Peter Jackson, the film director behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, is adapting a film version of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines (Scholastic). Production is scheduled to start in New Zealand in spring 2017.
Jackson co-wrote the film with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens (who worked on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit), and Christian Rivers is attached to direct.
“Mortal Engines is one of those stories that was made for the big screen, a fantastical, futuristic world that has to be seen to be believed," Rivers said. "At its heart though, it’s a beautiful love story and a richly complex character driven adventure. To be the director who gets to bring Philip Reeve’s incredible universe to life is a dream come true.”
Reeves said: “I’m thrilled that Christian, Fran, Philippa and Peter are bringing my book to the screen. They’ve created some of the most memorable imaginary worlds in modern cinema, so I can’t wait to experience their vision of the world of Mortal Engines.”
The deal was brokered by entertainment lawyer Nelson Davis (acting on behalf of Jackson’s team), and Stan Coleman for Scholastic. Reeve’s agent is Philippa Milnes-Smith at Lucas Alexander Whitley Ltd.
MRC and Universal are co-financing the film.
Mortal Engines, published in 2001, is the first book in a quartet of the same name. It is set thousands of years in a post-apocalyptic future, where the world’s cities travel the earth on huge wheels, looking for the planet’s ever-dwindling resources. The children's novel won the Nestle Smarties Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award in 2002.