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


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Will there be a Mortal Engines movie sequel?

mortal engines concept art nik henderson

Is there going to be a Predator's Gold sequel to Mortal Engines?

While Peter Jackson and company are keen on doing Mortal Engines sequels, there has been no formal announcement of sequel plans.

Making a Hollywood movie block buster is no mean feat. If it were easy to do so, every good story about space aliens driving trains would be turned into a film. So, to convince a studio executive to plump up some cash for an untested 'Intellectual Property' is a mission and a half.

It's why sequels are so popular, they are cash cows with less risk than something untested. Look at Marvel's Ironman, it's had like 16 sequels already....

So, when it comes to the Philip Reeve novel, Mortal Engines, no studio exec is going to take a punt on a book about giant cities driving around eating each other.

Unless Peter Jackson is attached to write and produce it.

So, that's the angle the studios are taking. Jackson and his NAME have been tasked to get Mortal Engines across the line.

Given the novel has three sequels and three prequels, there's a mapped out path that a movie sequel can take (Predator's Gold etc) but will ME get one?

Oscar winning scriptwriter and long time Jackson associate, Philipa Boyens had this to say when asked about the possibility of a second film:

"I certainly never sat down and I know Pete did sat down and thought of this in terms of a sequel–you know, sequels. I mean, we’re just, like, get this thing working first. And then think about what may happen."

"But, mostly, this has to work as a film. This may be the only one. Who knows? I hope not because I think it’s a–I think the story just keeps getting better and better. And I want to see the other traction engines now that I’ve seen in this one. I want to see Panzerstadt. I want to see Arkangel. I want to see these ones that are bigger and meaner."

Boyen's 'has too work' as a film comment is telling and I think it almost has a double meaning. Obviously, ME needs to be a good film, one that viewers enjoy watching. But it also has to work for it's success. It needs to perform at the box office.

Big time.

I don't think ME will get a second sequel if it just does OK. It will need to perform all around the world, especially and obviously in the United States.

So will Mortal Engines be a success and earn a sequel? This author is personally worried.

The trailer was nothing to write home about in terms of feel or giving one a sense of 'instant classic'.

While London looked fabulous & Anna Fang feels absolutely murderous overall, it felt somewhat underwhelming.

As we get closer to the film's released date, we can expect the hype to build and some real marketing to begin. Hopefully it features the reveal of Shrike, the giant zombie / robot played by Stephen Lang.

I suspect a lot of the movie is going to hinge on how bad ass that character is.


The glorious concept art is by the talented Nik Henderson.


  1. "The trailer was nothing to write home about in terms of feel or giving one a sense of 'instant classic'."

    Sadly, I have to agree. neither of the trailers have convinced me that the film will be a huge hit, and the competition around Christmas will be fierce: Aquaman, Mary Poppins Returns, Alita, Bumblebee. Don't get me wrong - there's nothing that looks BAD in the trailers; they just have failed to grab me. Not good as I'm a huge fan of the books and the author who desperately wants to see the film succeed, as I want to see all 4 books adapted (as long as they stick to the ending of the final one).

    I'm hoping there will be another. more enticing, trailer before release.

  2. Don't tell the whole plot in the trailer, is that simple. Imo the teaser worked better because the audience was left asking questions. They wanted to know more. The official trailer told more that it should. Look at "Man of Steel" trailer for example, just a few punchlines on a story everyone knows about and even today is one of the best trailers ever made. Mortal Engines have everything to succeed but needs a good trailer that will make the audience want to know more. Let them ask questions that will get answers on the 14 of December.