Saturday, 6 May 2017

Robert Sheehan and Ronan Raftery join Mortal Engines

After bubbling away in development for years, the Peter Jackson (The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring) produced Mortal Engines adaptation took a big step forward when longtime collaborator Christian Rivers was announced as the director last year. Now we know two of the people who will be in front of the camera, with news arriving via Variety that Robert Sheehan (Cherrybomb) and Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them).

Philip Reeve's series of children's novels takes place in a steampunk post-apocalyptic future where cities are mobile and perambulate the planet devouring each other for fuel – a system amusingly called Municipal Darwinism. The St Paul's Cathedral topped London is the strongest of these Traction Cities, in a world where 'old tech' is extremely sought after.

The first novel, Mortal Engines itself, in a very small nutshell, involves an assassination attempt within the Historians Guild, the challenging of apprentice Historian Tom Natsworthy's value system, when he gets stranded overboard his beloved London with the revenge-bent Hester Shaw, and a 'stalker' called Shrike (known as Grike in American, where the book series goes by the awkward title The Hungry City Chronicles) who is on their trail. Mortal Engines is followed by Predator's Gold, Infernal Devices, A Darkling Plain and the prequel Fever Crumb.

The script is by the The Lord Of The Rings team of Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, with Rivers set to start shooting in New Zealand this spring, ready for a 14 December 2018 release. And, if it is successful, more movies are set to follow.

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