Thanks to The Hunger Games having thoroughly demonstrated that The Twilight Saga doesn’t have a monopoly on the young adult demographic, there’s been a renewed push to bring author Cassandra Clare’s popular Mortal Instruments books to the big screen. Screen Gems was previously slated to back the project, but pulled out last year – and with the studio went longtime attached director Scott Charles Stewart (Legion, Priest).
A few weeks back, the first (in potentially several) Mortal Instruments movie adaptations acquired a new director in the form of Harald Zwart (the Karate Kid remake). Jump to the present and Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures is now in the midst of closing a deal with Constantin Film (The Three Musketeers) to collaborate as the movie’s financial backers.
Swapping Stewart for Zwart should benefit the Mortal Instruments movie, since the latter has proven himself to be a more reliable director-for-hire than the former has as a crafter of effects-heavy fare. However, the drawback of having someone like Zwart at the helm is that the overall quality of the film tends to be more directly determined by the script and cast (see: The Karate Kid, Agent Cody Banks, The Pink Panther 2).
Fans will now be better able to gauge whether or not Lily Collins (who’s up to portray Mortal Instruments heroine Clary Fray) is an example of good/poor casting after they watch the actress play a protofeminist version of Snow White in the newly-released Mirror Mirror - though, there’s already been some disgruntlement expressed about Jamie Campbell Bower (Camelot) being up to portray Jonathan “Jace” Wayland in the adaptation.
For those not familiar, here is a synopsis for the first of Clare’s Mortal Instruments novels (subtitled “City of Bones”):
In ‘City of Bones’, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world. And she’s introduced with a vengeance, when Clary’s mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster sent by the evil and powerful Shadowhunter, Valentine.
Principal photography on The Mortal Instruments is prepped to begin this August in Toronto, with Zwart working from an adapted screenplay penned by relative unknown Jessica Postigo and I. Marlene King (a writer/co-showrunner for Pretty Little Liars). Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne (The Golden Compass) are producing, along with Robert Kulzer (the Resident Evil franchise).
How about it, Mortal Instruments fans – do you like the way this adaptation is shaping up so far?