Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines casts Hugo Weaving, who previously worked with the director on The Lord of the Rings. Jackson has quite a way with adapting fantasy novels into film. After all, he is the man behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and who followed it up with The Hobbit trilogy. His next project is also based on a fantasy novel – Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. The adaption is co-written by Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens and directed by Christian Rivers with Jackson as one of the producers. The other producers are co-writer Walsh, Zane Weiner, Amanda Walker, and Deborah Forte.
The first in a series of four novels, Mortal Engines is set in the very far future – long after The 60 Minute War – with most of humanity living on huge wheels and gathering resources from the abandoned cities. With resources growing more and more scarce, the various wheel-based cities fight for what they can. When a man living in one of these cities – Tom Natsworthy – meets a woman from the Outlands, his life changes forever. The YA novel has won numerous awards, including Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Smarties Gold Award, and Blue Peter Book of the Year.
According to Variety, Hugo Weaving has now joined the cast in the role of Valentine, Head of the Historians. This is quite the reunion for Weaving and Jackson, as Weaving played Elrond in all The Lord of the Rings films and two of The Hobbit movies as well.
Since Mortal Engines is the first of four books in a series, the plan is for each of the books to be adapted as well. Weaving is certainly no stranger to working on film series, aside from the two series he’s previously done with Jackson he played Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy and voiced Megatron in the first three Transformers movies. Recently, Weaving appeared in the Oscar nominated film Hacksaw Ridge.
Mortal Engines also stars Robert Sheehan (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) as Tom Natsworthy. Stephen Lang (Avatar, Don’t Breathe), Hera Hilmar (Da Vinci’s Demons), Aaron Jackson (Pete’s Dragon) and Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) are also among the cast. Weaving’s character Valentine is the father of Katherine, played by Leila George (Mother May I Sleep With Danger).
Mortal Engines will film very shortly in New Zealand, returning Weaving and Jackson to the country where they filmed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit – making the reunion even a bit more familiar.