Peter Jackson crafted six classic films with ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies. What does he do next? The director has announced a new project, ‘Mortal Engines’ based on the books by Philip Reeve. But Jackson won’t be directing this project. He’s simply working on the script with his ‘Hobbit’ screenwriting team of Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Jackson will also produce along with Walsh, with Boyens co-producing.
Helming the film will be longtime Jackson collaborator Christian Rivers. He worked as a storyboard artist on ‘Dead Alive’ and ‘Heavenly Creatures’, then visual effects art director on ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ and then splinter unit director on the last two ‘Hobbit’ movies. He won an Oscar for his visual effects work on Jackson’s ‘King Kong’. He also recently served as a second unit director on ‘Pete’s Dragon’.
‘Mortal Engines’ is the first of a series of science fiction novels by Philip Reeve, called the ‘Mortal Engines Quartet’ also known as ‘Predator Cities’ and ‘Hungry City Chronicles’. ‘Mortal Engine’ was first published in 2001, followed by ‘Predator’s Gold’ in 2003, ‘Infernal Devices’ in 2005 and ‘A Darkling Plain’ in 2006. He also released a novella ‘Traction City’ on World Book Day in 2011.
The books are set in a post-apocalyptic future, known as the Traction Era, due to the surviving cities on Earth traveling on huge caterpillar treads, dismantling each other for the limited resources left in the world.
Should the film adaptations prove successful, Reeve also penned a prequel trilogy, the ‘Fever Crumb’ series which could also make for additional films.
Jackson first expressed an interest in adapting Reeve’s books in 2009. Reeve had previously declined to allow his books to be adapted, fearing that too many changes would be made.
As for directing endeavors, Jackson is reportedly working on a secret project with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and is still pursuing a ‘Tintin’ sequel.
Are you a fan of the books? Are you excited that Jackson and his crew are bringing them to the big screen?