In the dark times (the late 1990s), when you had to, ugh, go to a movie theater to watch a movie trailer, I was one of the many thousands who begged his parents to take him to see Meet Joe Black. I had no interest in the film itself — I am still unsure if the titular Mr. Black is Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, or if there’s a little Joe Black inside all of us — but I wanted to see the teaser for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. “Theaters showing films like [Meet Joe Black] were crammed with people — mostly young men — who paid full admission just to see the trailer and left when the movie began,” the New York Times reported at the time. “The trailer was also shown after each movie ended, so a handful of theater owners allowed filmgoers to return with their ticket stub.”
Movie trailers are now mini-events in and of themselves (just look at the hoopla over Avengers: Infinity War) and far more accessible. But there’s still no topping the experience of seeing a teaser on the big screen, which is why the trailer for Mortal Engines will debut on the biggest stage possible: The Last Jedi.
Based on the first novel in Philip Reeve’s steampunk series of the same name, Mortal Engines has an intoxicating premise: it’s about mobile cities kicking the junk out of each other. Or as Universal Pictures prefers it, Mortal is a “sweeping new vision of a future where Earth’s cities now roam the globe on huge wheels, battling each other in a struggle for ever-diminishing resources.” The film, which has been in development since 2009, stars Robert Sheehan, Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, and is being directed by Christian Rivers and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Academy Award winner Peter Jackson.
“I am pleased to announce that the teaser trailer for our movie Mortal Engines will be debuting in cinemas around the world, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the Lord of the Rings director wrote on Facebook. “Mortal Engines is directed by Christian Rivers and will be released next year. I hope you all enjoy our first trailer!” As long as there’s no characters named Jar Jar, I’m sure we will.