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Stephen Lang, best known as the villain in Avatar, South Korean singer-actress Jihae and relative newcomer Leila George have been cast in Mortal Engines, the Peter Jackson-produced adaptation of the YA book series by Philip Reeve.
Jackson’s protege Christian Rivers is directing the project, which is being co-financed by MRC and Universal. Universal is distributing worldwide.
First published by Scholastic in 2001, the four-book series is set in a future world devastated ecologically and technologically and where certain cities including London are run by engines and move about the Earth, giving them the ability to prey on other smaller towns for resources. The story centers on a teen named Tom Natsworthy who, along with a young woman from a territory known as the Outlands, uncovers a mystery that could change the world order.
The filmmakers have cast the movie with fresh faces and rising stars, with Robert Sheehan (Misfits) set to play Natsworthy.
Lang’s character is being kept under wraps.
George will play Katharine Valentine, the daughter of one of the most powerful men in London society and one who is trying to get his hands on a weapon of mass destruction. Jihae will play Anna Fang, a member of the violent league that fights against the mobile cities.
Jackson is producing with wife and partner Fran Walsh as well as Zane Weiner (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Amanda Walker (The Hobbit) and Deborah Forte (The Golden Compass). Jackson and Walsh co-wrote the script with their collaborator Philippa Boyens.
Lang will next be seen in the second season of AMC’s Into the Badlands and has Hostiles, a Scott Cooper Western, in the can. He is set to reprise his character of Miles Quaritch for the next batch of James Cameron’s Avatar movies. He is repped by Innovative Artists.
While Jihae is known for her music, she has also made inroads into acting, and starred as a pair of twins in the National Geographic miniseries Mars, produced by Brian Grazer. She is repped by Industry Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham.
George starred in the Lifetime movie Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? She is repped by ICM Partners, Silver Lining Entertainment and the U.K.’s United Agents.
UPDATED Mar 6 4:05 PM to correct Lang’s character information.
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