When box-office prognosticators speak of the dwindling returns of blockbuster YA adaptations, they usually cite The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones as exhibit A. (With The Host and Beautiful Creatures as exhibits B and C.) The 2013 feature adaptation of the first book in Cassandra Clare’s extremely popular fan-fiction-derived series tanked at the box office, debuting at No. 3 against two holdovers from previous weeks, and grossing only $31 million domestically. It picked up another $60 million or so internationally, which was enough to keep talk of a sequel alive right up until production on City Of Ashes was set to begin, at which point the film was unceremoniously postponed indefinitely. In that announcement, production company Constantin Film stated that it would “be beneficial to have more time to reposition the film in the current marketplace.” And today, it seems Constantin has settled on a better marketplace position for The Mortal Instruments: television.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Constantin is planning to relaunch Mortal Instruments as “a high-end drama series.” No network is currently attached to the series, but I’m just gonna go ahead and assume this one will land at the CW, home of teen-friendly supernatural drama series like The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Supernatural. Ed Decter will serve as showrunner, and Constantin is planning to put the show into production next year.
To me, this looks like a smart move on the part of Constantin: A big part of what sunk The Mortal Instruments film was its attempt to cram the book’s pupu platter of supernatural motifs—vampires AND werewolves AND fairies AND witches AND demons AND teen angst AND absent parents—into a two-hour structure that really couldn’t support it. A weekly TV series would give Clare’s ridiculous world a little more room to expand and breathe, and hopefully create something like a compelling character in the process, something the film couldn’t manage even with a likable Lily Collins in the lead role. Plus, it would provide ample time for more interdimensional-portal-assisted hair-stroking, which is definitely a win in my book:
Constantin appears to feel good about this shift, too, as it’s applying the same model to a much more successful—though no less ridiculous—supernatural film franchise: Resident Evil. Unlike The Mortal Instruments, the Milla Jovovich-starring videogame adaptation has had a good run in theaters, notching five films so far, each of which has made more money than the last; a sixth, supposedly final film is currently in production. There are no details on the TV series yet, which won’t go into production until the current film is wrapped, but I think it’s safe to guess this one will also land at the CW. The CW: the probable future home of all your favorite film cast-offs!