Mortal Engines Hero Seascape

Mortal Engines’ steampunk origins come to life in ‘Mortal Artists’ web series

Contributed by
Oct 9, 2018, 4:21 PM EDT

In a sci-fi world filled with vibranium, alien tesseracts, and ion engine technology, Mortal Engines’ steampunk aesthetic stands out. Sure, the mobile cities that rove the movie’s post-apocalyptic landscape aren’t exactly lacking for technical sophistication, but where they really shine is in their design. 

Ahead of the film’s release this December, Universal Pictures is putting together a series of behind-the-scenes documentary shorts, titled Mortal Artists, to showcase the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into bringing that aesthetic, drawn from the Philip Reeve novels on which the film is based, to life for moviegoers. 

The first mini-feature in the Mortal Artists series focuses on concept artist Nick Keller and his creative team, tasked with the daunting but exciting task of envisioning how giant, platform-like moving cities like London could make the jump from page to screen. Check out the first installment below:

Universal Pictures on YouTube

For anyone who geeks out over the Jules Verne-meets-George Lucas intersection of old-school steampunk and cutting-edge sci-fi, the artistic style of the Peter Jackson-co-produced project is definitely a treat. If the technology in Mortal Engines’ unique world is a bit retro, the VFX work that goes into creating it certainly isn’t.

Mortal Artists will release new episodes weekly via Facebook Watch ahead of Mortal Engines’ release at year’s end, introducing the artists and tech wizards who make the movie’s magic happen. On screen, Mortal Engines stars Hugo Weaving, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Hera Hilmar, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Stephen Lang, and Patrick Malahide.

Directed by Christian Rivers from a screenplay by Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, Mortal Engines is set to roll into theaters on Dec. 14.