Perhaps TV audiences will be kinder than moviegoers. After The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones went embarrassingly belly-up at the box office in the summer of 2013, Constantin Film was left in quite an unenviable position, having already planned a follow-up film that it was then forced to pull the plug on. Now, it appears that the YA supernatural fantasy series, based on the novels by Cassandra Clare, are getting another shot at success in the form of an ABC Family series titled Shadowhunters.
Like City of Bones, the show is expected to focus on 18-year-old Clary Fray, who discovers on her birthday that she is descended from Shadowhunters, human-angel hybrids tasked with hunting down monstrous demons. When her mother Jocelyn is kidnapped by forces of darkness, Clary is thrown headfirst into a supernatural New York City populated by faeries, vampires, werewolves and other fantastical denizens. With the help of Shadowhunter Jace and her human friend Simon, Clary begins to uncover secrets about her past and terrifying possibilities for her future.
ABC Family president Tom Ascheim said this to say about Shadowhunters:
“Shadowhunters is a big, epic saga that will resonate with viewers who come to ABC Family for the Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Twilight franchises. A New York Times best-seller for 122-consecutive weeks, with over 35 million copies in print worldwide, Shadowhunters is the perfect story to share with our audience.”
13 episodes are planned for the first season, with production kicking off in May in Toronto. Ed Decter (Helix, Unforgettable) is already attached as showrunner and executive producer, and Constantin is producing.
Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower starred in the 2013 film adaptation, but it’s unclear whether either will be returning for the TV series continuation. It doesn’t feel that presumptuous to rule out Collins, given that her Hollywood career is still blossoming with an upcoming role in ensemble romantic comedy How to Be Single. Admittedly, Campbell Bower’s schedule looks far more open at the moment, but it may be in Constantin’s best interests to wipe the slate clean.
News that a Mortal Instruments television series was in the works emerged six months ago, though ABC Family was not in the mix at that point. Given how much money Constantin sunk into getting the rights to Clare’s books, though, it was none-too-surprising that the studio wanted to give adapting them another shot.
We’ll keep you posted as a premiere date for Shadowhunters is announced.