LOTR's Hugo Weaving joins cast of Peter Jackson's Mortal Engines

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Apr 13, 2017, 11:00 PM EDT

Filmmaker Peter Jackson and his creative partner Fran Walsh acquired the screen rights to Philip Reeve’s dystopian steampunk novel, Mortal Engines, way back in 2001, upon its initial publication. Sixteen years later, the casting for this big-budget sci-fi feature is starting to heat up.

The latest addition to the company of actors is Jackson's regal Lord Elrond from The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Hugo Weaving. Casting continues to be assigned, but for now Weaving will accompany Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe, Avatar), Robbie Sheehan (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) and Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). Concept artist and Splinter Unit Director Christian Rivers (The Hobbit Trilogy, Pete's Dragon) will take the director's chair for the first time on this epic-scaled fantasy project. Rivers also took home the coveted Oscar for Best Visual Effects on Jackson's King Kong from 2005.

Weaving is a genre favorite, appearing in LOTR and two chapters of Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy, voicing the evil Decepticon, Megatron, in three of Michael Bay's Transformers films, portraying Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, and starring in five Wachowski movies, including The Matrix Trilogy, V for Vendetta and Cloud Atlas. This reunion with Jackson should produce another intense performance by the Aussie actor, no matter which character Weaving will be playing in the feature based on Reeve‘s four-part Predator Cities series of books. We'll keep you posted when more official news is released.

Here's the synopsis of the first book, Mortal Engines:

The great Traction City lumbers after a small town, eager to strip its prey of all assets and move on. Resources on the Great Hunting Ground that once was Europe are so limited that mobile cities must consume one another to survive, a practice known as Municipal Darwinism.

Tom, an apprentice in the Guild of Historians, saves his hero, Head Historian Thaddeus Valentine, from a murder attempt by the mysterious Hester Shaw -- only to find himself thrown from the city and stranded with Hester in the Out Country. As they struggle to follow the tracks of the city, the sinister plans of London's leaders begin to unfold ...

Are you eagerly anticipating this big-screen adaptation of the award-winning Phillip Reeve fantasy novels? And is Weaving a nice catch for the cast?

Peter Jackson's Mortal Engines rolls into theaters on December 14, 2018.

(Via ScreenCrush)