Kevin Durand and Robert Maillet

After the success of Twilight and The Hunger Games, film executives all over Hollywood are presumably falling all over themselves trying to find the next series of young adult novels that could become a film series cash cow. Smart money has to be on the upcoming adaptations of Cassandra Clare’s ‘Mortal Instruments’ series of books, the first of which is called ‘City of Bones.’ They’ve got everything a young adult series needs: a protagonist with a vague destiny, supernatural shenanigans, monsters to be killed, a love triangle involving a bad boy and a nice guy; everything.

Two of the main roles for the ‘City of Bones’ adaptation (just called The Mortal Instruments) have been filled for a while. Director Harald Zwart (The Karate Kid) has cast Mirror Mirror star Lily Collins as the protagonist, Clary Fray, a girl who finds that she has ties to a race of mystical demon hunters called Shadowhunters, and Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Wayland, the troubled and mysterious Shadowhunter who Clary develops a crush on. And now things seem to finally be picking up on the casting front, because Variety has a report that Zwart has started the process of filling the film’s villain roles.

Kevin Durand and Robert Maillet have been cast as the characters of Emil Pangborn and Samuel Blackwell, two of the henchmen of the story’s Voldemort-like main villain, Valentine. Durand is a handsome but evil looking fellow who’s been around for awhile, recently playing roles in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and that robot boxing movie Real Steel. Maillet is a gigantic former professional wrestler who has, in recent years, transitioned into the acting world with roles in films like 300 and Sherlock Holmes.

Truthfully, the casting of the bad guy’s goons isn’t really big news on its own, but this is the first bit of casting that’s been done on The Mortal Instruments in a while, and one can imagine that it’s indicative of the fact that things are starting to move forward on this potentially huge project. Plenty of big roles still need to be filled, including Clary’s mother and the man who serves as her father figure, Luke, her best friend Simon, and Jace’s foster family, the Lightwoods (all of whom are Shadowhunters). Probably we can anticipate plenty more casting news coming out of this camp in the very near future, and the actors chosen are sure to fuel impassioned debate amongst this series’ many fans. Might as well start sharpening your knives now.


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