‘Mortal Engines’ trailer: It’s a city-eat-city world out there, says Peter Jackson


When Peter Jackson announced last week that the trailer for Mortal Engines, his latest producing venture (which he also co-wrote, but more on that in a minute), would be attached to select prints of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we all were pretty excited for it! Aside from being about traveling cities that eat other smaller cities, nobody really knew what it was about, given that we’ve never read the Young Adult book series (written by Philip Reeve) it’s based off of, and our only true point of reference for it was the novel Inverted World by Christopher Priest, which had a very different take on a slightly similar story.

Well, we finally got to see the damn thing today, and boy does it look silly as all hell. Besides, haven’t you ever wondered what a city eating a city would look like? Take a look for yourself:

Jackson’s been working on an adaptation of this since 2009, and he co-wrote the screenplay for this one with his Lord of the Rings co-writers, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. He decided not to direct it, and instead gave the project to his longtime second-unit director Christian Rivers to shepherd to the screen. Weta’s doing the effects work, which you can see in this trailer, and there’s definitely a George Miller vibe to a lot of the cinematography. Basically, it’s Horizon: Fury Waterworld, and, honestly, we’re a little shell-shocked.


We know the ending probably isn’t supposed to be a gag, all things considered, but we couldn’t help but laugh with childish glee once the Union Jack-covered doors closed over that tiny little vehicle. What a bizarre premise! We’re kind of excited for this one, slow-and-sad version of “There’ll Always Be an England” be damned.

Here’s a synopsis, straight from Universal: Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) — who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London –finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.

Mortal Engines hits theaters on December 14, 2018.

Concept art via Empire.