“Small” isn’t a word that immediately comes to mind when considering the ongoing collaboration between Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. Between The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the 2005 King Kong remake, and The Hobbit trilogy, there’s barely time for a mid-range project like The Lovely Bones. Mortal Engines is their latest film together, and according to Boynes, its scale gave her pause when she first read the book.
“Pete gave it to me to read I think somewhere around 2006,” recalled Boynes. “He didn’t tell me what it was about. He just gave it to me, and said ‘tell me what you think.’ [From] the first sentence, I was like, ‘oh, can’t we just make a small movie?’ [laughs] No, I was actually like, ‘this is awesome, it’s insane. Is there any way we could pull this off?'"
Boynes went on to explain why it took over a decade to bring Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines to the big screen. She also spoke about some of the creative choices in the movie, and why they decided to focus on Hera Hilmar’s Hester Shaw in the film’s opening moments.
Additionally, we caught up with Christian Rivers, the director of the film. And he told us in no uncertain terms why he took on this project.
“I took the project on because Peter asked me to do it,” said Rivers. “I would have been forever kicking myself until the day I died I had said no. So that’s how the process started.”
For more insights into Mortal Engines, watch below!