Peter Jackson Wants to Poke Fun at Australians in a ‘Mortal Engines’ Sequel

Kim Taylor-Foster

We put some of the most burning questions from Fandom’s Mortal Engines fan communities to producer Peter Jackson, director Christian Rivers and the cast of the film. Questions like what they want to see in a sequel. Which Traction City they would want to live in. And, perhaps most importantly, what’s Thaddeus Valentine’s favourite dad joke? Read some of what they said below; watch the video above for more.

What Would You Like To See in a Sequel?

MOrtal Engines
Hugo Weaving as Thaddeus Valentine in Mortal Engines.

“I’d like to see Dog in the next one,” says Leila George who plays Katherine Valentine, daughter of Hugo Weaving’s villain Thaddeus, in Mortal Engines.

Robert Sheehan, who plays Tom Natsworthy in the film, wants to see his character take on more responsibility.

“In the second book, Tom and Hester have become parents,” he says. Hester is Hester Shaw, the film’s main protagonist, played by Hera Hilmar. “So that would be quite nice wouldn’t it? To play a dad. Do you know what’s interesting? I’ve never played a dad. Hopefully, I wouldn’t drop the poor devil.”

Stephen Lang, who plays cyborg Stalker Shrike, meanwhile says he wants to see “the elopement between Valentine and Shrike.”

We think he’s joking. Valentine actor Hugo Weaving concurs: “The love story between these two. It was sad, the backstory.”

Gaining Traction

The Traction City of London.

Producer Peter Jackson, who also co-wrote the screenplay which is based on the Phillip Reeve novel, wants to see a Traction City in the next one that doesn’t make an appearance here.

“I do look forward to seeing Sydney,” he says. “The traction city of Sydney, which has got a lot of corks floating around the top of it — big swinging corks. And it’s another chance to poke fun at Australians, so why not?”

Co-producer and screenwriter Philippa Boyens wants to see a Traction City absent from their adaptation of Mortal Engines too: “I want to see Arkangel, which is the giant traction city which inhabits the wastelands in the north.”

Jackson also cites Anchorage from “the second story, which is a Traction City on skids on the ice, that is wind-powered.”

Star Wars To Blame

Director Christian Rivers, meanwhile, is disappointed we didn’t get to see the Traction City of Panzerstadt in the film – but says there’s a Star Wars-related reason it was left out.

“There is a great moment in the book where they test fire [weapon of mass destruction] Medusa and it destroys Panzerstadt,” he explains. “The shock of people seeing that, because it’s so unnatural to [the tenets of] Municipal Darwinism, it would be like seeing a gazelle eating a lion. It has that unnatural quality about it, everyone is terrified by it. So that would have been cool to see but the reason we don’t see that is for the clarity and the efficiency of the storytelling. We’re going to see this thing go off, [so we need to see it fire] at the target. We don’t want to have a little test drive.”

He adds, “And possibly it might have actually been too akin to Star Wars, actually seeing the Death Star blow up Alderaan, as a mechanic.”

Watch the rest of what they had to say in the video above.

Mortal Engines hits screens in Australia on December 6, the UK on December 8 and the US on December 14.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.