Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines Trailer Hits
Universal pictures has released the first teaser trailer Peter Jackson’s upcoming film, Mortal Engines. The trailer debuted before Star Wars: The Last Jedi during its opening weekend.
The film will mark Christian Rivers’s directorial debut, with Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh producing.
Mortal Engines is based on British author Philip Reeve’s acclaimed young adult science fiction series. Set in a future where Earth has become a wasteland roamed by predatory mobile cities (or traction cities), the first installation follows Londoner Thomas Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) and Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) and their adventures across the Great Hunting Ground by airship and by city. Hugo Weaving also rejoins Peter Jackson to play Thaddeus Valentine, a famous historian from London who has a dark past.
The first teaser trailer has given us a taste of the intensity and scale of the film. Hester Shaw (who has twice as many eyes as she did in the books) watches an approaching London from the small suburb of Salthook. London looks truly massive as several tiers of buildings and gardens fill the screen. IMAX 3D seems imminent.
The books have a small following, but fans are of course hoping for as much consistency with the books as possible. The city-chase we get a glimpse of in this trailer looks very close to the book’s introduction, and the atmosphere looks promising. But there’s one glaring difference: where is Hester’s hideous scar?
In the novels, Hester Shaw’s scar crosses her face, leaving her with a stump of a nose and one eye. Hopefully, the scar is hidden beneath the scarf in the trailer, which may make for a more dramatic reveal on-screen. Let’s just hope Hester is as disfigured and angry-looking as we remember.
From the clothing of Hester and the citizens of Salthook, it looks as though the movie will take after the book’s gritty, punky style rather than a more generic Victorian steampunk vibe. A few details stand out from this short chase: the Union Jack painted on London’s jaws, the ominous glow of the city’s gut (where captured cities are harvested), and the eerie singing of Jihae (who portrays the anti-tractionist Anna Fang).
Mortal Engines is certainly a gamble for Peter Jackson and Universal Pictures, but this action-filled trailer is a promising glimpse of what could be an epic sci-fi saga.