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Peter Jackson Developing Mortal Engines
Moving cities arrive in Wellington

22 December 2009  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: Dominion Post

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Wellington's Dominion Post, a newspaper published in the New Zealand home of Peter Jackson's Wingnut Films and the Weta Workshop, has broken the news that Jackson and Weta are working on adaptations of Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines quartet (known as The Hungry City Chronicles in the US: so let's hope we get to keep the UK titles and there's none of that Golden Compass nonsense).

Reeve's series of children's novels takes place in a steampunk post-apocalyptic future where cities are mobile and perambulate the planet devouring each other for fuel: a system amusingly called Municipal Darwinism. The St Paul's Cathedral-topped London is the strongest of these Traction Cities, in a world where "old tech" is extremely sought after.

The first novel, Mortal Engines itself, in a very small nutshell, involves an assassination attempt within the Historians Guild; the challenging of apprentice Historian Tom Natsworthy's value system, when he gets stranded overboard his beloved London with the revenge-bent Hester Shaw; and the Terminator-ish "stalker" Shrike (Grike if you're American) who's on their trail. Mortal Engines is followed by Predator's Gold, Infernal Devices, A Darkling Plain and the prequel Fever Crumb.

The film series is in early development, according to The Post, with design work on the moving cities underway at Weta. A spokesman for Peter Jackson declined to comment, deferring to Jackson himself. But crucially, he denied nothing. Jackson is understood to have been sitting on the option for the books for some time.

Whether Jackson will want to direct the series or just produce, remains to be seen. With fingers in the pies of The Hobbit, Tintin, The Dambusters, Temeraire, and Halo, we wonder when he'd find the time to do either.

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Your Comments

Any info on auditions? Would really love to be in these films.. More

Posted by alex_h at 23:03 on 02 January 2010 | Report This Post

Sounds awesome
Recently started rereading this series its great to hear its being put on the big screen and by such a fantastic director More

Posted by Smegg at 19:07 on 30 December 2009 | Report This Post

Every time I hear of PJ's involvement with a project that is not The Hobbit it makes me uncomfortable. It makes me think it's taking his attention away from what is important to these side issues. Please let The Hobbit/s be as great as the LotR films God! More

Posted by oneworldfamily at 22:53 on 27 December 2009 | Report This Post

I think the master chief should be first among PJ's priorities. I'd love to see a joint directing job with PJ dealing with the epic bits and District 9 man doing the character bits. If any film looks set to break the trend of terrifyingly bad game adaptations, it's a jackson-produced, weta-effected Halo. btw, prince of persia will be terrible. Terrible. More

Posted by bleugh07 at 17:10 on 22 December 2009 | Report This Post

Loved the first book as a kid - the idea of walking cities eating each other is absolutely ace, and it was a fucking amazing universe to immerse myself into back then. Also might be a good time for me to get an agent if it's filming in New Zealand. More

Posted by Pigeon Army at 12:50 on 22 December 2009 | Report This Post

I have just nearly wet myself; always hoped these may become movies and with Mr. Jackson involved I'm sure they'll be done the justice they deserve. Me and the Mrs. love potter but she has a thing for something or other called twilight??! but by far the best books around are these! Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! More

Posted by boostergold at 12:37 on 22 December 2009 | Report This Post

Never heard of the books but I feel a visit to Amazon on the horizon. This sounds awesome! I hope it gets the green light.. More

Posted by nclowe at 09:22 on 22 December 2009 | Report This Post

I've always thought these would be great as films. And who better to develop them (and hopefully direct!) than Peter Jackson? More

Posted by stewart4 at 09:17 on 22 December 2009 | Report This Post

and wouldn't this have been a great spielberg movie a few years back.....? More

Posted by leroythemasochist at 08:20 on 22 December 2009 | Report This Post

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