Will ‘Mortal Instruments’ Work Better on TV Than Film?
The Mortal Instruments franchise is returning to the screen — the television screen, that is. After the film adaptation bombed at the box office, Cassandra Clare’s YA fantasy series is being repackaged as a high-end drama show.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, production company Constantin Films, which holds the rights to the best-selling franchise, is in the process of adapting the story into a television show with help from writer and producer Ed Decter. The project is still in the early phases of development, but Decter — who has previously worked on shows like Helix, Unforgettable, and The Client List — has reportedly already been hired to serve as showrunner for the potential series.
The news comes after Constantin’s failed attempts to turn Clare’s well-received novels into a series of blockbuster films similar to The Hunger Games. After the huge success of the latter film at the box office, it was clear that the studio was hoping to launch a comparable young adult franchise of its own. But 2013’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, starring Lily Collins, failed to find an audience. In addition to receiving negative reviews from critics, it flopped at the box office, earning a well below-estimated gross of $14 million in its opening weekend and $31 million total domestically.
Despite the loss, Constantin recently confirmed it wasn’t abandoning the series and would return to it in the future, although it was unclear what the studio’s exact plans were at the time. Now, it seems the company has kept its word with this latest revitalization of the franchise.
So will The Mortal Instruments TV series be able to fare better than the film? That will depend largely on the new take of the story and the casting, both of which were points of contention with the movie. But given the wide popularity of the original novels and its loyal fanbase, a revamped small-screen version may have potential. Already, Constantin film and TV head Martin Moszkowicz has identified at least one problem with the film that he believes will find a solution in the small-screen adaptation.
“It actually makes sense to do (the novels) as a TV series,” Moszkowicz told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The show will also have the added challenge of converting naysayers who may have written off the franchise after the poorly received film. Of course, there’s a ways to go before the series reaches that point. So far, there has been no official news in term of casting, and it remains unclear whether any of the original stars (Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan) will be involved in the project. Plus, given that the show is only in the early stages of development, it still has yet to be picked up by a network, although some already point out that it seems tailor-made for the CW.
Per THR, this is only one of several possible television adaptations in the works at Constantin. The production company is also looking to rework several others of its English-language movie properties, including the Resident Evil sci-fi franchise.
The Mortal Instruments series is scheduled to start production in 2015.