The key to any good franchise targeted at young people is finding appropriately cool or inoffensive young people to star in it. The Hunger Games nailed this, making Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Hemsworth’s brother, and the other guy into household names, and it looks like Peter Jackson’s YA-skewing Mortal Engines movie might do the same for an up-and-coming young star named Stephen Lang—who previously appeared as the grizzled military guy in Avatar, the blind and grizzled military guy in Don’t Breathe, and the grizzled military guy in Terra Nova.
This comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which doesn’t say who Lang will be playing, but based on his résumé it seems safe to surmise that he’ll be someone who is either grizzled or in the military. Jackson’s Mortal Engines is based on Philip Reeve’s book series, and it’s about a steampunk-ish future world where major cities are run by engines that allow them to roam the Earth and literally prey on smaller communities for resources. It’s set to star Robbie Sheehan and Ronan Raftery, both of whom are actually younger and more hip than Stephen Lang.
Also, while Peter Jackson is producing and co-writing Mortal Engines, Christian Rivers will be directing.