According to The Hollywood Reporter Universal Pictures and MRC are working together with Peter Jackson in writing a screenplay adaptation of the books known as Mortal Engines. The book series was published in 2001 and is set in an apocalyptic future where Earth lays waste environmentally and technologically. Due to this, cities such as London are run on engines giving them mobility to prey on others for the scarce resources left. The novels focus on a teenage boy named Tom Natsworthy who along with an unnamed woman discover the Outlands where they try to uncover a mystery that could change the world. Mortal Engines is followed by Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices, and A Darkling Plain.
Rather than directing, Jackson will be co-writing the screenplay along with frequent partner and wife Fran Walsh. Walsh worked on the scripts for Lord of the Rings as well as the Hobbit trilogies. They also had help from Philippa Boyens. Christian Rivers, Jackson’s long time apprentice will be making his directorial debut with Mortal Engines.
Jackson says this of Rivers, “Christian is one of my closest collaborators,” said Jackson, “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!”
Production will start in New Zealand, where much of the LOTR films were created in the spring of 2017.