Universal will release Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh’s latest production Mortal Engines on Dec. 14, 2018. Jackson and Walsh have been developing an adaptation of the 2001 Philip Reeve Scholastic book series for quite some time with their VFX protege Christian Rivers (King Kong) at the helm. The movie marks the first for Jackson and Walsh at Uni since 2005’s King Kong and Universal Studios Hollywood’s King Kong: 360 3-D in 2010. Media Rights Capital is also producing and co-financing with Uni. Currently Mortal Engines stands as the only major studio release on its mid-December date.
The news comes after 20th Century Fox announced last night that a James Cameron untitled pic will hit the multiplex on Dec. 21, 2018; most likely Avatar 2 as the helmer promised at CinemaCon. Unlike this Christmas with Rogue One and next year with Star Wars: Episode VIII on Dec. 15, there isn’t a Star Wars pic slated for the 2018 holiday season. Instead, the Han Solo anthology is dated for Memorial Day weekend (May 25) 2018.
Mortal Engines is set in the future where Earth’s cities now roam the globe on huge wheels, battling each other in a struggle for ever diminishing resources. In the film, two unlikely heroes come together and change the course of the future.
Jackson and Walsh co-wrote the screenplay with their fellow Oscar-winning collaborator, Philippa Boyens, with whom they crafted The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies. Boyens is also a co-producer on the film. Zane Weiner (The Hobbit series), Amanda Walker (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) and Deborah Forte (Goosebumps) are also producing, while Ken Kamins (The Hobbit series) will serve as EP. Universal will distribute the film worldwide.