Peter Jackson shares spectacular concept image from Mortal Engines

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May 28, 2017, 5:15 PM EDT

The first glimpse of what sci-fi epic Mortal Engines may look like on screen has come, courtesy of Peter Jackson.

The Lord of the Rings filmmaker and his writing/producing partners, wife Fran Walsh and longtime collaborator Philippa Boyens, have been hard at work on the script for Mortal Engines, an adaptation of the first novel in the four-part Predator Cities series by author Phillip Reeve. As they move closer to production, Jackson has posted a first image of concept art from the film. Check it out:

I haven't read the series yet, but it sounds fascinating: it takes place in a far future where the major cities of the Earth are mounted on wheels and stalk the landscape looking for smaller cities to consume and absorb their resources. In the image above, you can see one of those cities on the move as a woman -- apparently a protagonist from the story named Hester Shaw -- watches from the distance.

Despite the massive scope of the tale and the clear sociopolitical implications of what Reeve calls "Municipal Darwinism" -- only the strongest, biggest cities survive -- Reeve has apparently crafted an emotional character-driven saga across his four books, which also include Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain.

The cast for Mortal Engines includes Hugo Weaving (The Lord of the Rings), Stephen Lang (Don't Breathe), Robbie Sheehan (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Hera Hilmar (who’s playing Hester) and Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them).

Alas, Jackson is not directing the film himself; for that task he has anointed Christian Rivers, a Weta Digital visual effects veteran (he won an Oscar for his work on King Kong) who will make his directorial debut here.

Mortal Engines is scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 14, 2018. What do you think of the image above?

(via Slashfilm)