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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Mortal Engines trailer revealed at last! (leaked)

mortal engines movie logo

For some, Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey is one of the greatest science fiction moments in history*.

For others, it's when the first Mortal Engines novel was published by Phillip Reeve which means some keen readers have been waiting some 17 years in a wishful kind of hope for a movie to be made.

And now, first teaser trailer of the Mortal Engines movie has been leaked. We had concept art release, production team photos and the odd official Philip Reeve set visit.

It's actually amazing there has been no leaks by the cast, extras accidental or otherwise

But. Now. Here. It. Is.

NOTE THE COPY HAS BEEN TAKEN DOWN

How cool was that? Christian Rivers is clearly hitting this one out of the Hunting Grounds! First of all let's talk about scope. Did you see the size of that thing? That's no moon, it's the giant mechanical city of London!

Here's a we detail - the time on the clock is nearly midday - it really should be afternoon to reflect the famous opening line of the novel.

“It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea."

The town being just is called Salthook and it looks zippy and cool!

We also see Hester Shaw. 

With no two eyes. 

So Christian and Peter didn't have the balls to stay true to the character. We get that, being Hollwood and all. We wonder what her psyche will be like then?

Pretty sure that's Anna Fang actress Jihae singing too!

* The truth is it's Star Wars but who are we to argue with such greatness?

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A wee grizzle, Peter Jackson announced the trailer would debut with Star Wars - it did not which meant keen fans were quite disappointed when they went to The Last Jedi and got the Black Panther trailer ... (it was quite good but still...). While Peter was technically correct with his words, perhaps a date would have avoided any confusion and disappointment.

C'mon Peter Jackson, please release the Mortal Engines trailer online!!!!



On Tuesday morning New Zealand time last week, Peter Jackson announced to the world that the first Mortal Engines trailer debut with The The Last Jedi. 

"I am pleased to announce that the teaser trailer for our movie Mortal Engines will be debuting in cinemas around the world, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

At face value, many keen fans, myself included, believed that this would mean that one would see the trailer when they saw The Last Jedi.

How wrong were we.

There was at least a 24 hour delay before it was shown anywhere around the world and even then it has been so random that people are still not seeing it and being quite disappointed. 

4 whole days later since the release of TLJ, people are still going in and missing out. They are sharing their disappointment on Twitter.

While Peter was technically correct with his words "will be debuting", perhaps a date would have avoided any confusion and disappointment.

And what's worse, the trailer is still not online.

If this is some kind of distribution screw up across cinema chains, I can understand that.

If this is some kind of marketing tactic (especially the lack of online release) by Universal Pictures then I simply do not understand it.

If the tactic is to disappoint people, then damn, the strategy is working just perfectly. 

Maybe I'm to close to this and/or have a lack of experience with these things though it seems to me the online release should happen at the same time as the trailer hits the theatre. 

It is the age of the internet after all. 

In this day and age no one is going to go to The Last Jedi to see the Mortal Engines trailer. This is a situation like The Phantom Menace where people did go and see Meet Joe Black just to see the trailer and it's not not like The Last Jedi needs that kind of support. 

So what gives Universal and Peter Jackson? Please release !!!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Peter Jackson has confirmed ME trailer shows with The Last Jedi

concept art of medusa in london traction city

In some sweet news, Mirimar's finest, Peter Jackson just gave this Facebook update that the trailer is out tomorrow !

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Hi everyone,

I am pleased to announce that the teaser trailer for our movie Mortal Engines will
be debuting in cinemas around the world, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Mortal Engines is directed by Christian Rivers and will be released next year.

I hope you all enjoy our first trailer!

Cheers,

Peter J

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We'll see the trailer tomorrow then!

Monday, December 11, 2017

What is the best order to read the Mortal Engines novels?


What Star Wars film did you see first?

Was it The Phantom Menace or A New Hope?

For the many it was Star Wars IV, V and IV in that order and then years later the prequels came out and we learned how Anakin became Darth Vader.

If you watch the prequels first you miss out on the epic twist that happens in Empire Strikes Back when you learn of Luke's true parentage.

And that's the issue with the reading order of the 7 Mortal Engine novels.

We are talking about Stalker Shrike here and a couple of other plot point surprises.

If you read the prequel series you get the full story of Shrike and how he came to be the Shrike. As you read on to the original novels, there's no big mystery, no awe as you first encounter him with Tom, knives out wanting to do nothing but kill....HESTEERRR SHAWWWWW!

But if you've read the prequels, you know exactly who this abomination is before he even takes his first step towards Tom and that kind of ruins the mystique.

Think of the first time you saw the Star Wars scene when Vader boards the Tantive IV (Leia's ship). If you knew him as the whiny pod racing kid from The Phantom Menace, the effect of his entrance would not have been the same.

But, just as there is with Star Wars, there's a kind of cheat you can do which is similar to the popular Machete Order that some Star War fans recommend.

In terms of Star Wars, it's often suggested that you watch A New Hope and then Empire so that you can enjoy the twist. You can then read the prequels and get the full back story, and then hop back to Return of the Jedi and go from there.

And so you can with Mortal Engines.

Read that first novel first so that you get the main story, exposure to the concepts such as Municipal Darwinism and that you meet the Shrike.

You can then turn the pages of the prequels starting with Reeve's Fever Crumb and then on to A Web of Air and the most excellent Scrivener's Moon.

Once you've knocked those bastards off, you can read the three books that follow Mortal Engines. And they are damn good reads with A Darkling Plain proving an excellent and satisfying end to the saga.

But what do we know?

What is Philip Reeve's take on the reading order of his own novels?

He's actually been asked this before and he's on record as saying:

"It’s up to you, of course, but I’ve always thought they’re best read in the order they were written."

And despite what we have suggested, that's not a bad way to go.

Here's why.

The thing about Peter Reeve is he became a better author as he went on with the Mortal Engines series. As he progressed from one book to the next his stories seemed to flow better and form a more cognizant whole. I personally enjoyed the the last two novels compared to the first. That said, those novels were 'standing on the shoulders of giants'.

But Reeve's also gives a hint of caution about the prequels:

"It’s a different setting in many ways – there are, for instance, no airships and no mobile cities.

I think the books have a slightly different tone, too – the heroes of the Mortal Engines quartet are always zooming across continents and oceans, but Fever Crumb’s adventures all take place in London or in the island city of Mayda, until Scrivener’s Moon, when Municipal Darwinism finally begins to take off and there is a certain amount of charging about on ramshackle motorised fortresses."

The choice, dear reader, is clearly yours.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What is the Traction Codex?


You might have discovered that Philip Reeve's The Traction Codex is getting a re-release in 2018, quite handily timed with the first Mortal Engines movie.

Reeve's stated on Twitter in response to a question about the Codex's availability outside of UK Amazons:



But, what is The Traction Codex? 


In Reeve's own words:

"It’s a sort of encyclopaedia/history of the World of Mortal Engines, featuring all those things you Always Wanted To Know But Could Never Be Bothered To Ask, like, how did Airhaven get airborne?

Why do the cities use heavier-than-air fighters while the Green Storm stick to airships? 

Who was Red Loki? etc, etc. 

We’ve also added some details which never made it into the books, like the alarming sport of ‘Traktionturnieren‘ or civic jousting…"

Traktionturnieren jousting in the traction codex

Jeremy Levett, has confirmed to us via Twitter that he has again collaborated with Reeve on the new expanded release. He said "It's much bigger, longer, more comprehensive and has been enormous fun to write. Especially the Australian cities..." I hope there's a Shrimp on the Barbie joke somewhere...

If you want to have a peek at The Traction Codex right now, go and grab your battered copy of Infernal Devices or any of the others. At the end are a few sample subjects which reveal traction city use of Bumper Stickers that say things like "How's our Hunting", the prior mentioned sport of Traktionturnieren and a handy explanation of the origins of the concept of Municipal Darwinism.

The airships in the top picture above are Reeve's thoughts as to what they might look like. Match the number below to the number on each ship. What do you think of the Jenny Hanniver?

1. Green Storm Air Destroyer
2. Twin-envelope ‘sky cat’
3. The 13th Floor Elevator
4. Spice Freighter from the Thousand Islands
5. Murasaki Fox Spirit
6. Cruiser of the Anti-Traction League
7. The Jenny Haniver
8. ‘Goddess’ class passenger liner
9. Serapis Moonshadow
10. Spudbury Sunbeam
11. Experimental rocket-assisted Zhang Chen Hawkmoth Mk VI, firing its boosters on an attack run.
12. Heavier-than-air fighter, as used by the freelance air-forces of the Traction War.
13. Zhang-Chen Hawkmoth

Menik Gooneratne is playing Sathya in Mortal Engines

Menik Gooneratne from Mortal Engines movie as Sathya

We've learned that Menik Gooneratne is playing the character of Sathya in the Christian Rivers director Mortal Engines movie. Sathya is a friend of Anna Fang's.

Gooneratne last appeared on the silver screen in the well received  Dev Patel film, Lion.

Like a couple of Kiwis in Mortal Engines who took a turn on Shortland Street (Joel Tobeck), Menik has done the same Australian route by way of Neighbours.  You know, where Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan made their names...

Follow Menik on Twitter

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Phillip Reeve discusses Hester Shaw's scar


hester shaw scar make up test
An artist's impression of Hester


A little while ago I found a website called 'tall tales & short stories' and it featured an interview with Philip Reeve.

The article was six years old and site is now defunct but I did copy Reeve's thoughts on Hester Shaw and her scar with the view to using it somehow one day. 

So here we go.

The interview reveals quite the insight into why Reeve did the role reversal that many books and film shy from i.e. making the female lead quite and genuinely ugly. 

Name a famous movie or book in the last 10 years where the main character is truly ugly.

I'll wait.

If you found one, good on ya. Maybe Aileen Wuornos in Monster?

Regardless, Hester Shaw is the clear fan favourite when it comes to the Mortal Engines series. While part of her might want to live a happy, healthy life, the Hyde to her Jackal is that she is a murderous wee thing with a hair trigger for violence.
 
So with that in mind, here's what Reeve said of Hester's scar after this question:

The main female character, Hester, in the Mortal Engines series is facially disfigured which I find an interesting, but welcome, choice for a female lead.

Was this a conscious decision made at the outset of writing the first book or did it evolve along the way? And what prompted this decision? 

Reeve's answer:

Women warriors are a bit of a cliche in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and they tend to be very glamorous or at least good looking.

But it struck me that people who live by their wits in wastelands tend not to be that glamorous or good looking, and who cares about beautiful people anyway?

So I decided right from the start to make Hester ugly, and I liked the idea that the hero would slowly fall in love with her anyway, which is far more interesting than having two gorgeous people seeing each other across a crowded room and falling in love.

Then it seemed to make sense to give Hester a scar, which she's received at the hands of the villain, so there's her initial motivation - revenge - right there on her face; she's like Captain Ahab with his missing leg!

sketch of hester shaw scar
But I didn't want it to be a little cosmetic scar - the Hollywood way of dealing with facial disfigurement is always to have somebody who's a bit messed up seen from one angle but is still gorgeous from most others.

 So Hester's scar is really grotesque; I didn't want her to be pretty from any angle!

I think in the first book my idea was that actually, under this hideous exterior, she's lovely and sweet, but when I went back to write the sequel I thought that someone who had been through what she has, and looks as she does, probably wouldn't be sweet and well-adjusted, so she goes further and further off the rails as the series progresses, though I hope she remains sympathetic, and even attractive in a Ripley-ish way (Tom Ripley, that is, not Ellen).

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That's pretty much encapsulates the character quite well!

So the big question remains, what will Christian River's version of Hester look like in the ME movie?

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Official ME Facebook pages cropping up


With the confirmation a Mortal Engines trailer is on the way, it looks like Universal Pictures is preparing for the promotional campaign.

Three new Mortal Engines Facebook pages have cropped up this weekend.

They look to be Swiss, French and German.

The official movie website is still dormant though we imagine if the trailer goes live this month, it will too.

You can of course get the real deal, ME experience at our Facebook Page and Group.

Hat Tip to @MortalEnginesSE for giving us the heads up!

A Mortal Engines teaser trailer is on its way. SOON. Like The Last Jedi SOON.


Update: Peter Jackson has confirmed the news.

An eagle eyed fan has discovered that Canada's Consumer Protection BC unit has approved the release of a Mortal Engines movie teaser trailer.

This is a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.

Consumer Protection BC is a Canadian government entity and a key role is "Classifying all motion pictures exhibited in BC".

If you're a true blue Star Wars fan you will know two things right now.

You will have noted the Star Wars quote above from Emperor Palpatine and you'll also know that The Last Jedi is released in less that two weeks!

We're thus of a firm view that the Mortal Engines teaser will be shown during screenings of The Last Jedi.

Which kind of makes sense - Universal Pictures will be going in large on this Peter Jackson produced movie so a great way to get the hype train going as fast as a railhead can go is to get in in front of as many people as possible and the new Star Wars movie will serve that need!

Here's the proof:

mortal engines teaser trailer

Approved means approval to release to the Canadian public so we can reasonably expect that similar arrangements are happening across the globe.

Art credit: KAEK