Mortal Engines Peter Jackson
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Credit: Universal Pictures

Extended Mortal Engine sneak peek introduces a city-destroying weapon of immense power

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Nov 8, 2018, 2:00 PM EST

A new extended sneak peek at Peter Jackson's adaptation of Mortal Engines finally gets down to brass tacks and introduces the central conflict of the film.

A weapon with the capacity to destroy entire cities in one burst has been created and must be destroyed before it is used for malicious purposes. Enter Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) and her band of heroes who are brave enough to stand up to Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving) and his partly-mechanical henchman, Shrike (Stephen Lang). 

The video (which plays like a standard trailer) also explains how the world as we know it ended in the first place, the Earth's crust blew up "into a thousand pieces." Was the "Sixty Minute War" in this future the worldwide detonation of nuclear missiles or something much worse? 

Watch the sneak peek now:

Another really cool thing about the video above is that it showcases the various cities constructed after the war. They're now in the sky, on the ocean, and roaming around on wheels. In essence, the cities of this universe are basically pirate ships, boarding or gutting one another for valuable resources. Think of it as a post-apocalyptic steampunk version of Pirates of the Caribbean

Based on the books by Philip Reeve, the film was executive produced, co-written, and even minimally directed by Jackson, who's been trying to get it made for quite some time. In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, he revealed that he was so tired after making The Hobbit trilogy, that he decided to hand the first-unit directorial reigns over to his longtime creative partner Christian Rivers. 

Mortal Engines hands the keys over to the city when it hits theaters on Dec. 14.