The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Mortal-instruments

After the huge success of the Harry Potter movies, the overwhelming money-making power of the Twilight franchise, and the gargantuan debut of the first Hunger Games film, it was starting to look like adaptations of Young Adult literature were going to be the new go-to when it came to tentpole filmmaking—the new super hero movie, essentially. The longevity of the YA trend got called into question, however, when The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which was the first film adaptation of a series of wildly popular YA novels by author Cassandra Clare, came and went at the box office without making so much as a peep. Suddenly studio execs had to start asking themselves a bunch of questions about the future of supernatural love triangles. Was it possible that the YA craze had come and went already? Was there something about this particular property that didn’t translate as well to the screen as the successes that came before it? Eventually concerns around City of Bones’ sluggish box office returns became so great that production on the sequel, City of Ashes, was halted indefinitely just a week before it was scheduled to begin. That didn’t seem like a good sign for fans who were hoping they’d get movie versions of all three installments of Clare’s initial “Mortal Instruments” trilogy.

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rejectrecap082413

This will go down in non-history as the week fanboys told Hollywood to argo fu… Actually, the fanboys are apparently doing more than just complaining and burning the Hollywood sign in effigy this time. There’s a petition on Change.org with more than 30,000 signatures. Just imagine if in this increasingly (faux) democratic entertainment industry that the public managed to pull enough sway to actually cancel a major studio casting choice. I presume Warner Bros. would pass on the bill in the form of a mandated crowdfunding campaign in which every signer of that petition has to pledge at least a buck towards buying Ben Affleck out of the presumably already filed contract they’ve made for him to do not only Man of Steel 2 but a number of other Justice League franchise films. Ten bucks if they want a souvenir t-shirt. Well, that portrayal, if nobody stops it, is two years down the line. Let’s focus on all the great, positively reviewed new films opening this weekend, like The World’s End, Short Term 12, You’re Next, Drinking Buddies and The Trials of Muhammad Ali (not yet reviewed), plus some expanding favorites all making this the best new movie weekend of the year. And in between showtimes as we spend the next two days in the cinema, let’s review all the other non-Bat-news and features FSR has covered since the last Reject Recap. Below you’ll find goodies on The Avengers, the Marx Brothers, Smokey and the Bandit and other awesome things […]

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review city of bones

Clary (Lily Collins) has moved to Brooklyn with her mom (Lena Headey) and pseudo step-dad, but while her best friend Simon (Robert Sheehan) still lives close enough to visit on a daily basis something is amiss. A visit to a nightclub sees her witness a murder that no one else seems aware of, and when she awakens the next morning after a night of somnambulistic rune doodling her day goes progressively downhill. Her mom is abducted, their apartment is left in disarray, and she’s attacked by a dog that’s seen John Carpenter’s The Thing one too many times. On the bright side though she meets and falls for Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), the lanky, blond killer from the night before, and discovers that she’s not quite the “mundane” teen she thought she was. Instead, she’s descended from a line of Shadowhunters tasked with killing demons, policing vampires, and keeping Hot Topic in business. Together they race to rescue her mom and find the chalice from the palace with the brew that is true before the evil Valentine (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) can use it to rule the world. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is the first film in a hopeful new franchise based on the best-selling YA fantasy series, but while it checks the boxes on many of the genre’s most common ingredients it neglects the ones necessary to tell a good and engaging story. It’s crowded, dumb and more interested in the set-piece destination than in the journey getting there, […]

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Mortal Instruments

One of the most anticipated (and packed) panels during this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was the “Mortal Instruments on Page & Screen” which featured the author of The Mortal Instruments series, Cassandra Clare, and the director of the upcoming The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film, Harald Zwart, to expand on the process of bringing this beloved novel to life. Moderated by Los Angeles Times movie writer Nicole Sperling, Clare and Zwart explained the challenges and differences between writing a novel and creating a film, how they collaborated with one another, and what fans (and non-fans) can expect from the movie. Sperling began the panel by asking Clare about the process of turning her book into a film and Clare explained that the big question was, “Who do you sell your rights to?” And then, once those rights are sold, it becomes a process of letting go. Clare was shopping her book before the Twilight and The Hunger Games films had been released, so studios were mainly concerned with taking on a property that had a girl for the main character because it had not yet been proven that films with female heroines could become successful franchises.

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The Mortal Instruments City of Bones

The new trailer for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is incredibly encouraging. Not because it avoids the overused normal-person-discovers-they-have-extraordinary-powers-in-a-magical-world-beyond-our-own trope that’s been hollowed out for a decade. Not because it steers clear of what looks like a crush-triangle. But because it looks like it’s injected some horror sensibilities into the Young Adult world. Which is kind of funny to think about. With the two most famous horror icons at its disposal, Twilight never went that route. It was all big CGI action and brooding. Meanwhile, TMI: CoB (which really needs the acronym) definitely has a dark side. It even has werewolves. Check it out for yourself:

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Mortal Instruments

A seemingly average girl who’s not all that happy with her life discovers that there’s a magical world beyond the boring one and that she, surprise, has special powers to see into and affect that exciting realm. It’s pretty much the way most fantasy novels play out, and the hit series from Cassandra Clare is no different. In the case of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, our not-so-average girl is Clary Fray (played by Lily Collins). She starts to see some strange stuff that no one else seems to, but instead of finding her way to the self check-in counter at the local insane asylum, she’s brought in on the truth by a ridiculously handsome young man named Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower). As pretty much everyone will point out, this Harald Zwart-directed flick is looking to tap into the YA adult success that “Twilight” gave birth to and that “The Hunger Games” has perpetuated. In doing so, the marketing team is playing the long game here – hyping up every small casting notice, delivering a first image yesterday and now tossing a full trailer to the wolves a full 10 months before the movie is in theaters. It turns out everything we’ve heard around campfires is true. Check it out for yourself:

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Mortal Instruments

First off, what in the hell is a mortal instrument? It sounds just terrible – like some sort of ancient torture device, perhaps something used to extract teeth or fingernails or even entire eyeballs. Are these instruments good things? Can they be immortal? Who wields them? Will we ever know? Well, probably. With the final film of the unfathomably popular The Twilight Saga franchise, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, hitting screens this week, studios everywhere are scrambling for the next big YA cinematic adaptation that will set the cinematic world on fire. While The Hunger Games is still poised to slip into Twilight‘s vacated throne, a fresh crop of new potential franchises are springing up left and right, including Beautiful Creatures, Divergent, and The Mortal Instruments. It’s a topic we’ve long been interested in (remember this piece from Comic-Con?), but it’s still unclear just who will prove to be the winner. A possible contender – the first film in a potential Mortal Instruments franchise, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which is coming to us from The Karate Kid (remake, duh) director Harald Zwart from author Cassandra Clare‘s wildly popular series. With the release of the film’s first official still, we’ve just got nothing but questions.

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Seeing as shooting is set to begin next month on Harald Zwart’s adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s smash-hit YA fantasy novel “City of Bones,” it’s starting to become crunch time as far as putting together a cast is concerned. When we made our last casting update, pretty much every major role had been filled other than that of Luke Garroway, the teenage protagonist’s surrogate father-figure, and Valentine Morgenstern, the primary villain of the story who has many and sometimes mysterious ties to the pasts of the protagonists. Well, worry not, fans of demon-killing Shadowhunters, because it looks like the film is going to be able to fill all of its big roles with weeks to spare. First off, Luke Garroway: he’’s the gruff, flannel shirt wearing fellow that spends a lot of time hanging around with the protagonist Clary’s (Lily Collins) mother (Lena Headey). Though I can’t find any place where this casting was actually announced, Irish actor Aidan Turner is now listed as playing the role. He’s probably best known for his role on the BBC show Being Human, which is also heavily concerned with creatures of the night, so he should feel right at home dealing with mystical and dangerous things.

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Casting is currently at a fever pitch regarding the next great hope in the Young Adult film franchise arms race, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. The most recent news we had about director Harald Zwart’s series-launcher is that Game of Thrones and Mad Men vets Lena Headey and Jared Harris had landed roles as two of the adult characters, and today comes news that two of the teenage roles that make up most of the primary cast have also been filled. The thrust of the City of Bones story, again, is that a girl named Clary Fray (Lily Collins) becomes suddenly involved in the hidden world of Shadowhunters (powerful beings who hunt demons right under our noses). The first Shadowhunter that she comes across is dreamboat Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower), a troubled orphan who comes complete with a foster family. Said family is most importantly made up of two siblings who Jace lives and hunts demons with, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood. These are the oh-so-important roles that have now been filled.

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Adaptations of the Cassandra Clare-penned books best known as ‘The Mortal Instruments Series” have been in the works for a while. The first substantial bit of news about them was that Lily Collins would be playing the protagonist, Clary Fray, and then came word that Jamie Campbell Bower would be playing the smoldering bad boy character of the books, Jace Wayland. But that was a long time ago, and we haven’t heard much since. Fear not, these movies are still getting made, and we should be hearing a lot more about them from this point on, because they’ve finally just announced a director. According to Deadline Alacante, the director of the Karate Kid remake, Harald Zwart, is on board to make the first film in the series. The press release they cite also confirms the ages-old casting of Collins, so fans of the series don’t need to start all over again picturing a new Clary in their heads.

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