Mortal Engines director Christian Rivers wants the film to be a cross between the Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Mad Max films. Peter Jackson’s name continues to serve as the focal point for Mortal Engines‘ marketing and understandably so; the Lords of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy director is pretty much synonymous with the kind of grandiose epic that Mortal Engines aspires to be. Nevertheless, it was Jackson’s longtime VFX collaborator (and first-time director) Rivers who called the shots on the film, drawing from a script that Jackson cowrote with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.
The Mortal Engines novels by Philip Reeve take place in a post-apocalyptic future where a cataclysmic event (known as the Sixty Minute War) forever changed earth’s geography and left human civilization in ruins. Giant moving cities (aka. traction cities) now roam the planet and battle one another for whatever resources they can find, resulting in some pretty devastating (and literal) city vs. city showdowns. Suffice it to say, the similarities between Mortal Engines‘ setting and that of the Mad Max films hasn’t gone unnoticed by Rivers, Jackson, or any other members of their crew here.
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