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Movie Monday: Getting the right look for ‘Mortal Instruments’

Photo: miamigurl26 on Tumblr

Every Monday here at The Mortal Instruments Source is Movie Monday, where we talk about one of the many topics involving the movie adaptation of “City of Bones.”

Photo: miamigurl26 on Tumblr

We are a people obsessed with appearance and that proves most true in the entertainment industry. Perhaps none more so than when it comes to adapting a popular book series to screen.

The main reason that book series have come to be adapted to the big screen– and successful at that–is the massive support from the fans that made the series a best-seller on paper.

Passionate fans have created the top-grossing film franchise Harry Potter thrive for over a decade. Passionate fans have created an unseen phenomenon in Twilight. And hopefully passionate fans will create the next big film franchise in The Mortal Instruments.

It’s quite difficult to adapt a book to the big screen–and expect a unanimous positive reaction–due to the fact that fans each have unique visions of the world they have come to love. But it has to be done and, for the most part, the producers can

Getting a character’s look right, especially the main characters, is an important part of the adaptation process. If an actor doesn’t match the physical description of the character they will be portraying, some fans might dismiss them immediately.

This can cause studios to defend their choices by distributing photos of an actor in character and looking a lot unlike themselves. And ultimately them end up not just looking like the characters but portraying them quite well…for the most part.

But when it comes to the look of a film it isn’t just about character’s appearance. It’s also about the setting of the film and, if it’s a fantasy series, the creatures that inhabit that setting.

Here are just some of the things that the producers will no doubt be focusing their efforts on getting right:

Photo: Screen Gems

Hair: One of the concerns surrounding Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace is the length of his hair. Producers have already indicated that they plan on cutting his hair–how short we don’t know yet–but have no fear he will have a unique “Jace” hairstyle. Lily Collins, who has already been a redhead for Priest, will no doubt embrace those red locks once more when filming begins for City of Bones. Whether she will have that curly hair, straight or a combination of both remains to be seen at this point, as does most things.

Setting: Recent production information has revealed that filming for City of Bones will be in not only Los Angeles but New York City, the city where The Mortal Instruments is based in. Director Scott Charles Stewart recognizes the importance of getting that New York after-dark feel to the film and fans should have no doubt that he can accomplish that.

Creatures: This is something that we probably won’t see evidence of until 2012. Stewart has a hefty resume in visual effects and design and created quite the world of creatures in Priest. It should be interesting to see his take on the vampires, werewolves, fairies and warlocks in The Mortal Instruments.

Runes: Runes no doubt play a significant part in the Shadowhunter world. Viviane Hebel has already created Cassandra Clare-approved runes that match the descriptions in the book and have pleased fans, who have had runes tattooed on them. The question becomes do the producers use Hebel’s runes or do they bring in someone to create their own or even add on to Hebel’s designs. But the creation of the runes is something that will be under the very watchuful eyes of fans. Even Jamie Campbell Bower said that he would be getting a Mortal Instruments tattoo. *Clears throat* we’re still waiting for that picture, Mt. Bower.

Magnus Bane: Besides Jace, I feel that Magnus will be the most guarded character by the fans in terms of his appearance. There must be glitter. He must be eccentric. Sexy. Sassy. Magical. Bisexual. Part-Asian. If the producers screw up Magnus, fans will not be pleased.

Vehicles and Weapons: We’ve already gotten a glimpse of some of the designs on the vehicles in City of Bones, including the vampire bikes and the midnight carriage, and fans have been pleased. As far as weapons go, fans will eagerly be awaiting the stele, witchlight and Isabelle’s whip among other things.

About Alyssa Barbieri (2801 Articles)
Alyssa is the Managing Editor for Bears Wire. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @AlyssaBarbieri

3 Comments on Movie Monday: Getting the right look for ‘Mortal Instruments’

  1. Can’t wait. I’m really hoping the movie will turn out GREAT. (:

  2. TMI Luver813 // January 17, 2012 at 10:09 PM // Reply

    I hope they get all the characters. They don’t have to be exactly how I pictured them, but they should at least be close to the way the charade tees are described in the book. I sort of wish they would make city of glass or fallen angels into a movie al we can see all the drama and relationships, but there will hardly be any on city of bones. I mean I love the books but I wanted to see how the relationships would work out in the movie. I CANG WAIT UNTIL THE MOVOE COME OUT AND CITY OF LOST SOULD. Those spoilers were AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ben Ducote // March 7, 2012 at 5:46 PM // Reply

    I want that motorcycle

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