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Colin Salmon Among Those Added To Mortal Engines

Colin Salmon

With Peter Jackson overseeing things as a co-writer and producer and Christian Rivers in the director's chair, the adaptation of Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines book series is hitting its stride. Several people are already in the ensemble and Colin Salmon, Patrick Malahide and Rege-Jean Page are joining them.

Reeve's story 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, where the book seres goes by the awkward title The Hungry City Chronicles) who's on their trail. Three more main books and a prequel follow the first entry, so the hope will be for a franchise from this one.

Jackson is cowriting with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and the cast already includes Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving and Stephen Lang. Rivers has begun shooting the movie in New Zealand and it will arrive in the UK on 14 December next year.

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