Mortal Engines got a huge push and a warm reception from the audiences at New York Comic Con but one of the things that people might be wondering about this Universal Pictures production is the director and producer. The marketing is leaning on Peter Jackson and his role as a producer heavily and Jackson was the one who wanted to make this movie a reality. However, he passed on directing it and he explained to Empire why he made that decision.
“I wasn’t in the right frame of mind,” he said. “I just thought I could either direct the movie in an exhausted state or I could give it to someone who is young and has a bit more energy, and simply help them.”
That person with “energy” turned out to be Christian Rivers who was a second unit director for The Hobbit movies and also did extensive work in special effects. The barrel chase scene from The Desolation of Smaug was directed by Rivers and one of the scenes where Jackson realized that Rivers could handle a full production on his own.
“This seemed to be an obvious moment in time to tell him to get his directing boots on and show up on set, “ says Jackson.
As for Rivers he had a very clear pitch when it came to crafting this very unique world.
“My pitch was that if you could make a triangle out of Star Wars, Mad Max and Harry Potter, we could sit in the middle. We sort of have the scale of Star Wars, the gritty realism of Mad Max, and inherent in Philip’s writing, there is this Harry Potter-esque, English, institutional, almost Dickensian feel.”
Mortal Engines faces some stiff competition in December including Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Mary Poppins Returns. However, out of all those movies, it does appear to be the most unique in terms of story and with good word of mouth and review it could certain carve out its own space this holiday season.
Summary: Many years after the “Sixty Minute War,” cities survive a now desolate Earth by moving around on giant wheels attacking and devouring smaller towns to replenish their resources.
Mortal Engines, directed by Christian Rivers, stars Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Frankie Adams, Caren Pistorius, Stephen Lang, and Robert Sheehan. It will be released on December 18th.