The Christian Rivers-directed movie adaptation of British author Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines how has three working wheels. Hera Hilmar has been cast as the female lead role, opposite of Robert Sheehan with Ronan Raftery supporting. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are producing.
This is the first movie in a planned series of films based on Reeve’s novels. Following Mortal Engines is Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices, and A Darkling Plain. These novels have won several awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Smarties Gold Award, and Blue Peter Book of the Year.
Jackson and Walsh optioned the rights from Scholastic in 2009 and announced this past October they were going to begin production on the first film. Jackson, Walsh, and their Lord of the Rings co-writer, Philippa Boyens, will pen the script. MRC and Universal are co-financing.
This will be Hilmar’s first major studio role. The Iceland native has been seen in The Fifth Estate and Anna Karenina, as well as the Starz! Series, Da Vinci’s Demons. Recently she wrapped production on The Ottoman Lieutenant with Josh Harnett and An Ordinary Man with Ben Kinglsey.
Sheehan has appeared in several television shows, including Young Blades, Rock Rivals, and Misfits. He also played Simon in the failed 2013 film franchise adaptation of Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which was later redesigned as Shadowhunters on Freeform. He will next appear in Warner Brothers Geostorm.
Raftery recently starred in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Irish actor also appeared in the Netflix drama The Siege of Jadotville with Jamie Dornan. His next release will be in the AMC anthology show, The Terror.
Mortal Engines is expected to begin production this spring in New Zealand with a December 14, 2018 release date.