It’s been more than six months since Jamie Campbell Bower was announced to play Jace, opposite Lily Collins’ Clary, in City of Bones, the first movie adaptation of Cassandra Clare‘s The Mortal Instruments series. After that, there seemed to be no forward progress in bringing demon-killing Shadowhunters to the big screen. What gives? Clare herself stopped by the VH1 offices last week while promoting Clockwork Prince, book two in Mortal Instruments prequel series The Infernal Devices, and gave us a very good reason for the movie’s delay: The original script didn’t stay true to the books.
“Nobody could settle on a script that they liked, and so there was a lot of back-and-forthing, and finally, it came down from the head of the studio [Screen Gems] that she wanted the script rewritten,” Cassie told TheFABlife. “She didn’t feel like it stuck close enough to the book. I kind of agreed with her. There were some characters that were taken out and things that were switched around, and it was very different from City of Bones.”
They brought Pretty Little Liars screenwriter Marlene King onboard to rewrite the whole darn thing, bringing back more of Clare’s characters and giving it a “great teen voice,” Clare said.
Of course, no screenplay is going to match the book word-for-word, so we wondered what was most important to Clare as she sees her books adapted. “I really want them to stay true to the relationships between the characters,” she explained. “Jace’s relationship to his adoptive family was really important. I feel like the whole twist with Jace and Clary and their relationship was really important and guides the next two books, and you can’t really take it out. It’s so taboo at the same time, but they’re just going with it. That’s what makes these books.”
One of the biggest disappointments in the first script was that warlock Magnus was left out entirely, despite the fact that he has a pivotal role later on, particularly as boyfriend to young Shadowhunter Alec. “That’s one of the things Marlene really got. In the interactions between Alec and Magnus, you can see their burgeoning relationship, which I think is really nice,” she said. “I really wanted them to keep the positive portrayal of gay characters, and the gay relationship was important and relatable and went along with everybody else’s relationships.”
King recently turned in revamp the script, and Clare said she’s pleased with it.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed,” she said. “Now, all the producers have to sign off on the rewrite and if they’re happy with it then we move forward. They still want to shoot early next spring, so they’re going to have to go bang, bang, bang with casting and everything like that.”
Clare estimates that we’re probably going to see a spring/summer 2013 release date instead of the previous goal of 2012. In the meantime, however, we’ve got plenty of Shadowhunter books to read and reread. Come back to TheFABlife tomorrow for more from Clare on Clockwork Prince, Infernal Devices movies and what will come after both series’ conclusions.