In addition, sister label Screen Gems has untethered itself from Mortal Instruments, the adaptation of the Cassandra Clare YA fantasy series. Scott Stewart had been attached to direct while Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower were attached to star in the story of a human woman helping human-angel hybrids fight evil forces. Constantin Film, which controls the rights, may self-finance or seek a co-financier as it develops this on its own. Stewart, meanwhile, is no longer directing, focusing on a TV version of his Screen Gems flick, Legion.Clare spoke out about the news and actually gave fans a better explanation. Here are interesting tidbits:
- The movie isn't cancelled
- Screen Gems hasn't been involved with the project for some time (it was handed off to Columbia Pictures back in August 2011)
- Constantin Films will actually make the movie
- Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower are still attached to the project and will be for some time
- Cassie sent Constantin Films some suggestions for casting Simon last week
- Cassie told Constantin Films that she liked Logan Lerman for Simon
- Constantin Films is aiming for filming to begin in August 2011
- The movie is still "in development" until filming begins
So, THR’s is a slightly bizarre version of events. Screen Gems didn’t drop the project; they weren’t involved with it — it was given to Columbia Pictures to develop back in… August of 2011? But yes, Screen Gems and Scott Stewart aren’t involved with the movie of City of Bones any more. The rights are owned by Constantin, they always have been. Constantin makes movies: they just made The Three Musketeers with Logan Lerman. Screen Gems would have been the distributor and co-producer but it was never their project; it’s Constantin’s. Screen Gems hasn’t actually been involved with the project since — well, let’s just say it’s been a while. (Some people have asked me if this is the news Marlene King was talking about on Twitter last week but it wouldn’t be; she was brought on after Screen Gems wasn’t involved any more. She’s never worked with them so it wouldn’t be news to her.)
Why didn’t I tell you guys? This isn’t really even the sort of thing that people tell me. Constantin owns the movie rights: who distributes it and co-finances and all that isn’t actually anything to do with me in any real meaningful sense. Projects get moved from studio to studio all the time — Twilight started at Paramount and went to Summit, etc. Screen Gems isn’t even the only production company CoB has been involved with, or the most recent. And half the time I don’t know about it, so 1) I can only give out news that’s been confirmed and okayed for me to give out and 2) half the time I don’t even know this stuff or it’s so in flux there would be no point saying anything about it if I did.
In this case, I will say:
1) The movie isn’t “cancelled.” This really doesn’t make much of any difference at all except in who distributes it.
2) Lily and Jamie are still attached. I mean, it’s been months since SG was connected with the project, and they’re still attached, so I’m fairly confident they’ll be attached for the foreseeable future. Will they be attached forever? NO idea. But nothing about this news makes it any more or less likely.
3) Really, this makes no difference to anything. I know words like “dropped” sound shocking and horrifying but in this context, it doesn’t mean much. I talked to Constantin last week and actually gave them a list of actors I liked for Simon (because why not?), and they gave me a schedule they expected to start filming by (August.)
No movie is going to be made until it’s greenlit. The movie was in development. It’s still in development. That said, Hollywood is like a big pinball machine. Projects bounce up, they roll around, they go this way, they go that way. This is a bounce.
What are your thoughts?