The dystopian steampunk movie shepherded by Peter Jackson will come to theaters two holiday seasons from now. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mortal Engines will be released December 14, 2018. The film is based on a series of four novels by Philip Reeves about a futuristic world defined by a concept of “Municipal Darwinism” in which cities are mobile and consume smaller communities. Jackson is producing and co-writing the script with his usual team—his wife Fran Walsh and their collaborator Philippa Boyens—and it’s being directed by first-time helmer Christian Rivers, a “protege” who has done visual effects for Jackson’s films. On paper, Mortal Engines seems like it has an uphill battle ahead. Not only does the YA craze seem to be dwindling, but Reeves’ novels aren’t easily distilled into a tagline.
As THR mentions, this makes December 2018 a particularly busy month for blockbusters. An untitled James Cameron film, which is maybe possibly Avatar 2, is supposed to arrive December 21, the same day as an animated Spider-Man movie. Jump ahead to Christmas and there’s the Mary Poppins sequel and a still mysterious project from Warner Bros.