Peter Jackson’s ‘Mortal Engines’ Gets December 2018 Release Date
Peter Jackson, never one to shy away from ambitious literary adaptations, is back at it again with Mortal Engines, the first book in Philip Reeve’s sprawling steampunk-science fiction epic series about a dystopian world that’s home to giant cities that travel the land on wheels. Now, his film has an official holiday-friendly release date of December 14, 2018.
Universal Pictures announced the date on Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’ll be going up against Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Mary Poppins Returns, Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, and an untitled project from Fox, which, THR notes, could be the date for James Cameron’s long-awaited (by some) and still untitled Avatar sequel. It’s a pretty huge month for every studio, so Universal obviously thinks Jackson’s Mortal Engines will be able to compete. And, really, it’s a Peter Jackson project. If he hasn’t lost us all with his Hobbit trilogy, the Lord of the Rings-faithful will come back to the theater for him.
Another incentive for the fans is that Jackson is getting his Rings gang back together for Mortal Engines: he, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens will be co-writing the script, and Jackson}s longtime protege Christian Rivers will be making his directorial debut after working as a splinter unit director on The Hobbit and a second unit director for this year’s Pete’s Dragon. The world of Mortal Engines is quite a different atmosphere from Tolkien’s Middle Earth: after a series of natural disasters, huge cities crawl the earth, battling for resources. It’s more of a crazy, swashbuckling sci-fi yarn than Jackson has done before, so where his Hobbit movies failed with their bonkers visual style, Mortal Engines could be all the better for it.