We are less than six months away from the theatrical release of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and the hype for the adaptation of the internationally-bestselling series by Cassandra Clare will only continue to grow as the release draws nearer.
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. from the book and give our opinions on how we think it will be interpreted in the big screen adaptation.
Week 38: The Big Reveal a.k.a The Incest Issue
Alyssa, TMI Source: The big question fans are wondering heading into this film is whether or not the Big Reveal will play out on screen as it does in the book. Will audiences be left with the same nagging cliffhanger as readers were when Valentine reveals that Jace and Clary are actually brother and sister?
I believe that the audience will find out that Jace and Clary and related and have to process that fact for the remainder of the movie. I’ve been going back and forth between a scene being added at the end of the film where Valentine confirms that they aren’t related and a scene that hints at the fact that they are not related but leaves the audience leaving the theater wanting to know more.
My fellow staffer Megan was telling me that one way they could go about hinting that Clary and Jace aren’t actually related is adding a scene where Valentine returns home. We get a glimpse at the back of a blonde boy’s head and Valentine saying, “Jonathan.” It would leave the audience wondering why there are two Jonathans and which is really Valentine’s son? That way they don’t flat out confirm it isn’t true because we know that the incest storyline plays a significant role in City of Ashes and City of Glass and with the reader/audience’s experience.
Regardless I feel like the scene in-the-moment will play out quite similar to the book with Valentine using this knowledge as a weapon of manipulation against Clary and Jace. It’s heartbreaking to imagine Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower bringing this scene to life and yet I feel like their chemistry will shine in this moment. It’s going to be interesting to see which way Harald Zwart decided to play this storyline.
Amber, TMI Institute: The issue of the incest reveal in City of Bones is one that leaves most readers with their jaws dropped to the floor and their hands clinched to the book screaming, “NO WAY!”
For those shipping Clace, it is a devastating blow. So how will they handle it in the movie? It’s difficult to say. I can go back in movies to “Flowers in the Attic” and even “Star Wars” (Luke having that crush on his sister, Leia) for moments when incest could have happened. In fact, in the book “Flowers in the Attic” by VC Andrews, the subject was very much front and center, but the movie (the butcher job that it was) hedged the subject almost entirely. Call me one disappointed fan.
My feeling is that the reveal of Valentine being Clary’s father and also possibly Jace’s father will be successful due to the superb scriptwriting of I. Marlene King and Jessica Postigo. If anyone can tackle sticky relationship issues it’s Miss Pretty Little Liars herself. Marlene has a way of leaving audiences shell shocked and wanting more. I believe they will make it a cliffhanger, but I feel it will be one that is sophisticated and edgy.
Natalie, TMI Examiner: Ooo, this is an interesting topic and one that I’m sure many people has debated behind-the-scenes as this amazing book continues to make its journey to film. The issue will have to be addressed in the film as to create that “forbidden romance” element for Jace and Clary. Without the topic of incest one of my favorite ‘Mortal Instruments’ scenes, that kiss in the Seelie Court would be ruined. Of course, that scene doesn’t take place until “The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes” but we know that the studio is already thinking ahead to that film. Before filming wrapped at “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” screenwriter Jessica Postigo tweeted mention of starting work on “The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes” script.
Plus, Clary (Lily Collins) dates Simon (Robert Sheehan) in “The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes” because she believes she is Jace’s sister. Again, the topic will come up if for any other reason as to keep key scenes throughout the franchise intact. The real question is how it will be handled since it is obvious that it must be addressed. It’s a tough topic and I put full faith and trust in the talents of I. Marlene King, who of course is used to handling difficult issues in “Pretty Little Liars” and Jessica Postigo. It’s my personal belief that element will stay true to Clare’s story. Such a cliff hanger will only leave fans both new and old wanting more. To downplay the issue of incest would downplay the emotional struggles for both Clary (Lily Collins) and Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower,) which would only hurt their journey throughout the series and take away from yet another reason that makes Clare’s series superb.
Tita, TMI News en Español: The most exciting / frustating moment for me in City of Bones was the “big reveal”, as all you know, the incest between Jace and Clary as they get to know they are siblings and they are in love. That was the moment when my book left my hands and landed to the floor at 3 meters from me. Yeah, I was so pissed off and so surprised and freaking out and everything on that moment that I could not believe what I was reading. That moment is going to be in the movie, yeah, and I can’t wait to see the face of all the mundanes in the theather while they see it and start to freak out as the rest of the shadow world did with the books. This is one of the themes that makes this series so special and different. This is one of that moments that makes you want to scream.
What are your thoughts? How do you think this scene will unfold in the film? How will the incest plotline unfold? Join in on the discussion!
Check back next Monday for the next edition of Movie Monday.