Christian Rivers will direct Mortal Engines, which Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are adapting from Philip Reeve’s novel. Mortal Engines is a book from a four-title series, so there are possibilities of sequels – up to 11 of them based on Jackson’s treatment of The Hobbit.
Rivers has worked for and with Jackson for over 20 years, as a storyboard artist, VFX artist, and director of shooting units. He was previously set to direct Jackson’s planned remake of The Dambusters, which Jackson noted was still a live project.
Rivers’ short Feeder – one of the last through the NZFC’s Premiere Shorts scheme – recently collected the Cinematography gong at Show Me Shorts, and was a nominee in three other categories including Best Film.
Unsurprisingly, Weta Workshop and Weta Digital are on board Mortal Engines, which is being made for Universal Studios and will shoot here next year. Jackson previously worked with Universal for King Kong – for which Rivers won a VFX Oscar.
In his facebook post Tuesday Jackson noted that he’d optioned Mortal Engines several years ago, and encouraged people not familiar with the books to get stuck into them.
Top image: Lead Cohen Holloway (left) and director Christian Rivers during the shoot for Feeder