Mortal Engines (film)

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Mortal Engines
Mortal Engines teaser poster.jpg
Teaser poster
Directed by Christian Rivers
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Mortal Engines
by Philip Reeve
Music by Junkie XL[1]
Cinematography Simon Raby
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • December 14, 2018 (2018-12-14) (US)
Country New Zealand
United States
Language English
Budget $100 million[3]

Mortal Engines is an upcoming post-apocalyptic adventure film directed by Christian Rivers and with the screenplay written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson. It is based on the novel of the same name by Philip Reeve. An American-New Zealand co-production, the film is set in a post-apocalyptic steampunk world where entire cities have been mounted on wheels and motorised, and prey on one another. It stars Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide and Stephen Lang.

The film is scheduled to be released in theatres on December 14, 2018.


Tom is a twenty-something Londoner who has only ever lived inside his travelling hometown, and his feet have never touched grass, mud or land. His first taste of the outside comes quite abruptly: Tom gets in the way of the masked Hester's attempt to kill Thaddeus Valentine, a powerful man she blames for her mother’s murder, and both Hester and Tom end up thrown out of the moving "traction" city and on their own.[4]


  • Hera Hilmar as Hester Shaw, a disfigured, fugitive assassin with a personal vendetta against Thaddeus.
  • Robert Sheehan as Tom Natsworthy, a low-class apprentice historian of London thrown out of the city and forced to ally himself with Hester and the resistance.
  • Hugo Weaving as Thaddeus Valentine, Head of the Guild of Historians and the father of Katherine Valentine.
  • Jihae as Anna Fang, a pilot and leader of the Anti-Traction League, a resistance group banding against the moving cities devouring Earth's resources.
  • Ronan Raftery as Bevis Pod, an apprentice engineer whom Katherine befriends.
  • Leila George as Katherine Valentine, daughter of Thaddeus Valentine and one of London's elite.
  • Patrick Malahide as Magnus Crome, the Mayor of London.
  • Stephen Lang as Shrike, the last of an undead battalion of soldiers known as Stalkers, who were war casualties reanimated with machine parts. He raised Hester and now works for Crome.

Additionally, Colin Salmon and Regé-Jean Page portray Chudleigh Pomeroy, Tom’s historian boss, and Captain Khora, respectively. Leifur Sigurdarson portrays Nils Lindstrom, an aviator; Mark Hadlow portrays Orme Wreyland, villainous leader of a small town called Speedwell; Sophie Cox portrays Clytie Potts; Aaron Jackson portrays Gench; Stephen Ure portrays Pewsey; Kee Chan portrays Governor Kwan; and Mark Mitchinson portrays Vambrace.


In December 2009, New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson was reported to have begun development of a film based on Philip Reeve's novel Mortal Engines.[5] On October 24, 2016, production started on a feature film to be directed by Christian Rivers, marking his directorial debut.[6] The script was written by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, while Media Rights Capital and Universal Pictures would be financing the film. Shooting was scheduled to start in March 2017 in Wellington, 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.[6]

In February 2017, Robert Sheehan was cast in the film for the lead role along with Ronan Raftery for a supporting role, while Hera Hilmar was cast as a female lead.[7][8] In March 2017, more cast was announced including Stephen Lang, Jihae, and newcomer Leila George.[9] Hugo Weaving, Patrick Malahide, Colin Salmon, and Regé-Jean Page joined the film in April 2017.[10][11] Richard Armitage was offered a role but passed due to scheduling conflicts.[12]

Principal photography on the film began in April 2017, with shooting occurring at Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand, and was completed in July 2017.[13][14][15]


Mortal Engines is scheduled to be released on December 14, 2018 by Universal Pictures.[16]


  1. ^ "Junkie XL Scoring 'Mortal Engines' Movie Adaptation". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  3. ^ "MRC's Modi Wiczyk Explains Risks Of Summer Originals 'Baby Driver' And 'The Dark Tower'". Deadline Hollywood. June 26, 2017. 
  4. ^ "First photos and trailer: It's city-eat-city in Peter Jackson's 'Mortal Engines'". 
  5. ^ Chapman, Katie (December 22, 2009). "Peter Jackson to adapt sci-fi series". The Dominion Post. Archived from the original on February 23, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Jr, Mike Fleming (October 24, 2016). "Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh Rev 'Mortal Engines'; Directing Debut For 'Hobbit' VFX Protege Christian Rivers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  7. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 2, 2017). "Peter Jackson's 'Mortal Engines' Casts Robert Sheehan, Ronan Raftery (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  8. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (February 7, 2017). "Peter Jackson's 'Mortal Engines' Sets Hera Hilmar As Female Lead". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (March 6, 2017). "Stephen Lang, Jihae, Newcomer Leila George Join Peter Jackson's 'Mortal Engines' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 12, 2017). "Hugo Weaving Reteams With Peter Jackson on 'Mortal Engines' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (April 20, 2017). "Peter Jackson's 'Mortal Engines' Adds Trio (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Richard Armitage nearly had a Mortal Engines acting gig". 
  13. ^ Simich, Ricardo (April 8, 2017). "Stars arrive for Peter Jackson's hot new shoot". Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Filming begins on Peter Jackson's Mortal Engines bringing stars to Wellington". June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  15. ^ "That's a wrap for Sir Peter Jackson's 'Mortal Engines', as film heads into post-production". July 17, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017. 
  16. ^ Yee, Lawrence (November 24, 2016). "Peter Jackson's 'Mortal Engines' to Open in December 2018". Variety. Retrieved November 26, 2016. 

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