Exclusive: Peter Jackson defends backlash over film

Anita Lyons
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Sir Peter Jackson’s newest film Mortal Engines is already causing a stir and it’s not even out yet.

With the release of the flick’s newest trailer (above), comes some very mixed emotions from fans – particularly when it comes to female lead, Hester (Hera Hilmer).

The character of Hester (played by Hera Hilmer), is already causing a stir. Source: Universal

Fans of the novel in which the films are based, are outraged that Hester has been made to be more beautiful than what is written in the book (Think one eye and a huge scar across her forehead).

But before you go on the attack, Peter and his producing partner, Christian Rivers, have a very good reason for these decisions.

Sir Peter Jackson, along with Producer Christian Rivers, spoke to Be about the decision to change the appearance of the female lead. Source: Getty

“There are always going to be fans of the books who are not always going to be in agreement with the decisions we’ve made,” Peter told Be in an exclusive interview.

“The mechanics of the story that we’re telling is that this young woman is scarred and when you first see her, all you’re going to see it the scar,” he said.

The filmmakers want you to empathise with Hester. Source: Universal.

In order to work as a love story, which the film is ultimately about, the story tellers want you to notice the scar less and less by the time the film is over.

The make up artists therefore had to create a “delicate balance” as to what is most visually pleasing, while keeping the true essence of the film.

“You are empathising with Hester the character and the scar almost becomes invisible to your eyes. You want that journey for the audience, and if it was too strong, they won’t get to that point at the end,” Peter said.

Ultimately, the film is a love story between Tom (Robert Sheehan) and Hester. Source: Universal

“Even though there’s been some criticism for what we’ve done,” Christian told Be, “We know that if she was really hideous and ugly to look at, then a great deal of people who would go to see the film wouldn’t sympathise with her.”

Australia’s Hugo Weaving also stars in ‘Mortal Engines’ as villain, Valentine. Source: Universal

Fans of Peter Jackson’s work know that the journey is better than the destination – and that going to see one of his films means a coveted directorial cameo.

Do you want to know where you might be able to spot him? He’ll never tell.

“I’d never give that away,” he told Be. “You’ll just have to wait and see.

Mortal Engines will be released in cinemas on 13 December 2018.


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