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Discover The Wild World Of Peter Jackson’s New Fantasy Epic

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Peter Jackson has been working with storyboard artist and visual effects artist Christian Rivers for over 25 years. It comes as no surprise, then, that the Oscar-winning director hired Rivers to direct Mortal Engines, the ambitious, long-gestating adaptation of Philip Reeves’ book series of the same name. Set in a fantastical world known as Predator Cities, the first book in the series deals with Tom Natsworthy and a “murderous, scar-faced girl” who run “for their lives” through wreckage, facing “a terrifying new weapon that threatens the future of the world.” For a better sense of this unusual post-apocalyptic creation, check out the trailer:

During the shoot last year, Rivers described the evolution of his relationship with Jackson. “My role has always been in service to his vision,” he said. “I mean, that’s what you do. Films are hierarchical and the director is essentially the creative dictator. So, my services to Peter have always been to help him achieve his vision. And now, on this one, it’s sort of the other way around.”

Given Rivers’ background, it’s understandable that he welcomed the ideas of his cast and crew. “I’m… absorbing as much as I can in the collaborative way from everyone who is around me,” he said, making special mention of Jackson’s contribution. “He’ll have a strong opinion about things, but it’ll be very defendable—and if it’s not defendable, he’ll give in to what you want. So it’s a very healthy and fun and creative process.”

Mortal Engines arrives in theatres on December 14.