Let this be a lesson to Hollywood: stop it with the premature fowl arithmetic. Don’t know what the cluck I’m talking about? Well, back before The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – an adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s YA novel – was even close to releasing, plans were already made for a sequel, City of Ashes, with such big name actors as Sigourney Weaver already attached.
There was just one small problem. Or be more accurate, several big problems, all of them to be found in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which I ended up being a sloppily constructed, derivative mess. Lots of people agreed with me, and the film ended up pulling in a mere $90 million off a $60 million budget (factor in marketing costs, and at best, the movie probably just broke even, if at all). But even with reviews and box office takings looking dismal, the folks at Constantin Films – the production company that owned the rights to Clare’s novels – showed that they were no quitters and insisted that despite the first film’s lackluster performance, work on the sequel was moving ahead with production scheduled to start in 2014.
Only it didn’t. And kind of never will.
THR are now reporting that Constantin have shelved their feature film sequel ideas, and will now be relaunching the franchise as a TV series instead. It’s not made clear whether this means that this new “high-end drama series” will be rehashing the events of the first movie or just continuing where it left off. I can probably make the safe bet that most of the stars will not be returning however.
But according to Constantin’s film and TV head Martin Moszkowicz, this move to the small screen is actually a good thing:
“It actually makes sense to do (the novels) as a TV series. There was so much from the book that we had to leave out of the Mortal Instruments film. In the series we’ll be able to go deeper and explore this world in greater detail and depth.”
I’m going to raise my hand in objection right there, because as somebody who had never read the books, I certainly never felt like there was more to the universe of The Mortal Instruments that I was missing out on. All the problems came from the terribly written plot/characters and embarrassingly derivative world that stole without qualm from several other sci-fi/fantasy franchises.
According to Moskowicz though, the failure of the first film may had to do with them marketing it to the wrong demographic:
“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.”
Trust me. If not even kids are buying what you’re selling, then I doubt that adults will. But Constantin are certainly going to try anyway, as they’ve tapped Ed Decter (Helix, Unforgettable, In Plain Sight) as showrunner, and have set production on the new TV series to begin next year.
What do you guys think? Should The Mortal Instruments be continued as a TV series, or should they just throw in the towel now and call it a day? Or maybe, you were much luckier than I was, and just skipped the whole mess the first time around?
Last Updated: October 14, 2014