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Peter Jackson's Brings Epic WTF-ery With 'Mortal Engines'

By Tori Preston | Trailers | December 18, 2017 |

By Tori Preston | Trailers | December 18, 2017 |

As far as teaser trailers go, watching a giant rolling land-yacht the size of London (literally — it IS London) devour another smaller land-yacht with zero explanation is effective. I, for one, feel teased. Like, I want to know WTF is going on in this steampunk Mad Max dystopia with more greenery and bigger death machines. Because this snippet gives nothing away.

Based on the young adult novels by Philip Reeve, Mortal Engines brings a story of (I shit you not, I looked it up) “Municipal Darwinism” to the big screen in what might be our next SFX-driven movie epic. Will it succeed in capturing our imaginations where other recent fantasy films like Jupiter Ascending and Warcraft failed? Well, it’s got the LotR trinity of Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens and Fran Walsh penning the screenplay so that’s a pretty solid pedigree.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.

Mortal Engines is the startling, new epic adventure directed by Oscar®-winning visual-effects artist Christian Rivers (King Kong). Joining Rivers are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies three-time Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who have penned the screenplay. The Universal and MRC adaptation is from the award-winning book series by Philip Reeve, published in 2001 by Scholastic.

Mortal Engines will be rolling into theaters December 2018. Assuming it doesn’t devour them.

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Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.