It’s been a couple of years since Peter Jackson completed his work on The Hobbit Trilogy, but after taking a bit of a breather, it looks like he’s finally ready to jump back into development on a brand new movie franchise. Back in 2009, Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh acquired the movie rights to Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines sci-fi fantasy book series from Scholastic. They are now in the process of setting up an adaptation of the first book with MRC and Universal, although in this case Jackson has chosen not to direct it himself. Instead he will hand over the reins to Christian Rivers, a long-time collaborator who did VFX work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, as well as King Kong (which earned him an Oscar). Jackson had this to say about the announcement:
“Christian is one of my closest collaborators… The combination of emotion and jaw-dropping visuals in Mortal Engines makes this the perfect movie for his move into feature directing. What Christian intends to do with Philip Reeve’s terrific story is going to result in an original and spectacular movie. I wish I could see it tomorrow!”
The Mortal Engines series takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where cities move around the globe on huge wheels, consuming other smaller towns as they go. Jackson and Walsh adapted the script with another frequent collaborator, Philippa Boyens. Rivers does not have any directing credits under his belt, but he did act as splinter unit director on the last two Hobbit movies and second unit director on Pete’s Dragon. Are you looking forward to a Mortal Engines movie? Are you disappointed that Peter Jackson won’t be directing?