The first film of The Mortal Instruments series entitled City of Bones proved to be much of a failure in box office sales, but the saga is still set to continue as it is scheduled to become a TV series. This is a very fortunate opportunity for the series, as previously box office flops that originated from fiction novels, such as Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, were simply cancelled and had no redemption in the film or television world.
The saga is based on a series of books by young adult author Cassandra Clare. There are six novels in all that comprise the entirety of The Mortal Instruments saga. Clare also has a trilogy of prequel novels called The Infernal Devices and a companion trilogy to The Mortal Instruments entitled The Dark Artifices.
As the series transitions into the TV world, the fate of which network the show will be attached to is still unknown. The production company is also unsure of their marketing campaign for the show, deciding on whether to aim specifically for teens and young adults or a broader audience. The source material of The Mortal Instruments is very dark and has a number of adult themes present throughout the saga, but nothing that would be comparable to HBO’s Game of Thrones or FX’s American Horror Story. The CW has been thrown into consideration as Gossip Girl is no longer airing. Perhaps The Mortal Instruments will take over the teenage drama’s time slot.
Continuing with the uncertainty on the project, it has not been confirmed on whether the original film’s stars like Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower will be returning for the TV adaptation. It is reported that production will either begin with The City of Ashes’ storyline, if the principal cast returns, or it will be retold from the very beginning being that not many audiences saw the original film. If this is the case, then the option to recast all the characters will be available. Collins and Bower most likely have the right of first refusal in their contracts, but it is unknown if the stars will be willing to make the adjustment to the small screen.
Production has stated that the move to television will be much more beneficial for The Mortal Instruments franchise. In the film, the creative team was forced to leave out a great deal of back story and depth that is only found in the novel. With the ability to spread time out in a TV series, the full story will be able to unfold for all to see. Since this is the game plan, it may be best to start the entire series from scratch so there are no continuity errors between the movie and the show.
While many factors of The Mortal Instruments becoming a TV show remain uncertain, one can only hope that the transition will be beneficial for all. A release date for the television adaptation is still far from being known, but production for the show is planned to begin in 2015.
By Cody Collier