machines and thus the brutal concept of Municipal Darwinism was born (Municipal: city, Darwinism: survival of the fittest). The cities are built with technology that allows them to roll over, dismantle, and acquire the other cities for resources, which created a bloodthirsty, merciless worldwide Mad Max: Fury Road environment on a massive scale. Inside the cities, Victorian-era inspired classism reigns, which literally separates the city into different levels for each class.

Question: Is it time for more steampunk movies?? Answer: Yes.

Having trouble imagining a tiered London set on giant wheels eating other cities? Well, struggle no longer (well, just a bit longer), because cinematic powerhouse couple Peter Jackson and Fran Welsh (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong, District 9, many others) have transformed the first book in Reeves’ Mortal Engines quartet into a screenplay, which is set to be Christian Rivers’ directorial debut.

When asked about Rivers’ potential as a director, Jackson said energetically, “the combination of emotion and jaw-dropping visuals in Mortal Engines makes this the perfect movie for his move into feature directing.”

Who is this Christian Rivers person?

Rivers, a young god in the realm of modern VFX (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Water Horse, and he won an Oscar in the Best Achievement in Visual Effects for King Kong), expressed interest in becoming a director to Jackson years ago, and has since directed an award-nominated short film called “Feeder,” a sci-fi horror film which examines a dark entities cost for a musicians inspiration. Universal Studios and MRC will co-finance the film in hopes of claiming another hit sci-fi/fantasy movie series as their own.

In a recent interview, Rivers expressed how excited he was to direct the “fantastical, futuristic world that has to be seen to believed,” and calls the project “a dream come true.” I wonder if he will also play a part in creating the VFX?

Comment below with your thoughts! Do you think he’ll be a good director for the Mortal Engines adaptation? Is Peter Jackson putting his reputation on the line?

Featured image: Mortal Engines quartet / Philip Reeves / Scholastic Point

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