Cassandra Clare sounds off on potential INFERNAL DEVICES movie

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Even though The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones doesn’t hit theaters until Aug. 23, Constantin Film is already preparing for a prequel film.

Stephanie Sanditz is penning the screenplay and Constantin Film and Unique Features are searching for a director.

Of course, like The Mortal Instruments sequels, an Infernal Devices movie is contingent upon the success of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

Clare responded to a flood of Infernal Devices questions in a post on Tumblr, where she sounded off on why she’s excited about the potential film and reiterated what we all know: that a movie doesn’t ruin the book.

What made me accept a potential movie? I guess: I like movies. I don’t think film is a lesser art than books. Just a different art. I don’t think book adaptations to film are doomed to be bad. I think a lot of them are good. I think Lord of the Rings was good. I think Psycho and Jaws and The Shining and Apocalypse Now and Atonement and A Clockwork Orange and LA Confidential and a million more I could name are good movies. 

I think people say movies ruin books a lot for two reasons: Lots of adaptations of books are bad. It’s not easy to adapt a book. It’s not easy to translate what happens on a page to a visual medium. And things that are hard to do are often done badly. And secondly, a lot of times people simply rate a film by how much it diverges from the book. But all movies are going to diverge from the books they’re based on. They have to. The question is whether they diverge in intelligent ways (As, I think, Lord of the Rings did in casting Elijah Wood as Frodo. Frodo is supposed to be fifty. Elijah Wood was nineteen. But as a visual symbol of corrupted innocence, a 19-year-old worked much better. In the books, the hobbits have a youthful spirit. On screen you have to cast people who actually look youthful or what you will end up with is what looks like a bunch of middle aged people cavorting disturbingly) or in ways that worsened the story. And the only way to know that is to watch the whole film.

Look, I also fervently hope that if they make an ID movie, they don’t mess up the cast, and that they get the precision of the character dynamics right, and that the characters’ love of reading is preserved, and that Tessa is portrayed as the strong, intelligent, courageous girl that she is. I’d love to see the automatons on a screen. If the right actors were picked, I’d love to see Tessa, Jem and Will. I think the right director could make amazing scenes out of things like Will’s graveyard visit, and the vampire party, and the fight on Blackfriars Bridge. One of the joys of film is being transported to places you can never go, like Victorian London.

The alchemy of right director, right actors, right screenplay, is a hard one to get right. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying for. And there is no way to try for a good movie without risking a bad one. There simply isn’t. There are too many factors at work.

And in the end, a bad movie is just a bad movie. A bad movie does not change what is inside a book. It does not make the book worse. It does not hurt one’s writing career. (Perhaps the one plus of the fact that writers don’t really have much say over how adaptations of their films go, by and large, is that correspondingly, even a huge bomb of a  movie is irrelevant to your career. It just is. It’s not you you’re risking when they make a film of your books —not your money, not your reputation, not your sales. It’s a bummer if it doesn’t go well, but that’s about it.) But a good movie — a good movie is a wonderful thing. It means your characters come alive on the screen for you, for everyone. It brings thousands, millions even, of readers to your books who otherwise wouldn’t have known about them. And writers do want to be read.

 And indeed, while TiD is more about character drama than overarching “Will the world blow up?” drama it 1) has plenty of action and 2) is not exactly a better book than Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, or any of another dozens of books that have been adapted into extremely good films. I think if I took the tack that my books were too good to be movies I would come off as kind of a dillweed. Though I think if there is “Don’t make a movie!” drama it stems from a protective fan love of the books, which I respect. Not wanting to see them adapted badly is understandable. I don’t want to see them adapted badly either. :) But I do want to see them adapted well, and you can’t get the one without risking the other.

Who would you like to see direct The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel? What is your dream cast for the franchise? Sound off in the comments!

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132 thoughts on “Cassandra Clare sounds off on potential INFERNAL DEVICES movie

  1. A director that has a history with filming period films already and also filmed supernatural fantasy stuff too. I doubt there is a director that has done both, but they would be good!

  2. If the director for TMI did a good job, you could just use him! I mean, the trailer is amazing, so hopefully the movie will be great.

  3. ALL THE BOYS HAVE TO BE REALLY HOT AND STRONG!!!! THE GIRLS HAVE TO BE REALLY PRETTY AND STRONG PERSONALITY’S

  4. I agree with Cassie (even though there will be times when I’m the over protective fan going “NOOO !!! YOU CAN’T MAKE A MOVIE !!!!!! THE CHARACTERS ARE ALL WRONG !!!!!” etc.) but I mean , as long as they get Tessa , Jem & especially Will right , and they follow the book as much as possible , and make appropriate changes , I’m really excited for this . I hope it turns out well , since I would love to see it come to life . As for the cast , I would actually be okay if the people playing Tessa & Will from the CP2 trailer were cast as Tessa & Will in the movie . I actually really liked them .

  5. Yes I can imagine the guy that plays Dean on the CW Supernatrial as Will if u watch Supernatrial u a Will agree with me

  6. i hope it gets made and the most important casting is tessa, will and jem ( so is the other casting) but that will defnitley help!

  7. all i ask is that they get the perfect actors for each and everyone of the characters especially will, tessa and jem and to make the movie awesome and badass

    • He has to get his braces off first though lol. & we don’t really know if he can act. But if he can, he would be the perfect Will. I’m really interested to know what actors would portray Tessa, Sophie, and especially Jem. I imagine that Henry could be played by Rupert Grint (Ron Weasly from Harry Potter), as Rupert seems to be cheerful and silly.

      • He’s a model, and you’d be surprised how many of them make great actors! Yeah it would be pretty impossible if Will had braces haha! I sort of imagined Eddie Redmayne (Marius from Les Mis) as Henry……

      • I totally had a dream that I saw the cast list for The Infernal Devices, and Henry was being played by Mark Williams (aka. Arthur Weasley from the Harry Potter films). I don’t know why, but is possibly because he was just only ginger actor that existed in my subconscious… :’)

  8. Actually Cas(tiel) (Mischa Collins) fits the exact description (black hair, blue eyes) plus he’s an angel and gorgeous, but yeah they are all very hot but they are not the right age. And Supernatural is Gr8! ;)

  9. That’s what I originally thought too, but we don’t even know if he can act or if he’s even interested in the role. Yeah, he fits the exact description of Will, but casting the right Will has to do with more than just looking the part. Much like Jace and the Alex Pettyfer drama and thank God we got Jamie.
    Now, Cassie was asked about the matter and said that Nicholas Hoult or Max Irons would be her choices. After having watched both Warm Bodies and Jack the Giant Slayer and The Host I have to agree that they will both be great for Will. Actually, I will support anyone who gets cast because getting the part means convincing the powers that be that you are the right choice for the role and I’m cool if what I had in mind differs from the final casting.

  10. This is the reason I love Cassie, there are very few authors who would take the time to reach out to their fans to reassure them about something that at the moment is at the idea stage. I would love the idea of a TID movie its such a visual book it would make an amazing movie. Jeremy Irvine is still my Will but I do think Max Irons would do a really good job.

  11. i really like Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Syrena from pirates of the caribbean) to portray the role of Tessa Gray. Or maybe Gemma Arterton….hehhee….JUST HOPING ONE OF THEM GETS A CHANCE :)v

  12. Getting actors to look the part is one thing. They have to make us believe and love them the way we do when we read. Make up, contacts, and some hair dye will make the look, but I want to feel the passion and love. I want to feel the heartbreak and sense of relief when feelings are shared.

  13. 1st choice: JOSHUA ANTHONY FREAKIN BRAND
    2nd choice Douglas Booth
    Both are british and young and sexy

  14. I love TID, they are EPIC! Jem would be a hard character to portray, he is gentle+ kind, but a good will would be easy.

  15. I love TID, they are EPIC! Jem would be a hard character to portray, he is gentle+ kind, but a good Will would be easy. Just make sure you get the main characters!

  16. Someone needs to sent Joshua Anthony Brand to acting school, get him ready, and send him in to the casting call as William Herondale. Him getting the part AND playing it well would be a miracle and would be amazing and would make MANY fans very…very happy.

    • This is gonna open a can of worms, but I’m going to say it: I do not support Douglas Booth as William Herondale. His acting is above mediocre, but I do not think he can pull off will. Physically, he doesn’t really match Will, either; I’m not talking about weight, which can change (by the way, Booth’s weight is perfectly fine). I’m talking about eye color, other facial features, etc. Yes, Hollywood COULD make his eyes blue, but chances are, it won’t happen; colored contacts are a pain for actors and CG is a pain for something small like eyes. His acting in Great Expectations was okay; if he’s picked as Will… :( but at least he can act well enough…ish.

  17. I’m an actress. I’m 18 years-old and American. I would give anything to be Tessa Gray because I identify with her; I am Tessa Gray.

  18. As far as directors go I would love to see Guy Ritchie do this series. He did wonders with Sherlock Holmes. Would also love to see Robert Downey Jr play Axel Mortmain is “the Magister”.. I mean right age/description and how fun would it be to see “Iron man” be the “clockwork army” creator.. Then would love to see Johnny Depp as Alexei de Quincey.. Just some fun thoughts. And as far as Will goes they need to find somebody with Downey’s natural sarcasm!

    • I think if Robert Downey Jr. was portrayed as Mortmain, however, the movie would be more comedial. It would be ironic, yes, but his personality wouldn’t suit the role.

      • And the series would be come more comical and don’t get me wrong the books have there moments but i think cassie didn’t really entend the series to be complete comedy

    • I like Johnny Depp as De Quincy. He could make it very good because he is not only a comical actor but a very good actor

  19. I personally would much rather see an Infernal Devices movie over Mortal Instruments just cause I think the Infernal Devices is much richer in setting and design. But I still love both!

  20. Please make a film- make the graphics brilliant and make the characters even better. They way I would expect Tessa, Jem and Will (love him) to look is how they do on the book covers – maybe Will to be more chiseled in the face and with dark slicked back rugged hair and bright blue eyes, tall and slim- Jem to have silver hair; thin, fragile, the crooked smile and pale skin- Tessa to be innocent, young looking..not to old.. like 18? average height, long curly dark hair, beautiful eyes and smile but not a supermodel, to be a real young woman…. Well that’s how it is in my head anyways

  21. Any director that can appoint a great animation team I guess. As for the cast, it will be difficult to find someone that captures the all the strong qualities of the characters to make the audience really feel for them as we felt for them in the book. The actor for Will definitely needs a manly, non-delicate, (hot!) face.. WILLLLLLLLL!!!!

  22. Pingback: Jen’s Top 10 YA Series | Jen's Pen Den

  23. Is there going to be an open casting for the movie so you can apply for a role also if you are not known in the Film industry?

  24. This is really happening? :D
    They’re like directing the whole history?
    This is touching :’)
    All TMI movies(at least first 3)
    All TID movies (probably since they’re 3!)
    This is very touching :’) It’s like they love us so much. Like they want our dreams to come true -or become a movie. :D

    • I loove Ian somerhalder in the vampire diaries! When I think of he perfect actor for William herondale I always think of Ian somerhalder. Even though he may be a little too old (34 :/), he knows how to play the sarcastic bad boy that’s beautiful and vulnerable yet funny at the same time! I wish he was a few years younger :(

  25. If there was one thing that got on my nervous it was the fact that when will found tessa and after they thought he was dead they got together and the only annoying thing was the way it had just happened was almost like they had been waiting for Jem to “die” to get together, Which I know It wasn’t but as soon as I read that part of the book that was the dirt thought that pop into my head

  26. For tessa i reallllyyyy hope it will be Astrid Bergés-Frisbey…. will could be joshua anthony and i really wish jem could be Alex Pettyfer( i actually thought he could be a great jace, but jamie is also incredible)
    sophie should be Shelley Hennig…
    oh well thats just my opinion…

  27. There’s one thing I don’t get in TID in the last book at the end Jem isn’t a silent brother anymore and he’s with tessa, but in TMI there’s the silent brother Zachariah again??? I mean did Jem become a silent brother again or did the silent brothers call a new silent brother, brother Zachariah?? Anyone know if so please reply I’m desprite to know??

    • At the end of TID, where Tessa meets Jem & he is no longer a silent brother, that jumps forward in time to AFTER the events of TMI have already taken place. So, it stands to reason that in the last TMI book, we may see Brother Zachariah transitioning out of the silent brotherhood. At the end of TID, Jem is about to tell Tessa about the Lightwoods, Fairchilds & Herondales latest adventures, which I assume to be the adventures portrayed in TMI.

  28. I saw the mortal instruments on Saturday in Plymouth cus it wasn’t showing in Newquay yet, it was amazing.astonishing.fantastic!!!!!

  29. Good I absolutely love Jem so much, he i just perfect, but I don’t know who would play him because the actor can’t just look like him he has to be able to captor how he feels and his emotions, it’s just so hard to pick an actor that good!!!! If they cast the wrong person I’m going to be so mad!!!! I just love the books so much

  30. no no no NO NO NONOONONONONO
    THEY CAN’T DO THIS
    JUST NO
    I LOVE TMI (My third favorite series ever), but the movie was a complete disappointment (in my opinion) as it was just underdeveloped and butchered Cassandra Clare’s ideas and writing. Yes, some movies have captured their book wonderfully, but this simply can’t happen with Cassandra Clare’s works. Hers are too amazing, too imaginative and too quirky to be anything but a manifestation of the reader’s own PERSONAL imagination.
    Now, TIF is my FIRST FAVORITE SERIES EVER (which is a big deal; I have read thousands of books in just the last couple years).
    The TMI movie actually ruined the book somewhat for me, as, despite what Cassandra Clare said about a movie not changing what is inside the book, I believe that what is most important is the reader’s interpretation of what is inside the book. A movie destroys individual worlds and interpretations by thrusting their own interpretations in your face giving you no choice but to see it as they see it.
    I can’t let this happened to my favorite series in the world. Just NO. Pleasepleasepleaseplease don’t let this movie happen!

    • I completely agree with you! I’m scared of how the movie’s going to turn out too. The infernal devices series is perfection and William Herondale is my favorite book character ever! And I’ve read a lot of books. TMI didn’t turn out how I wanted it to at all, there wasn’t the emotion that I wanted to see, so if TID isn’t perfect I’ll be furious!

  31. I think that it would make a great mini series…. kind of like Downton abbey… but i doubt anyone would go for that…. I just think that this series is incredible and she has really out done herself in writing them…. picked up a copy of clockwork princess yesterday…. just got around to reading the infernal devices books… but I got a collectors first edition I dont know if that is rare or not… but im happy…. movies would be cool… but a mini series would be better….. and really…. will and tessa need to both be like drop dead gorgeous and handsome…. so dont pull a jamie please…. Hes a good actor and played the part well… but not at all what I pictured.

  32. I thought that Jenna-Louise Coleman would make an amazing Tessa- she looks like her, but also she would make a really strong and courageous heroine that I really think Tessa needs to be. (She plays Clara in Doctor Who). I think she might be too old though, but I guess they can change appearances to a certain extent?

  33. I must say that I am completely against Ian Somerhalder portraying William Herondale in any potential Infernal Devices films, as firstly he is American and therefore not ideal for playing the role of a British character, and secondly he is too old to be playing a seventeen year old boy. I am, however, fully supportive of Joshua Anthony Brand as Will, since to me at least, he looks perfect, is the right age AND is also British! I have also heard speculation that Emma Rigby could be cast as Tessa, which I would also support, as I watched her on Hollyoaks for years and know she is a great actress, and I have also seen her in Ripper Street, where she played the role of a young girl back in the 1800s!

  34. I feel in the with The Infernal Devices
    Characters so soon as I read the book it was so amazing I am all for both Jem and Will I cried though out the book at things both of them did and when they were hurt I read those books first and I was scared that if I read TMI I would not like them as much and I think that the same thing with movies your the movie will not be as good the book and you won’t like it, but why not try it. I did and I ended up loving it I don’t know what I actors I would want to play them, but I think ABC would make it a great movie

  35. GUYS! I am meeting with the director of the mortal instruments movie tonight! Is there anything anyone would like me to tell him and recommend for the next movie? ? Have some constructive criticism?
    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! I will tell him anything you want me to!
    Either reply to this comment, send a message on my tumblr (preffered!)(fangirlranting.tumblr.com) or shoot me an email at bookwormdaisyh@gmail.com.

    • Sorry I can’t get on tumbler but you should tell him that I thought he did a very good job with the movie and I can’t wait for the second one!!!! I’m a book to movie hater I hate it but this one went way over my expectations-Heaven Love

  36. Get your hopes up for TiD movie :) Well, I agree on her statement above. It is already expected, the movie wouldn’t exactly alike what’s inside the book but I believe the essence of the story is still there. These 3 books of TiD are already added on the list of my fave books so I really do hope that they are on the right mind when choosing the right characters, perfectly in physical and acting skills. lol.

  37. Well I haven’t seen City Of Bones and can’t wait till it comes out in DVD! ^-^ But I think that the actors have to not look exactly alike but not so far from the real thing! :D

  38. I would love Sarah Bolger as Tessa, she’s gorgeous and she has a sweet innocent face. She was also in Spiderwick Chronicles and the only bright spot in an otherwise dull Stormbreaker movie.

  39. top ten will list:
    1st joshua anthony brand
    2nd joshua anthony brand
    3rd joshua anthony brand
    4th joshua anthony brand
    5th joshua anthony brand
    6th joshua anthony brand
    7th joshua anthony brand
    8th joshua anthony brand
    9th joshua anthony brand

    and my last choice is…

    10th joshua anthony brand

  40. I haven’t found, anywhere that I’ve looked, someone who would have the potential of casting as Jem yet. His character is so difficult to portray, and although Will and Tessa’s are too, I think Jem requires much thought. I actually do think he should look like the boy on the cover of Clockwork Prince, as it really does suit the description given. Hopefully someone will magically show up with the right qualities to bring this wonderful character to life…

    As for Will: He must be absolutely drop dead gorgeous. That’s what the book says, right? He must have the looks of someone who would generally sweep girls right off their feet. BUT! He has to have that natural sarcasm and has to give off that stubborn, arrogent attitude. If Will Herondale isn’t sarcastic and arrogant, who is he at all? As many fans are saying, physically speaking, Joshua Anthony Brand would satisfy the role. Personally, though, I much prefer someone like Max Irons, with facial features that are more sharp and not rounded like Joshua, but still young. Some people have suggested Douglas Booth, and though he may not be the perfect physical suit to Will, he might be the perfect actor. Who knows?

    Tessa…. Is the one I really am not sure about. I think I dont really mind what she looks like, as long as she generally suits the description but has the personality traits spot on. Tessa is that brave heroine everyone looks up to, and she has to look like it. I also think Astrid Berges-Frisbey is a good choice, even if I imagined Tessa with a more fierce look. Maybe Nina Dobrev would suit the role?

    On a final note, TID is probably my favourite book series ever, followed closely by the Divergent series. I agree with Clare that this movie should be given a try, even if it might be disappointing. I would love to see it happen, no matter the risks. A movie does not ruin a book for me. After watching TMI, I still love the books. Honestly, though, I really do prefer TID. ;)

  41. I for one think me crazy but i wish Johnny Depp would be the Magister or Henry yet am a bit afraid he may indeed steal the spotlight ._.

  42. Will should be Douglas Booth. I vote him all the way. Plus, he has done multiple movies set in an older period so it wouldn’t be hard for him to adapt.

  43. You HAVE to use Francis Lawrence. After he directed catching fire he’s the best option. He did extremely well with the book to film adaptation

  44. What I heard this morning was that The Infernal Devices are becoming a TV series in the CW. It is supposedly coming out in Spring of 2015.

  45. I honestly think there should be an open casting call for anyone who’s willing to audition. It’s a great way for new talent to arise, and it would be an easier way to pick “the right look” for each and every character. The only problem would be the amount of time it would take for the director to watch all those auditions, narrowing them down to a select few, and you know everyone who’s a fan of the books would want to audition. It is, of course, all the director’s decisions, and I completely understand if Cassandra has absolutely no say in the matter, but it would be refreshing to see some new faces onscreen rather than the select few that are seen in every movie. Please feel free to check out this link of me being Tessa… http://youtu.be/Y6bx7Kjmlsw

  46. They have to use the actor for Magnus from TMI movie for Magnus in ID . I really love him as Magnus. ( although i have not seen the movie City of Bones because I heard it was really bad) I have read the books and I think his look fits Magnus well.

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