He won’t direct though, as that job has gone to his protege, Christian Rivers. Jackson co-wrote the script with his wife and collaborator, Phillipa Boyens.
Mortal Engines ‘is set in a future world devastated ecologically and technologically and where certain cities such as London are run on engines and mobility, giving them the ability to prey on others for resources. The story centers on a teen named Tom Natsworthy who, along with a young woman from a territory known as the Outlands, uncovers a mystery that could change the world order’. There are four books in total, so if successful this could become a franchise.
Jackson apparently liked the books steampunk trapping and has been working on a movie version since 2009. However, it’s only now it’s moving forward, with the screenplay complete, and Universal and MRC stepping up to fund it. It’ll start shooting in New Zealand next spring.
Jackson comments, “Christian is one of my closest collaborators. The combination of emotion and jaw-dropping visuals in Mortal Engines makes this the perfect movie for his move into feature directing. What Christian intends to do with Philip Reeve’s terrific story is going to result in an original and spectacular movie. I wish I could see it tomorrow!”