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Movie Monday #7: Pop Culture References

We are just over a year away from the theatrical release of ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ and the hype for the adaptation of the internationally best selling series by Cassandra Clare will only continue to grow as the release draws nearer.

I’ve banded together with other ‘Mortal Instruments’ fansites (TMI InstituteMundie MomsTMI Examiner and TMI News en Espanol) for a new weekly feature called Movie Monday.

Each Monday leading up to the August 23, 2013, release of ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,’ we will take a look at a scene, moment, detail, etc. and give our opinions on how we think it will be interpreted in the big screen adaptation.


Alyssa, TMI Source: This is something from the books that I would love to see interpreted as such on the big screen. The subtle pop culture references that Clary and Simon throw out there and the puzzled reactions of the Shadowhunters are little moments that make you smile. Whether it’s Clary’s eBay remark to Jace or Clary’s “Shotgun!” remark that makes Alec jump, it definitely adds a humorous element to the story, but also reminds us that the Shadowhunters live differently. It’s a world that exists alongside our world, but it is not our world. And this is one way to subtly remind the audience of that fact.

Amber, TMI Institute: I would love to see our shadowhunters respond cluelessly to pop culture references! It’s very clear in the books that they are trained from an early age that protecting the world from evil is their top priority. Clary and Simon were raised as mundanes, a world where kids spend their time learning the words to their fave movies, tv shows and songs. To them and to the movie goers, I think a moment like Jace not  knowing what Ebay is will be hysterical. This quote will become a pop culture reference, too! I hope it makes the cut!

Katie, Mundie Moms: Great topic. This is one thing I hope they stay true to from the book. The references Cassie has in COB are a perfect, as she allows the reader to see that despite the fact the Shadowhunters live in our world, they’re clearly not from our world. I think those references help give readers/audience members that understanding of just how outside of our world they really are. Movie wise, I really feel that the studio needs to be able to show the audience that as well, but without over doing it. I think they can easily add something about ebay, or google or whatever they choose easily into a scene or too.

Natalie, TMI Examiner: Unfortunately I see this as being an area that may not be as prevalent in the movie. I really do like the references to Dungeons and Dragons though 🙂

Tita, TMI News en Espanol: Are the pop culture references really necessary for the movie? No, they are not. BUT, it doesn’t mean that they are not good for the movie or even a wink for the fans of the books. They are a funny and curious part of the essence that show us how different is the shadowhunter world from the mundane world.
Such things like, for example:
–> “That’s why when major badasses greet each other in movies, they don’t say anything, they just nod. The nod means, ‘I’ am a badass, and I recognize that you, too, are a badass,’ but they don’t say anything because they’re Wolverine and Magneto and it would mess up their vibe to explain.” 

–> “Don’t touch any of my weapons without my permission.”
“Well, there goes my plan for selling them all on eBay,” Clary muttered.
“Selling them on what?”
Clary smiled blandly at him. “A mythical place of great magical power.” 

–> “Investigation?” Isabelle laughed. “Now we’re detectives? Maybe we should all have code names.”
“Good idea,” said Jace. “I shall be Baron Hotschaft Von Hugenstein.”
  Necessary? Maybe not. A good thing to have in the movie? hell yes! Who didn’t laugh with the ‘Ebay’ conversation? Who is fan of the X men and loved their reference in the book? This pop culture references also will like to the audience that even didn’t read the books, because we all know what this kind of things are 😉

What are your thoughts? Would you like to see pop culture references portrayed in the film? Do you think they’ll make it into the movie? Join in on the discussion!

Check back next Monday for the next edition of Movie Monday.

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

5 Comments on Movie Monday #7: Pop Culture References

  1. Herondale's live 4eva // July 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM // Reply

    the pop up culture is definitely one of my fave things about the book, it breaks all the tension and makes u really understand how and why the characters think in a certain way. If i could i wud throw away all my dignity and beg the wirters to include that. 😀

  2. There are a lot of funny details and moments in the book that we appreciate for some reason or another, but we must remember this is the less bright side of any film adaptation. They have (sadly) to erase important little things.
    I would like to see pop culture references into the screenplay though, and I would love to see Simon wearing that t-shirt that says “gamers do it better”

  3. TeamEdwardJace // July 2, 2012 at 7:13 PM // Reply

    i ‘d love to see the pop culture references in there. it’ll be hilarous to see Jace, and the shadowhunters not knowing what ebay is. that being said, they do know some pop culture references(e.g. world of warcraft) and what not to wear

  4. Oh TeamEdwardJace, you just reminded me of one my favorite parts in the whole book series! When Jace is at Magnus’ house watching project runway and what not to But, back on topic, I think the pop culture references play a significant role in showing that shadow hunters were almost raised in a completely different society than a normal kid. I do foresee this to be one of the many things that will be cut from the movie, but all we can do is hope they stay pretty close to how the books are.

  5. I just want to let everyone know, Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace) and Bonnie Wright, have split amicably. I’m not lying, you can Google. It was announced June 30th. No for sure reason on why they broke up, some suspect because he will become a big star from TMI, and she doesn’t want to deal with that. Either way, I wish all the best for both of them, and I’m sorry to hear about it!

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