After weeks of speculation as to who replaced Scott Stewart as director of the film adaptation of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Constantin Film and Unique Features announced that Harald Zwart will direct.
Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower are still on board for the roles of Clary and Jace, respectively.
“Lily Collins is the perfect Clary,” said producer Robert Kulzer in a statement. “Harald Zwart really understands the visuals and heart of The Mortal Instruments. That was crucial to us. Of course, having Cassandra Clare’s support throughout and collaborating with her on this project has been especially rewarding.”
Cassandra Clare spoke with Hollywood Crush about the new director.
“Harald is awesome,” Cassie told Hollywood Crush via email. “I flew to Los Angeles to meet with him and with [producer] Robert Kulzer and [screenwriter] Jessica Postigo. Harald has more energy than anyone I have ever met. He wound up not being able to join us till about 10 at night ‘because of Vikings’ (I think this was a commercial he was filming), but when he did show up he had every single question in the world about the story and the characters. We spent an hour talking about Portals and another hour on Valentine (he is a huge fan of Valentine—maybe I should worry).
Clare revealed she was a little worried about the unexpected choice of Zwart.
“He was an interesting unexpected choice for director to me, and initially I was worried because I kept asking, ‘Does he understand fantasy?’ but talking to him really evened out those concerns. He got the magic, and he got the characters. There was even a moment where he was talking about Magnus and he said, ‘And then Magnus meets this woman…’ and Robert, Jessica and I all said : ‘Boy.’ And he said, ‘What?’ And we said ‘Boy. Magnus is gay.’ And he stared like we were crazy and said, ‘I KNOW. I was only going to say he met this woman and she hired him to help him with her daughter! Of course Magnus is gay.’ And he waved his arms and yelled ‘Magnus is fabulous!’ So I thought, ‘I like you.'”
There is still the issue of casting the remaining characters in the film, which Clare also addressed.
“We talked about actors for Jocelyn and Valentine and the other adults,” she revealed. “I can’t really say who was discussed; I am sure they would shoot me. But I did love the suggestions. And we talked about Simon. Everybody loves Lily Collins, and she has what’s called ‘meaningful consultation’ regarding the casting of Jace and Simon. She already used it to advocate for Jamie Campbell Bower, who everyone agreed she had an amazing audition with. There is an actor she likes for Simon that a lot of my fans love, and I can’t say who, though I do think his schedule might be a bit booked! There are other actors we discussed too, some really adorable guys. Lily has good taste, I think! It’s fun stuff sitting around tossing around all these actors’ names, but of course in the end it comes down to who is available when and how they test with Lily, especially with the shoot date coming up.”
Clare is thankful to have been a part of the process.
“It was a great meeting to have—I have always entirely expected to be completely left out of the film-making process, so it’s been amazing to be included,” she enthused. “I said that during dinner and the producer turned to me and said, ‘I gave up my tickets to “The Hunger Games” premiere to be here! That’s how important this is.’ I was like: holy crap. That IS a big deal!”
Principal photography on City of Bones is slated to begin on August 15 in Toronto and New York.
What do you think of the new director?
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