Peter Jackson knows a thing or two about world-building in films and his fingerprints are all over the new trailer for "Mortal Engines," even if he didn't direct it himself.

Jackson did co-write the screenplay with "Lord of the Rings" collaborators Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. His protege, Christian Rivers, takes the director's chair for the first time for this adaptation of Philip Reeve's sci-fi fantasy novel.

The story takes place in the future, when cities roam Earth on wheels, battling each other for resources. It's survival of the fastest. Then, two unlikely heroes forge an alliance that will change the course of the future.

There's a lot going on, visually, in the trailer. Much of it is stunning, of course; Rivers is a former visual effects artist. But there is a lot going on, plot-wise, in the trailer, too, and it comes across as a bit dense and impenetrable. The cast includes Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide and Stephen Lang

"Mortal Engines" opens in theaters December 14.