It has come to my attention that an article I wrote a while ago on whether or not The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones would get a sequel, has been getting a fair bit of attention recently. It's obvious that the fanbase for the The Mortal Instruments series is huge, and clearly we all want to see a second movie. So I've done as much research as I possibly could to bring you an update, of sorts, on what's actually happening with the sequel.
1. Let's Start At The Beginning
We all know that City of Bones had an overall budget of $130 million, split right down the middle with half as the movie's production budget, and the other half serving as the marketing budget. After its release, it was obvious that the movie wasn't doing as well as we'd all hoped, only managing to claw back $90 million of that initial $130 million budget, which meant the studio (Constantin Film) lost around $30 million on what was supposed to be the beginning of a HUGE new franchise akin to #TheHungerGames or #HarryPotter.
Now obviously, there were some problems with the first movie. They re-arranged a significant amount of the series, placing things that turn up in later books in the first movie, and rushed the first half of the film, in order to get to the juicier plot sections. Though the characterisation was a little off, (Jonathan Rhys Meyer's Valentine was a mess, let's be honest), and there were huge changes, it was by no means a "bad movie". It wasn't great, in mine and many others' opinions, but it definitely wasn't bad. It just could've and should've been a LOT better and bigger.
After the release of the first movie, it was reported that the cast and crew would all be back together around September 2013 to start production on the highly anticipated City of Ashes — but after the disappointing box office sales of the first film, production on the second was halted indefinitely and the whole fandom pretty much felt like this.
2. What Did This Mean for City of Ashes?
Shortly after production was halted, it was reported that production on City of Ashes would go ahead in 2014, with Harald Zwartz (who directed the first Mortal Instruments film) dropping out and having no involvement with the sequel. No specific production date was given, just an airy and open 2014.
Constantin Film’s head of film and TV Martin Moszkowicz said in an interview last year that:
"The fan response, from the blogosphere and the thousands of mails we have received, has encouraged us to keep going. It's been overwhelmingly positive, in contrast to some other YA titles. We are analyzing what we did wrong with the first film -- particularly with the positioning and marketing -- and what changes we have to make. We are working with a great group of people to reposition the franchise."
This seemed hopeful; the fact that they were looking into where they went wrong instilled some faith in me. He also added:
"The readers of 'Mortal Instruments' are older than you might think. That may have been one issue in our marketing, that we focused too much on a very young audience segment."
I've definitely got to agree with that; the TMI fan-base is huge and while there are teen readers interested in the series, there are also a lot of adults. Actually, most of the fans I've come into contact with have been in their early 20s, so perhaps marketing to include this age range would have helped City of Bones achieve the success it deserved.
The latest information comes from star of the film Jamie Campbell Bower (who played Jace) and author of the series, Cassandra Clare.
In an interview, Jamie had this to say:
"I’ve read all the books and the new one, 'City of Heavenly Fire,' too. If they asked me to do the next one I’d f**king love to."
Cassandra Clare was asked a question regarding the sequel by a fan at a London event for the latest book in the series, City of Heavenly Fire. She had this to say:
"They had to completely redo the entire screenplay, which takes a long time but believe me you wanted that screenplay redone! I will tell you one thing that is, Clary split into 2 people that both looked like her and had a shovel fight with one another. (Sarah Brennan) Oh and of course Magnus running for mayor of New York. (Cassie) I thought you liked when Jace rode the mermaid! The cast was never the issue, the script was the issue but I have been told that I would hear from them in the next couple of weeks! I mean he (Magnus) would make a great mayor in principle but a race of peoples entire reason for being is to hide themselves from Mundanes, probably running for mayor isn’t a good idea."
Sadly, though Jamie Campbell Bower has a ton of love and passion for The Mortal Instruments, and his character Jace, nothing ever came of the City of Ashes sequel. Instead, us eager TMI fans were blessed with Freeform's Shadowhunters.
3. New Beginnings - Freeform Pick Up 'Shadowhunters'
(A Show based upon the series of books!)
Brought to us by the same folks that made City of Bones, Shadowhunters is a soft-reboot of the failed film franchise, with an all new cast, all new writers, and an entirely different set-up. Our faves returned to us on the small screen for Season 1 on Freeform, being picked up by Netflix so that episodes could air almost simultaneously for us international fans.
Taking on the roles we'd grown accustomed to from the film, was Harry Shum Jr as Warlock Magnus Bane, Matthew Daddario as Alec Lightwood, Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle Lightwood, Kat McNamara as Clary Fray, Dom Sherwood as Jace Wayland, and Alberto Rosende as Simon Lewis. Reign actor Alan Van Sprang, also joined the cast in the role of villain, Valentine, for a much more accurate portrayal of his character than in the movie. Isaiah Mustufa (pictured below) also jined the cast in the role of Luke Garroway, with Maxim Roy taking over from Game of Thrones' Lena Heady as Clary's mother, Jocelyn.
Fan of The Mortal Instruments? Check out these Shadow World posts!
- Get To Know The Cast Of Freeform's 'Shadowhunters'! - See Them In And Out Of Character!
- 'Shadowhunters' Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: Meliorn's Magnificent Return + Simon's Capture!
- Your One-Stop 'Mortal Instruments' Shop: Everything You Need To Know About The TV Series Before You Binge-Watch!
Though our dreams of a movie sequel with the original cast are sadly neevr going to come true, Freeform's Shadowhunters, is a damn good adaptation of the books, and well worth watching if you're a fan. If for nothing else, watch it because TV's Malec are the most accurate representation of the pair since the movie, and Harry Shum Jr & Matt Daddario both do amazing jobs with these characters. I can promise you the writing's stronger than the movie, and though the first season starts off a little rocky and uncertain, it quickly finds its way and settles into what The Mortal Instruments should've been.
If you'd like to watch Shadowhunters you can do so on the Freeform app or on Netflix, and tune in Monday's at 8/7c or Tuesday's on Netflix for us international fans!