Stephen Lang (Avatar, Don’t Breathe), South Korean singer-actress Jihae and newcomer Leila George have joined the cast of Mortal Engines, an adaptation of the YA book series from British author Phillip Reeve produced by Peter Jackson.
The four-book series follows the teenager Tom Natsworthy in a futuristic steampunk version of London where cities including London are run by engines that move about the Earth, feeding off the resources of smaller cities. Tom, along with a young woman uncover a mystery that could disrupt the world order.
The world itself was ravaged by a sixty-minute war which caused massive geological upheaval leaving the world technologically and ecologically devastated.
Robert Sheehan (Misfits) leads the cast as Tom along with Hera Hilmar (Da Vinci’s Demons). Lang will play Thaddeus Valentine, a powerful man in London who is trying to acquire a weapon of mass destruction. George is to play his daughter. Jihae has been cast in the role of Anna Fang, a member of a violent league that fights back against the mobile cities.
The project has been long in development. Jackson with wife and producing partner Fran Walsh (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit) optioned the rights from Scholastic back in 2009. Together they wrote the script with LOTR and Hobbit collaborator Philippa Boyens.
Jackson and Walsh are producing along with Zane Weiner (The Lord of the Rings), Amanda Walker (The Hobbit) and Deborah Fortre (The Golden Compass).
Christian Rivers, best known for his VFX work on the Jackson-directed King Kong, makes his directorial debut with Mortal Engines. Production is set to begin in New Zealand in the spring, with the film slated for release December 14, 2018.