By Ben Brock | The Playlist July 31, 2013 at 5:22PM
A few years ago some book about a girl and her vampire boyfriend did reasonably well, and a few years before that some book about a boy and his magic school did pretty good too, and eventually this news made its way to the ears of eager studio executives, whose eyes lit up with childlike wonder at the thought of huge, fat piles of money. So they bought the rights, and they did pretty well off them.But this year has not been so kind to big studio adaptations of mega-selling young adult books. “Beautiful Creatures” and “The Host” both struck out earlier this year, and while the second “Hunger Games” flick coming in November is sure to do well, a question mark hangs over this year's other big YA adaptation, “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” which arrives on August 21st. You can see a trailer here.
Cassandra Clare's series about a sect of demonhunters living among supernatural creatures in contemporary New York was a huge hit, but audiences have yet to prove that they'll turn out for anyone other than Bella or Katniss. Nevertheless, the studio, Constantin, seems to have confidence in their project: not only have they spent $60 million on it and lined up a sequel already, they're now apparently looking to cast Sigourney Weaver in it, deploying some serious acting chops. The Hollywood Reporter says she's being eyed to play “the ruthless leader of the Shadowhunters” and that it's one of the few new roles in the second film: those who've read the book will realise they mean the Inquisitor, a meaty and rather fun role. Presumably they’re angling for the kind of genre cred Weaver brought to “Avatar” a few years back.The cast of the first film is a little lighter on heavyweights and very heavy on pretty: Lily Collins, Jame Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan and Godfrey Gao star, backed up by Lena Headey, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Jared Harris (we said a little lighter, not totally empty). We'll find out if the studio's confidence pays off on the 21st.