The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - a movie based upon the best-selling series, adapted into a movie with a total budget of $130 million that sadly flopped in 2013 and was supposed to be getting a sequel.
"So, what the hell's actually happening?" you ask, and I sadly shrug, and with my head lowered tell you I have no idea.
We'll start at the beginnning of this annoying debacle, shall we?
Once upon a time, author Cassandra Clare wrote-
Okay, maybe not THAT early, we'll go from after the release of the first movie.
There they are. The beautiful but oh-so-lethal Shadowhunters, looking better in black than the Widows of their Enemies Since 1234. Suited and booted ready to fight, ready for Clary to be thrown into this never before seen world, ready for the swoon worthiness of Jace (and if you're like me, Alec!) and no-one wants to see it. Sure, existing book fans see it, and in our excitement we probably drag a few non-fans along with us to introduce them to the melting pot of awesome that is the Shadowhunter Universe, but not enough people see it, the movie only claws back just over half of its overall budget, and production on the sequel is halted until early 2014.
So around rolls 2014, January, February, March and so on, and still we hear and see nothing. Production hasn't started, we're all wondering what the hell is happening. Shortly after that, Jamie Campbell Bower - star of the film in the form of the always sarcastic and hot as hell Jace Wayland (Morgenstern/Herondale) - was quoted as saying,
"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."
"If they asked me..."
WHAT DO YOU MEAN IF!?
The above was pretty much my reaction. At that point there'd been no news that they were cancelling production on the movie, and we were all led to believe that it would happening sometime soon. But when the lead male for the movie says something like this, it kind of makes you wonder about a few things.
Why would they NOT ask him?
Were they, at this stage, already planning not to make the second movie? Were they maybe thinking to re-cast? Why hadn't the cast signed multi picture deals?
Usually with movies like this, the stars sign on for one film, and any possible sequels - this is quite common with YA Adapations, but his uncertainty as to whether or not they would ask him, makes me think that they didn't sign on for possible sequels, which perhaps means, that despite the very large budget, the studio didn't have all that much faith in there being sequel.
However this contradicts a multitiude of things, because initially production on the sequel was to start a month after the release of the first, which suggests that he HAD in fact signed on for a sequel, in which case, what on earth did his comment mean?
A few months passed and we heard nothing, but then most recently it was reported by multiple sources, that it was being spun-off into a TV Series. Now whilst this may seem like good news, it actually raised a lot more questions for me than it answered.
So, where does the movie fit into all of this?
1. The news on this was pretty unclear. Some sites reported that it were becoming a TV Series, as though it would be a fresh start for the series, presumably starting again from the beginning, with Clary finding out she's a Shadowhunter etc and essentially a possible re-cast for the show.
This, although dissapointing at the possibility of a re-cast, is still somewhat good news, as we still get to see the vast and rich Shadowhunter world brought to life on screen. Although a major part of the budget on the movie, was used on special effects, what would the budget be like on a TV Series? Would they have to scale back the world of the TV Series to fit their budget?
In my mind, if done correctly, a Mortal Instruments TV Show could EASILY sit up their and rival The CW's "The Vampire Diaries", "The Originals" and MTV's "Teen Wolf". It would presumably be targeted towards the same audience, and TMI has a much deeper and broader world than TVD and The Originals, so the possibilities for a TV Show are endless. Teen Wolf also has a pretty indepth world - but in a much different way that makes it all a little more real. Either way, it could easily compete with these shows.
2. Other's made it seem more like a spin-off - a continuation of the existing universe created and set within the film - however that in itself raised yet MORE questions.
Are the cast going to remain the same? - If it's a "continuation" of the existing universe, then we'd presumably jump right in with the events of the second book. Which presumably means the same actors if it's existing in the same universe as the film, right?
Would each season follow one book? (Think Game of Thrones) - We know that spoilers from the second and third book were included in the movie (A fact which really annoyed me, as I had not read past the first book yet, planning to read each individual book before its individual movie), so presumably, if it's continuing in this universe, then there are a lot more spoilerific storylines from the 3rd book that would have to be included in the TV Series.
(if you don't know what i'm talking about, I mean the whole "Simon being bitten by a Vampire" thing)
Now i've not managed to make it past the second book yet, but a storyline like the above one would need to be developed if it was continuing from the film, which would mean messing up the narrative of events in the book. And, like The Vampire Diaries, changing things and perhaps messing with the timeline of events in the novels.
Which, you know...is 80% of the time, a terrible thing.
If it is 100% being made into a TV series, when is this happening? Fan interest at the moment is pretty high, and this is a pretty good time to launch a new TV series...if they had a cast...and a script, and basically anything at all. According to Deadline, Ed Dector is serving as Exec. Producer and Writer, but I can't help but feel that TMI is going to slowly slip under the radar until no one even remembers it anymore except the fans. At the moment, the only people who really want to see it on screen, either as a movie or a TV Show are the fans.
And if we weren't enough to make the movie a success, what makes us think we'll be enough to keep a series ratings' up over a long period of time?
Thousands of shows don't even make it past a pilot episode, never mind a first season, and with so little information about what's actually happening, it feels as though the entire idea of the Shadowhunter universe on screen is slowly slipping through our leather-clad fingers, never to be seen or heard of again.