Andy Serkis to moderate the Mortal Engines panel at Com Com

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Lucky members of the Mortal Engines panel at next week’s New York Comic Con will get to see the first 8 minutes of the film and then observe a panel hosted by Andy Serkis that features the producers, writers and director of the film. 

Serkis said:

“To be reunited with my dear friends and long standing collaborators, Peter, Fran, Philippa and Christian, to celebrate the arrival of their feverishly anticipated, behemoth piece of character driven, world building magic…is beyond thrilling.”

Peter Jackson recently spoke of the event and said:

“Andy knows me and Christian and Philippa and Fran very well. He’s not involved in the film, so the movie’s fresh for him, but he understands the process, and how we make these films. We thought his questions might be more focused on his understanding of how we do things, rather than a moderator who comes in cold and doesn’t know a thing.”

NZ’s favourite Hobbit also spoke very highly of Christian Rivers:

“Brain Dead was the first time I worked with Christian, and he’s done storyboards on virtually every movie I’ve done since.

He’s moved way beyond just being a storyboard guy. He won the Oscar for King Kong‘s Visual Effects Direction, and he directed our Splinter Unit, which was our sort of second unit when Andy wasn’t available because of his [Planet of the] Apes films. He stepped up and directed that unit and directed big scenes on The Hobbit. He pretty much directed all of the barrel chase scene on the river in the second Hobbit film, which is a pretty exciting scene.

I’ve watched him develop and seen his confidence grow.

When we came out of The Hobbit, we had the rights to the Mortal Engines books but they were going to expire quite soon. There was a time pressure. I worked with Fran and Philippa to write the script, but I just didn’t feel like directing another huge film, hard on the heels of three Hobbit films. If I didn’t want to do it, I wanted to make sure it was someone who deserved the chance to direct the film. Christian was the obvious choice.”

This is great to see as Jackson had long tried to get the Dambusters made with Christian in the director’s chair. Sounds like ME is the perfect vehicle for Christian.

Who is Antonia Critt? (also, check out this London schematic)

london city schematic mortal engines

London has finally got of its ass and now welcomes you.

Head to the official (but not the best) Mortal Engines website to be processed.

London welcomes you but prepare to forfeit your possessions and start your new life as a citizen of London...

london mortal engines lions

This is all well and good but what does Chudleigh Pomeroy have to say about anything. Cripes, what does Colin Salmon* think?

It all sounds a bit fishy.

To clear it all up, have a chat with Antonia Critt...

* Sorry Colin.

Change of release date in some territories for Mortal Engines

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
anna fang / fung

Keen eyes on the Mortal Engines Discord Server have spied that the release dates of the Christian Rivers, Peter Jackson produced Mortal Engines have changed for a few countries.

While the most dates revolved around the 13th and 14th of December, Australia and the UK and 2 other places have new dates far earlier in the month:

Australia 6/12/2018
Russia 6/12/2018
Singapore 6/12/2018
UK 8/12/2018
France 12/12/2018
Argentina 13/12/2018
Czech Republic 13/12/2018
Germany 13/12/2018
Denmark 13/12/2018
Greece 13/12/2018
Italy 13/12/2018
Netherlands 13/12/2018
Portugal 13/12/2018
Slovakia 13/12/2018
Bulgaria 14/12/2018
Spain 14/12/2018
Japan 14/12/2018
Lithuania 14/12/2018
Norway 14/12/2018
Romania 14/12/2018
Sweden 14/12/2018
Turkey 14/12/2018
USA 14/12/2018
South Africa 14/12/2018
Hong Kong 20/12/2018
Hungary 27/12/2018
Poland 4/01/2019

Sucks to be you Poland!

Review of Night Flights by Philip Reeve

Saturday, September 22, 2018
night flights review phillip reeve

Does Night Flights stack up as a good read in the Mortal Engines realm?

I was both happy and sad to pick up my copy of Night Flights.

It’s collection of short stories written by Philip Reeve as kind of as a tie-in to the Mortal Engines movie. Reeve is on record that having met Jihae, the actress who has played Anna Fang in the movie, he was inspired to go back to some discarded story ideas from the novels and rework them into this collection.

He said:

"The original idea was just to re-publish an existing story, Traction City, with a lot of new illustrations. But while I was in New Zealand last year I talked to Jihae, who plays Anna in the Mortal Engines movie, and it made me realise we need More Anna Fang. So I thought a group of stories about her, at different points in her life, might be a more interesting idea."

Reeve kindly acknowledges this inspiration in a dedication to Jihae in the book.

Some mild spoilers probably follow...

Night Flights features a cover by Ian McQue and he has drawn a series of pictures that appear throughout, my favourite being his interpretation of a Stalker.

I was happy because I was going to be able to read some more about the coolest character in the novels, Anna Fang. She’s kind of the Han Solo of the first Mortal Engines novel and then the character goes into hyperdrive but you’d be best to read A Darkling Plain to understand that...

I was sad to pick up the book. The first being that it was probably the last set of stories to ever come out in the Mortal Engines series and the second that it was so thin! I knew there were only three stories but maybe my expectations were too high.

That out of the way, I’m delighted to report that the three stories are an excellent read. Each of them flesh out the character of Anna Fang (correctly pronounced as Fung we learn).

The first, Frozen Heart, is a great insight into how as a slave Anna Fang escaped on the Jenny Hanniver. The first two novels merely hinted at this backstory and with it so fleshed out here, it makes the character appear even more human and it certainly gives the character her own 'moral authority' for joining the Anti-Traction League.

The second, Traction City Blues, takes place on London itself.

While Anna is playing spy, she comes across a Stalker and a game of wits with the London Police, herself and the Stalker plays out. It’s good fun and once again (from the novels), Reeve demonstrates the humanity of a Stalker so very well.

The final story, The Teeth of the Sea, is a self-contained adventure were Anna is sent by the Anti Traction League to act as an assassin to kill the Sultana of Pulau Pinang Island.

It’s a well set up vehicle to show how Anna Fang not only believes she was on the right side of the ‘war’ against Municipal Darwinism but that her moral compass is hers alone and that she is not a killer that simply follows the orders of her Masters.

It’s a quick but fun romp around the island with a fantastic ending (as all short stories should have).

On either side of each story is a narrative that binds together the three stories very well and it has a very nice pay off which I can’t reveal here but for anyone who has read and enjoyed the very first novel, they will probably quite enjoy it.

You can probably read this book in less than an hour so Reeve has left this reader with a case of wanting more which is probably a good way to leave things.

I just can’t help wonder what a full length novel featuring the adventures of Anna Fung may have been like...

One day Philip?

Check out the book's availabity on Amazon.

Scrivener's Moon: A Review

Thursday, September 20, 2018
scrivners moon book cover

My travails through the Mortal Engines saga are nearing an end with this review of Scrivener's Moon, the second sequel to the wonderful Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve.

I started this novel slightly apprehensively as I was disappointed with how A Web of Air turned out.

That book had some great moments but it just sort of went nowhere despite having an ending. It did, however, give Fever Crumb room to grow emotionally which is pretty handy as I get the feeling Scrivener's Moon is gonna rain down on her parade pretty heavily...

The story begins with an aside of sorts about Godshawk himself. Goodness knows what it all means to the reader but we then get into the set up in earnest.

We have a restless Fever, reunited with her parents, trying to settle into life as the giant mechanical city of London is built.

A traveling circus comes to town and while it begins with the cliched dwarf character, Reeve manages to marvelously tilt the concept on its head which sets up the Macguffin of the book (to find a mysterious place which may have answers to Fever's heritage)  - and so Wavey and Fever set out on an adventure.

A fine start from Reeve, now where to from here?

There are two story arcs being set up here - the first is, of course, Fever's as she continues to struggle with her identity as a Scrivener, the relationship she was with her parents and the legacy of Godshawk.

The second is the story of the city of London being built. This side of things features Charlie from who readers will remember from the first novel Fever Crumb. He's a bit of a wheeler and dealer (or so he thinks) and his machinations help twist the plot along quite nicely. Doctor Crumb does a fine turn as an emotionless engineer w

The two stories come together in a fine ending which returns Reeve to form. He is very good at setting up story angles and bringing them home quite acutely. He adds some great plot reveals which give some real insight into Fever's brain (literally?). Fever comes of age (again?) as well which is a delight for those who like character development.

I really enjoyed this novel. I would continue to only recommend the Fever Crumb series who have read all four Mortal Engines novels.

Order Scrivener's Moon from Book Depository with Free Shipping or check it out on Amazon.

The Funko collection is coming!

Funko are releasing 4 versions of characters from the film - Thaddeus Valentine, Ann Fang, Hester Shaw and master Thomas Natsworthy.

tom natsworthy funko
We think this is the first official Mortal Engine's movie tie in other than the books Night Flights and The Illustrated World.

hester shaw funko

As Comic Con draws nearer and the movie release it self we can hopefully expect to see more movie promotion and tie ins occurring.

anna fang funko

These Mortal Engines fan designed posters are incredible

Saturday, September 8, 2018
mortal engines poster

As part of the slow turning of the wheels to promote the Mortal Engines film, Talent House ran a competition to encourage artists to turn their skills to designing a Mortal Engines poster. Here's a selection of my favourites.

Peter Jackson was expected to pick a winner himself personally but in a classic bait and switch, now some dudes and dudettes and Universal will be doing it. So expect a winner that suits movie promotion needs and not something awesome....

hester shaw poster

hester faces london poster

mortal engines london poster

london tracks poster mortal engines

Hester Shaw Mortal Engines movie poster

london meeting hester shaw

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