Lord of the Rings' Peter Jackson has booked his next big fantasy film project

Veteran director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit) has landed his next big fantasy film series — though he won’t actually be behind the camera this time around.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson will co-write and produce a film adaptation of the sci-fi fantasy young adult book series Mortal Engines, based on author Philip Reeve’s series of the same name. The four-book series is set in a devastated future world where entire cities run on engines that allow them to prey on other communities. Cue the YA plot twist: The story focuses on a teen and young woman who uncover a mystery that could unravel the entire world order.

Jackson and his wife (and frequent collaborator) Fran Walsh wrote the script, along with Philippa Boyens. Jackson has lined up his longtime protege Christian Rivers to actually direct the project. Mortal Engines will be his directorial debut.

“Mortal Engines is one of those stories that was made for the big screen. A fantastical, futuristic world that has to be seen to be believed,” Rivers said in a statement. “At its heart though, it’s a beautiful love story and a richly complex character driven adventure. To be the director who gets to bring Philip Reeve’s incredible universe to life is a dream come true.”

Jackson was apparently attracted to the steampunk style of the story, which incorporates cutting-edge sci-fi with airships and the like. There's no doubt it certainly has the potential for some stunning visuals. He optioned the rights all the way back in 2009, and has been tinkering with the project ever since.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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