The New Zealand newspaper Dominion Post is reporting that Peter Jackson, whose new movie The Lovely Bones made its limited U.S. debut Friday, is now at work on “secretly” adapting Phillip Reeve’s quartet of Mortal Engines fantasy novels for the big screen.
The paper reports the project is in early development, with work on a movie about the first of four books under way and Weta Workshops “believed to be” working on the giant mobile cities that populate the novels. None of this was given any further verification than “industry sources say,” and a spokesman for Jackson told the newspaper only “any comment should come from Peter.”
So, what are the books about? They take place in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a nuclear showdown called the “Sixty Minute War.” To avoid the earthquakes left in its wake, the world becomes divided into immense mobile cities known as Traction Cities, which often battle each other for supremacy. Just the possibilities of what Jackson could do with all that sets the mind reeling.
Find out more about what Jackson has on his plate after the jump.
Peter Jackson’s next movie roles will be as a producer. He’s fulfilling that role for director Guillermo del Toro’s The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein’s prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which Jackson of course directed himself for the big screen. Jackson and professional partner Philippa Boyens also wrote the screenplay for the del Toro project, which is actually being made into two movies, with the first scheduled for release in 2011.
He’s also producing Steven Spielberg’s take on the Belgian comic series Tintin with The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. They have their eyes set on turning the Tintin series into at least a trilogy, with Jackson rumored to be set to direct the second installment.
Jackson also has war on the brain. He’s optioned the rights to the Temeraire series of novels by Naomi Novik, which reimagine the events of the Napoleonic Wars as if they were fought with a force of dragons manned by aviators. The possibilities for eye candy there are endless.
And, since the man apparently can’t stop working, he’ll also be producing New Zealand director Christian Rivers’ remake of the World War II movie Dambusters, if that comes to fruition. The original 1955 movie followed two dual stories, the development of the “bouncing bomb” and Operation Chastise, the Royal Air Force’s attacks on the Ruhr dams in Germany.
As you can see, Jackson is a very busy man. What does that mean for Mortal Engines we don’t know. But if you’re a fan of Peter Jackson, the next few years are looking pretty great. More as we hear it.