You can finally watch the horrifying new trailer from Peter Jackson that debuted before The Last Jedi. The relatively short teaser for Mortal Engines does little more than adapt the opening scene from the novel it’s based on, but all the same, it evokes the sheer terror of having a giant, mobile steampunk city bearing down on you with gnashing metallic claws.

Mortal Engines takes place thousands of years after civilization as we know it was destroyed by a cataclysmic event. Now, giant mechanized cities and towns roam the apocalyptic wasteland scrounging for resources. The teaser trailer, which focuses on Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), pretty much captures the opening moment from the first novel in the four-book series:

“It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.”

The comparably small mining town is swallowed by the gnashing maw that is future London, as Hester Shaw looks helplessly on.

Hester Shaw looks out over the wasteland.
Hester Shaw looks out over the wasteland.

Peter Jackson promised that the teaser for Mortal Engines would premiere before The Last Jedi, and sure enough, it happened.

But for anybody that wants to relive the experience or see it for the first time, it’s now widely available online from Universal Pictures. This new trailer effectively captures the aesthetic from the previously released concept art (featured above).

Here’s that poor mining “town” which is much smaller than a standard, non-mobile town:

Hester Shaw's mining town is in trouble in the 'Mortal Engines' trailer.
Hester Shaw's mining town is in trouble in the 'Mortal Engines' trailer.

Compared to this little mining town, London is an absolutely hulking monstrosity. The overall aesthetic of Mortal Engines looks a lot like Mad Max with a heavy leaning towards the steampunk.

Considering the series is called “The Hungry City Chronicles,” it’s entirely possible that they’re aiming for this to be the next “big” dystopian franchise akin to The Hunger Games. But instead of children killing each other in this dark future, it’s cities duking it out like Battle Robots.

Peter Jackson co-wrote the script for Mortal Engines with Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, and Christian Rivers is directing.


Mortal Engines will be released in theaters December 14, 2018.