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Why Peter Jackson Didn't Direct Mortal Engines

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Peter Jackson has revealed why he chose to not direct the upcoming film Mortal Engines.

It seems that exhaustion played the biggest role in keeping Jackson from the director’s chair. Jackson has been developing a big screen adaptation of the Philip Reeve’s original novel since 2009, with the intent to direct the film himself, but things changed after The Hobbit.

While speaking to Empire, Jackson confessed that it was his exhaustion from having to take on The Hobbit trilogy that forced him to remain only executive producer and writer on Mortal Engines. “I wasn’t in the right frame of mind,” Jackson explained. “I just thought I could either direct the movie in an exhausted state or I could give it to someone who is young and has a bit more energy, and simply help them.”

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Initially, Jackson wasn’t meant to direct The Hobbit, but when Guillermo del Toro (who was originally signed to direct the then-two film adaptation) backed out of the project shortly before production, Jackson was forced to step in. The series ballooned to three movies and made almost $3 billion at the box office, but clearly had a bigger impact on Jackson than even he was expecting.

Mortal Engines, directed by frequent Jackson collaborator Christian Rivers, stars Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Andy Serkis, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang. The film is scheduled to be released Dec. 14.

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