03 Feb 2017 11:14 PM +00:00 UTC

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Actor Plays Lead in Peter Jackson's Dystopian Epic

Irish actor Robert Sheehan, 29, has been cast to play the lead role in Peter Jackson's dystopian epic, Mortal Engines. The young actor is mainly known for the Arctic-set crime series, Fortitude.

Sci-fi movie fans will also remember Sheehan for his stints in the young adult supernatural flick, Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and Nicholas Cage's panned medieval horror film, Season of the Witch.

Variety, which broke the story, says that Sheehan's Tom Natsworthy will have a life-changing encounter with a female society outcast, and that epiphany can change the apocalyptic world he is living in. Mortal Engines, based on the series of novels by Philip Reeve, is set thousands of years in the future - and is worlds apart from Tolkien's lush Middle Earth. Jackson's new fantasy epic, which he is writing and producing, is a combination of Dune, Judge Dredd, and Waterworld.

Mankind has exhausted all its natural resources and is eking out its existence on mobile cities that are supported by giant wheels. These steel communities search the planet for water, food, and other things they can use. If they have to crush others to survive, like smaller towns, they will. Like The Lord of the Rings' Frodo, Sheehan's Tom goes on his day-to-day grind until something thrusts him out of it to force him to see the bigger picture.

Mortal Engines, directed by Christian Rivers, will open in theatres on 2018. Peter Jackson of The Lord of the Rings series of films is executive-producing.