Peter Jackson, never one to shy away from ambitious literary adaptations, is back at it again with Mortal Engines, the first book in Philip Reeve’s sprawling steampunk-science fiction epic series about a dystopian world that’s home to giant cities that travel the land on wheels. Now, his film has an official holiday-friendly release date of December 14, 2018.

Universal Pictures announced the date on Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’ll be going up against Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Mary Poppins Returns, Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, and an untitled project from Fox, which, THR notes, could be the date for James Cameron’s long-awaited (by some) and still untitled Avatar sequel. It’s a pretty huge month for every studio, so Universal obviously thinks Jackson’s Mortal Engines will be able to compete. And, really, it’s a Peter Jackson project. If he hasn’t lost us all with his Hobbit trilogy, the Lord of the Rings-faithful will come back to the theater for him.

Another incentive for the fans is that Jackson is getting his Rings gang back together for Mortal Engines: he, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens will be co-writing the script, and Jackson}s longtime protege Christian Rivers will be making his directorial debut after working as a splinter unit director on The Hobbit and a second unit director for this year’s Pete’s Dragon. The world of Mortal Engines is quite a different atmosphere from Tolkien’s Middle Earth: after a series of natural disasters, huge cities crawl the earth, battling for resources. It’s more of a crazy, swashbuckling sci-fi yarn than Jackson has done before, so where his Hobbit movies failed with their bonkers visual style, Mortal Engines could be all the better for it.