There are many sci-fi and fantasy films about mad scientists or heroic crime fighters, but are there any with engineer leads? As it turns out, there are actually quite a few.
Since we've limited this list to sci-fi and fantasy, we cant include some of most legendary engineers on the silver screen. For example, we would have loved nothing more than to include Royal Engineer Lieutenant Chard from Zulu or many of the characters from The Bridge on the River Kwai.
Since neither of these can conceivably be included here we'll have to save them for another time.
So without further ado, here are 9 awesome engineers (or honorary ones) from sci-fi and fantasy movies. The following is far from exclusive and is in no particular order.
1. Hugo is an orphaned clockmakers son
Lead character: Hugo Cabret
Occupation: Clockmaker's apprentice
The 2011 film Hugo, was directed and produced by Martin Scorsese and was an adaptation from a screenplay by John Logan.
The plot of the film centers around Hugo Cabret, a clockmaker's son, who, with his father, attempts to repair an automaton they just happened to find. Hugo's father dies, leaving him alone, to attempt to repair the machine by himself using stolen parts he finds.
Hugo believes the machine might hold a message from his father and works tirelessly to get it working again. But one piece is missing, a heart-shaped key...
2. Iron Man's Tony Stark is a billionaire engineer
Lead character: Tony Stark
Occupation: Tech mogul/Engineer
Iron Man, or Tony Stark to those who know his identity, is a billionaire tech mogul and engineering genius. Using his incredible wealth, he takes it upon himself to develop a high tech suit to help him fight evil around the world.
After a business trip ends badly with the vehicle he is traveling in is attacked by insurgents, Tony is left critically wounded from shrapnel. He is kept alive using a car battery attached to his heart.
On returning home he seeks a way to develop a miniaturized power source to keep him alive and realizes it could also be used to power other things...
3. Ex-Machina is an interesting exploration of AI
Lead character: Caleb
Occupation: Software engineer/programmer
Caleb is a 26-year-old programmer who works at the world's largest internet company. He wins a competition to spend a week on a private retreat of the company's CEO Nathan.
At this point, he discovers that the CEO has an ulterior motive for young Caleb. He is to take part in an interesting experiment with Nathan's newest creation - a true AI in the body of a beautiful robot girl.
Caleb must ascertain if the AI is truly intelligent or just a sophisticated illusion of true general artificial intelligence.
A meeting that will have a profound impact on Caleb, and the world at large, forever...
4. Interstellar takes an engineer on a journey of a lifetime
Lead character: Joseph Cooper
Occupation: Engineer and former NASA pilot
In the mid-21st Century, mysterious crop blights and dust storms threaten the very existence of humanity. Corn is the only remaining viable crop and society is on the brink of collapse with misinformation rife.
Joseph Cooper, an engineer and former NASA pilot, now a farmer, explores a possible explanation of the world's problems. After finding strange dust patterns on his daughter floor, which appear to form geographical coordinates.
After following his nose, he finds a secret NASA facility that has been investigating the possibility of wormhole travel to find a new, viable homeworld for the species. Joseph volunteers to join a team of explorers and the story takes an interesting turn...
5. The Fly is an experiment that goes horribly wrong
Lead character: Seth Brundle
Seth Brundle, is an eccentric but genius scientist and engineer who has been working on a real-life method of matter transportation. After meeting an investigative journalist, Veronica Quaife, he attempts to woo her by offering her a scoop on his research.
Seth believes he is very close to perfecting the technology and, after various experiments, uses himself as a test subject.
A fly inadvertently enters the transport chamber with Seth, without him knowing, and their DNA sequences are combined by his machine.
Whilst his experiment in success, his life, and that of Veronica, will never be the same again...
6. A.I. Artificial Intelligence's David was built by a troubled scientist and engineer
Lead character: Professor Allen Hobby
Professor Allen Hobby, is a troubled genius who designs and builds an AI robot called David. David is both an experiment in AI, and a chance for Allen to recover something of his lost son.
David is given to a grieving family whose son has recently contracted a rare disease and was put into suspended animation but is not expected to recover. But the son does recover and is returned to the family.
David's life changes dramatically and he searches for a way to become "real" like his "stepbrother" to regain the love of his mother.
7. Egon from Ghostbusters is a tech wiz
Lead character: Egon Spengler
In the original Ghostbusters (we'll completely ignore the trainwreck that was the new one), a team of parapsychology professors decides to set up a business to provide ghost removal services.
Egon is the brains behind the Ghostbuster team and is responsible for building and maintaining the team's arsenal of incredible ghost-defeating technology. Spengler is the typical science and engineering consumed genius who has little interest outside of his own particular fascination with technology and the paranormal and quantum world.
He is by far the most serious and rigid member of the team whose hobbies include "spore, molds, and fungus". As a boy, so he claims, his only toy was a "part of a slinky".
8. Gravity almost wipes out all near-Earth humanmade space objects in less than 90 minutes
Lead character: Ryan Stone
Occupation: Medical Engineer
Ryan Stone is a brilliant medical engineer who has recently completed astronaut training to set out on her first space shuttle mission for NASA. Stone's mission is to help upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope with some new hardware of her own design.
During a spacewalk to undertake the upgrade, a Russian missile strikes a defunct satellite in orbit, the debris from which sets of a chain of events that leads to one of the most expensive losses in near-Earth orbit hardware ever seen.
Casualties include a Shuttle Explorer (and her crew), the ISS, The Hubble Space Telescope, and the Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft, to name but a few.
Stone soon finds herself the sole survivor of the cataclysm and must use her wits to return to Earth safely before her oxygen, and time runs out...
9. Armaggedon has a whole team of engineers
Lead character: Harry Stamper
Occupation: Mining/Drilling engineer
After a team of Astronauts aboard a Space Shuttle is sent to repair a satellite, the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Completely out of the blue (well darkness), asteroids crash into the Space Shuttle and devastate New York shortly afterward.
It is quickly realized that they are part of a larger threat, an asteroid the size of Texas is on a collision course with Earth. If it hits the planet it will likely be a life-ending event the likes of the which the Earth hasn't seen since the time of the Dinosaurs.
A team of veteran and expert mining engineers, led by Harry Stamper, are sent out to save the world. The plan is to use thermonuclear devices to blow the asteroid to smithereens and save the day.
But will they succeed? The clock is ticking...