By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist September 11, 2013 at 9:06AM
However financially motivated their aims were, you can’t pin Constantin Film, the producers of $60 million YA adaptation “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” as wholly not optimistic. They envisioned a release so stellar that audiences would immediately clamor for a sequel, and so to hurry along the process they put into pre-production a sequel, “City of Ashes.” Well, after a wave of poor reviews and a weak opening, the lights may have started to dim as the company have decided to potentially call the whole thing off.
The Wrap has learned from the company that production on “City of Ashes,” which was due to begin next week, has instead been shut down indefinitely, leaving director Harold Zwart and his returning cast of Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower and Kevin Zegers to wait it out. According to Constantin, the standstill was called because “it will be beneficial to have more time to reposition the film in the current marketplace.” A marketplace, as they’ve seen, that will need a lot of coercion to show up for a second adaptation from author Cassandra Clare’s series.
As you have likely already forgotten, “City Of Bones” followed a Brooklyn teenager (Collins) as she joined a clan of “shadow hunters” led by Bower and fought evil in order to retrieve her kidnapped mother. It also co-starred Jared Harris and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and while the film’s executive producer Martin Moszkowicz described the books’ “incredibly loyal and ardent fan base” when touching on the sequel’s hiatus, we’ll see how much loyalty comes into play as Constantin weighs its dimming chances of success.