Making the Mortal Engines Movie

News, views, quotes and trivia about Philip Reeve's 'Mortal Engines' books and the Peter Jackson movie production.

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Friday, October 28, 2016

List of books written by Mortal Engine's author Philip Reeve


photo of philip reeve author of mortal engines
Philip Reeve, awesome author.

List of books written by Phillip Reeve


Here's a list of Philip Reeve's novels. A popular child's author, he is most noted for his Mortal Engines set of books which are being filmed by the Hobbit himself, Peter Jackson.

Reeve's originally began his career as an illustrator but obviously transitioned to story telling very well!

His stories usually focus on dystopian futures or post apocalyptic Earth scenarios. He also does alternative spins on well known tales such as those of King Arthur.

He has developed quite the extensive bibliography:

Mortal Engines Universe

 

Mortal Engines Quartet


  •     Mortal Engines (2001)
  •     Predator's Gold (2003)
  •     Infernal Devices (2005)
  •     A Darkling Plain (2006)
  •     Traction City (World Book Day, 2011), a novella

The Mortal Engines series is referred to the "Hungry City Chronicles" in the United States of America. It is also goes by the name, 'Predator Cities'.

Fever Crumb (prequel series)


    Fever Crumb (2009)
    A Web of Air (2010)
    Scrivener's Moon (2011)

Buster Bayliss series


    Night of the Living Veg (2002)
    The Big Freeze (2002)
    Day of the Hamster (2002)
    Custardfinger! (2003)

Larklight trilogy


    Larklight (2006)
    Starcross (2007)
    Mothstorm (2008)

Goblins series


    Goblins (2012)
    Goblins vs Dwarves (2013)
    Goblin Quest (2014)

The Railhead Series


    Railhead (2015)
    Black Light Express (2016)

Other novels


    Isaac Newton and His Apple (1999)
    Horatio Nelson and His Victory (2003)
    Here Lies Arthur (2007)
    No Such Thing As Dragons (2009)
    Doctor Who: The Roots of Evil (2013)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wing Nut Films to produce Mortal Engines

Peter Jackson's Wing Nut Films to product Mortal Engines


Kiwi film making legend Peter Jackson has announced that his latest film project is Mortal Engines. If you know that name that’s because it is an adaptation of Philip Reeve's sci-fi/fantasy novel Mortal Engines.

Jackson and his usual gang of Oscar winning writing partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have taken up the pen for scripting.

Jackson is taking a breaking from directing after the tortuous 3 film run that was the Hobbit so his protege Christian Rivers in the directing chair. Rivers was in line to direct a remake of the Dambusters but that project has been put on the go slow.

Jackson said of his project:

“Our involvement in Mortal Engines actually pre-dates Dambusters (which is still happening) - Christian actually worked on Mortal Engines previs way back in 2009. It’s very exciting to finally get it underway!”

Filming on Mortal Engines is expected to begin in New Zealand next autumn. As usual Wing Nut Films is producing the film and its likely sequels.

The book series was first optioned to be made into movies by Jackson way back in 2001 and he will be looking to turn it into a massive film franchise.

So what is the Mortal Engines series of novels about?


Mortal Engines is set far off into the future. A post-apocalyptic Earth now features giant robotic or mechanical cities that roam the scorched Earth on huge wheels, devouring each other in a struggle for ever diminishing resources.

On one of these massive Traction Cities, a young man called Tom Natsworthy has an unexpected encounter with a mysterious girl from the Outlands and the story pans out from there. No casting announcements have been made about these two main characters.

The books are often referred to the ‘Predator Cities’ series and feature a steampunk world where merciless barons and mayors roam what is known as the Hunting Ground, preying on smaller towns and converting their raw materials into fuel for their own city-machines.

It will be a couple of years before you get to see Mortal Engines on the silver screen and given no release date has been publicly announced, you’ve got plenty of time to read the books.

What is 'London City' in Mortal Engines?


What is 'London' traction city in Mortal Engines?


London is the principal 'Traction City' in the novel 'Mortal Engines'.

While the book is set many hundreds of years in the future, London has returned to a Victorian-era society. Many consider given this structure is mixed with an 'old' state of technology means that London has a 'steam punk' vibe.

London's society is squarely divided into four major and a number of minor guilds.

A healthy eco-system has been established between the guilds and collectively they serve the interests of London but in reality the Lord Mayor, Magnus Chrome sees and uses London as his own personal empire.

The four Guilds of London City


  • The Engineers are responsible for maintaining the machines necessary for the survival of London. 
  • The Historians are in charge of collecting and preserving prized, often dangerous artifacts.
  • The Navigators are responsible for steering and plotting the course of London. 
  • The Merchants are in charge of running London's economy. 

 

Social Structure


London is built on a series of tiers or levels. This encourages the system of social classes, with the wealthier nobles at the top of the city and the lower classes further down, closer to the noise and pollution of London city's massive engines. 

You could compare this class demarcation to it to the Titanic movie's portrayal of society where the rich folk got to enjoy champagne on the upper decks and the 'travelers' known as steerage class slummed it in the depths of the ship.

I see London


Mortal Engines's author Philip Reeve made many references to historical human things from this world and placed them in his books. In terms of London, at it's highest point rests the famous  St Paul's Cathedral: the only building known to have survived the infamous 'Sixty Minute War'.

London is destroyed at the end of Mortal Engines, along with it, the maniacal Lord Mayor of the City, Magnus Chrome.

Key characters that live on London City 


  • Tom Natsworthy. The hero of the piece. 
  • Thaddeus Valentine: described as a dashing and handsome Historian often idolised by younger Historians - though his less public image involves murder and thievery as an agent of London while he works for Magnus Chrome. He was killed in the destruction of London by the MEDUSA weapon. In a plot twist revealed in the book, Valentine is in fact Hester's biological father! Played by Australian actor, Hugo Weaving. 
  • Magnus Crome, the megalomaniacal mayor of London. 
  • Katherine Valentine, Thaddeus Valentine's daughter. After uncovering her father's dark secret as an agent that has been seeking out the Medusa, she attempts to stop him, with help through Bevis Pod and the sympathetic members of the Historians guild; however, he accidentally kills her with his sword. Oh the irony. Played in the film by Leila George
  • Bevis Pod, a young apprentice Engineer. He works with Katherine to uncover Valentine's plans and falls in love with her along the way. Played by Ronan Raftery
  • Moira Plym, a plucky member of the Historian's Guild who helps in the fight against the Engineers. 
  • Dr Arkengarth, the curator of ceramics in the Historian's Guild. 
  • Dr. Twix, a researcher in the Guild of Engineers who creates many Stalkers for Magnus Crome and one of the team who study Shrike.
  • In the prequel novel, the titular Fever Crumb also resides on London.

Spoiler alert

Spoiler alert

London is destroyed at the end of the Mortal Engines novel. The MEDUSA weapon has been prepared to fire when after being accidentally killed by her father, Katherine Valentine falls onto the controls of the weapon. This causes the device to malfunction and it eventually explodes, killing everybody left on the city. The ending of Mortal Engines is actually pretty dark! 

Here is some concept art of London from the movie production that was officially released by Producer Peter Jackson:

london city from mortal engines concept design

Mortal Engines Movie Review

Mortal Engines Movie Review

Nimrod Pennyroyal quotes from Predator's Gold

Nimrod Pennyroyal quotes from Mortal Engines's Predator's Gold


We first meet Professor Nimrod Pennyroyal in the second book of the Predator Cities Quartet. Presenting himself as an author who has traveled to all kinds of strange and far flung places and written of the adventures he had whilst he was there. A bit of an alcoholic, he's a coward and a liar.

But of course the people he meets such as Tom and Hester have no idea he's a fraud and quickly fall pray to his charms.

Quotes:

When the going gets tough, the sensible conceal themselves behind large items of furniture.


Magnus Crome quotes from Mortal Engines

Magnus Crome quotes from the Mortal Engines movie

magnus chrome from mortal engines fan art
The Mayor of London, and a ruthless operator, Magnus Chrome is the face of evil in the novel and movie Mortal Engines

With a desire to conquer the people and resources beyond the Shield Wall, together with Thaddeus Valentine, he conjured a clever plan to build a rebuild a weapon that was used in the 60 Minute War, the Medusa

In carrying out this plan, Hester's mother and family were murdered which led to some pretty heavy repercussions as Hester sought her revenge. 

It was Magnus Chrome that sent The Shrike to assassinate Tom and Hester to ensure no one outside the city of London knew of his plan.

We suspect that the character is being played by actor Patrick Malahide. Malahide is probably most well known for his role in Game of Thrones.

Quotes by Magnus Chrome of Mortal Engines

Thaddeus Valentine quotes from Mortal Engines

 

Thaddeus Valentine quotes from the Mortal Engines film

Thaddeus Valentine is a much vaunted historian in the Traction City of London and an important character in the first book, Mortal Engines, of the Mortal Engines Quartet. In the movie he is played by veteran Australian actor Hugo Weaving.

Thanks to Weaving's fine portrayal of as Katherine Valentine's father, the character is quite quotable.

Valentine's quotes from the Mortal Engines movie

 

Design concept of Valentine killing Anna Fang by Peter Yea. He's awesome.

The best quotes from the Mortal Engines movie

Mortal Engines film quotes

Quotes from Christian River's Mortal Engines movie


Mortal Engines started as a young adult novel published in the early 1990s. It gained an immediate following as it told it's tale of a post apocalyptic Earth where giant metal cities roam wastelands consuming whatever resources they can.

At its heart is a story of lost boy who found love in the strangest of places.

A love that saw him kill people wittingly and unwittingly.

A love that saw him outsmart and outwit some of the most savage people that ever captained a roving city.

A love that made a boy a man.

This is starting to sound like that guy that does the voice overs for movie trailers right?

Well enter director Christian Rivers and producer Peter Jackson because they turned this book about two star crossed lovers into an epic science fiction movie featuring grotesque undead assassins, sassy agents of the Anti Traction League, traitors and would be heroes on both sides.

Tom. Hester. Magnus. The Valentines. Shrike. Bevis. Fang. Some crazy old guy.

Mortal Engines movie quotes

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hester Shaw quotes from Mortal Engines

hester shaw drawing

Hester Shaw's quotes from the Mortal Engines movie

Hester Shaw is a key protagonist in the Mortal Engines series of novels.

Forging an unlikely friendship with young Tom Natsworthy, she faces her own mortal danger as her past literally comes back to haunt her. The mother of young daughter Wren, Hester is a fairly tragic character.

Young Hester

Older Hester is played by actress Hera Hilmar

Tom Natsworthy quotes from Mortal Engines

Tom Natsworthy quotes from Mortal Engines

Tom Natsworthy quotes from the Mortal Engines film

Tom Natsworthy is the main character, a fifteen-year old orphan of the Mortal Engines book and film series.  He is a third class apprentice in the Guild of Historians, which frankly means he's supposed to live a boring life.

He witnesses an attempted assassination of Thaddeus Valentine by Hester Shaw which leads to his being  cast off from the city of London, where he meets forges a relationship with Hester, at which point his adventure really begins.

Writer Philip Reeve says the inspiration for Tom's name came from a map "I sort of collect interesting sounding words and save them up until I need a name for a character. ‘Natsworthy’ is a place on Dartmoor, just up the road from where I live".

In the Christian Rivers directed film, Tom Natsworthy is played by Rob Sheehand and his opposite Hester Shaw is played by Hera Hilmar.


As the books progress, Tom and Hester have a daughter named Wren.

Quotes:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Buy the Mortal Engines box set for $5 a book!

mortal engines box set
I spied on Amazon that you can actually buy the entire Mortal Engines book series as a box set for less than $30 bucks!

It's a deal.

It's a steal.

It's the sale of the century.

It's a deal because you get the whole 7 books written by Phillip Reeve - that is to say you get the original quartet that featured Tom and Hester's adventures and also the three prequel novels that told the tale of Fever Crumb.

For like 5 bucks each!

I guessed you'd have to be a fairly confident buyer if this was a gift or a keen fan who just wants to have a nice set of the original covers to look awesome on your bookshelf?

This collector's set is paperback based but comes covered a nice box. I guess that's why we're calling it a box set eh?

Not convinced? Read our review of the first Mortal Engines novel! These books about predator cities are truly wonderful. While pitched as a young adult series, the story lends itself very well to grown ups who like a good bit of science fiction but without all the 'Arthur C Clarke' business that can put off the more casual reader.

Indeed, anyone who likes a good post apocalyptic earth story will find Mortal Engines a good read and enjoy the wholly novel concept of giant metal cities practicing the concept of Municipal Darwinism. 

If you don't want to by the box set you can of course by the books individually (and now in Spanish!) or buy them for your Kindle.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Predator's Gold movie quotes

The best quotes from Predator's Gold, the sequel to Mortal Engines

Hester and Tom found themselves in even more peril and strife thanks to Professor Pennyroyal and the Green Faction!