Christian Rivers

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Christian Rivers
Born1974 (age 47–48)
Wellington, New Zealand
Years active1992–present

Christian Rivers is a New Zealand storyboard artist, visual effects supervisor, special effects technician, and director. He first met Peter Jackson as a 17-year-old,[1] and storyboarded all of Jackson's films since Braindead. He made his directing debut in the film adaptation of Mortal Engines,[2] and planning a remake of The Dam Busters,[3] both produced by Peter Jackson.


Rivers started his career by storyboarding Peter Jackson's Braindead right after finishing high school. He has since then continued to work for Jackson on storyboards, special effects, visual effects and splinter unit directing on The Hobbit trilogy. On King Kong, he directed the previz of the fight between King Kong and the three V-rexes. The sequence was used as the blueprint for the final version, giving Rivers a direction credit for the scene. For his work on King Kong, he won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.[4][5][6]

Rivers went on directing his first short film, Feeder, and second unit directing on the 2016 remake of Pete's Dragon.

Mortal Engines[edit]

In December 2009, it was stated that the New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson intended to make a movie based on Mortal Engines.[7] On 25 October 2016, Peter Jackson announced that WingNut Films has started work on producing a feature film to be directed by Christian Rivers. The script has been written by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. The movie was financed by MRC and Universal, and shooting on Mortal Engines got underway in March 2017 in New Zealand. Producers Zane Weiner and Amanda Walker, who both worked on The Hobbit, will be spearheading the NZ based team, along with Deborah Forte in the US.[8]

The film premiered on 27 November 2018. It premiered worldwide on 14 December 2018, received generally negative reviews and was a box office bomb.

Future projects[edit]

The Dam Busters[edit]

Work on a remake of The Dam Busters, produced by Peter Jackson and directed by first time director Christian Rivers, began in 2008. Jackson said in the mid-1990s that he became interested in remaking the 1955 film, but found that the rights had been bought by Mel Gibson. In 2004, Jackson was contacted by his agent, who said Gibson had dropped the rights. In December 2005, the rights were purchased by David Frost, from the Brickhill family.[9] Stephen Fry wrote the script.[10]

In March 2007, it was announced it will be distributed by Universal Pictures, and StudioCanal.[11] Filming was planned to commence in early 2009, on a budget of US$40 million,[12] although no project specific filming had begun by May 2009.[13] The project was delayed because Jackson decided to make The Hobbit.

Weta Workshop was making the models and special effects for the film and had made 10 life size Lancaster bombers.[14] Fry said Wing Commander Guy Gibson's dog "Nigger" will be called "Digger" in the remake so as to avoid controversy, despite the historical inaccuracy.[15] Les Munro, a pilot in the strike team, joined the production crew in Masterton as technical advisor. Jackson was also to use newly declassified War Office documents to ensure the authenticity of the film.[16]

After Munro died in August 2015, Phil Bonner of the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre said he still thinks Jackson will eventually make the film, citing Jackson's passion for aviation. Jackson said, "There is only a limited span I can abide, of people driving me nuts asking me when I'm going to do that project. So I'll have to do it. I want to, actually, it's one of the truly great true stories of the Second World War, a wonderful, wonderful story."[17]




  1. ^ Pre-vizualisation: Making Words into Images The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Special Extended DVD Edition documentary
  2. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (24 October 2016). "Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh Rev 'Mortal Engines'; Directing Debut For 'Hobbit' VFX Protege Christian Rivers". Deadline. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Peter Jackson's "Dambusters" Remake to Draw on Newly Declassified Government Docs | The Cutting Room |". Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  4. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (24 October 2016). "Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh Rev 'Mortal Engines'; Directing Debut For 'Hobbit' VFX Protege Christian Rivers". Deadline. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (24 October 2016). "Peter Jackson and 'Lord of the Rings' Team Set Next Project With Universal and MRC". Variety. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  6. ^ "'Mortal Engines': Peter Jackson Protégé Christian Rivers on Breaking Out with His First Feature Film". Collider. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  7. ^ Chapman, Katie (22 December 2009). "Peter Jackson to adapt sci-fi series". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Peter Jackson - Timeline | Facebook". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  9. ^ Conlon, Tara. "Frost clears Dam Busters for take-off.", 8 December 2005. Retrieved: 4 December 2009.
  10. ^ Oatts, Joanne. "Fry denies 'Doctor Who' rumours." Digital Spy, 15 March 2007. Retrieved: 21 March 2007.
  11. ^ "Who you gonna call? The Dam Busters." Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine W Weta Holics. Retrieved: 21 March 2007.
  12. ^ Cardy, Tom and Andrew Kelly. "Dambusters filming set for next year." The Dominion Post, 1 January 2008. Retrieved: 30 June 2008.
  13. ^ Katterns, Tanya. "Takeoff Looms For Dam Film." The Dominion Post, 5 May 2009. Retrieved: 4 December 2009.
  14. ^ "Weta Workshop Vehicles." Archived 6 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine, 2008. Retrieved: 4 December 2009.
  15. ^ Cardy, Tom. "Dambusters dog bone of contention.", 13 June 2011. Retrieved: 20 May 2013.
  16. ^ Bromhead, Peter. "Stars bow to hero of missions impossible.", 11 October 2009. Retrieved: 4 December 2009.
  17. ^ "The Dam Busters: Will Peter Jackson's remake of the iconic film ever get off the ground?" , by Paul Gallagher, The Independent

External links[edit]