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10 fun facts about ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’

Republic Records shared 10 fun facts about The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which is now in theaters.

Jace Still

1. Hollywood studios were initially hesitant to produce a film version of The Mortal Instruments because the book features a female lead.

Several studios actually asked TMI author Cassandra Clare to allow them to make the lead character a male. However, she refused to agree to this change.

2. Author Cassandra Clare played a big role in the pre-production process of The Mortal Instruments.

Often times, Hollywood studios will change the plot of a book when they agree to put it on the silver screen. However, TMI fans will be happy to know that, because Clare played such a big part in the production of the movie, the film will adhere to the look and feel of the book very closely.

3. The same executive producer who worked on The Lord of the Rings movies is the executive producer of The Mortal Instruments.

Cassandra Clare was so impressed with what Robert Shaye did with The Lord of the Rings that she handpicked him to work on TMI as well.

4. The soundtrack for The Mortal Instruments features Demi Lovato, Colbie Caillat, and Ariana Grande.

The music for the film is good. Real good. so make sure you listen up while you’re watching it.

5. The director of The Mortal Instruments purposely shied away from using too much CGI or too many special effects in the film.

Rather than utilize CGI to make the “Downworld” in TMI feel real, Harald Zwart uses his characters to sell the idea of an alternate universe. During filming, Lily Collins—who plays lead character Clary Fray—explained. “What they’ve done with this project is really acknowledge the fact that it is such a fantasy world,” she said, “that if we don’t make it real in some way, you’re going to lose the audience in the CGI stuff.”

6. Lily Collins was a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments book series long before she agreed to play Clary Fray.

Collins didn’t accept the role of Fray simply for the paycheck that comes along with it. She accepted it because she’s a big fan of fantasy books and read the entire series long before she was cast as Clary Fray.

7. Many of the The Mortal Instruments actors were required to train extensively prior to shooting the movie so that they could perform the necessary stunts.

“[Director] Harald [Zwart] was like, ‘I don’t want any wires; I don’t want any wire work. I don’t want that. I want it to be very much if you’re going to do something, if you’re going to do a  flip, then you need to be able to do a flip,”” Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays Jace Wayland in the movie, said earlier this year. So Bower had to train hard to be ready to do all of his stunts.

8. Jamie Campbell Bower wasn’t actually the producers’ first choice to play Jace Wayland.

The producers didn’t want Bower to play the role of Jace initially. But once they paired him with Lily Collins and had them read a scene together, their chemistry was undeniable.

9. Fans of The Mortal Instruments actually played a role designing a number of things that appear in the movie.

When the TMI crew was doing things like designing weapons and gear for the movie, they frequently looked at fan art on the Internet to get a better idea of what people thought things in the book looked like. They didn’t copy any ideas. But they did use the ideas as inspiration.

10. A sequel for City of Bones called City of Ashes (based on the second The Mortal Instruments book) will go into production next month and is scheduled be released next year.

You won’t have to wait another three years to see a second TMI movie! Once you get done watching the first one today, you’ll only have to wait about a year to see the sequel.

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

54 Comments on 10 fun facts about ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’

  1. KikiLOVESJace // September 1, 2013 at 6:29 PM // Reply

    Can’t wait to see City of ashes next year! 😀 I’m getting so pumped.

    • We will get COA I just think that everybody else just needs to calm down, and continue to spread the love who knows maybe something (something good) might change. I have a feeling that more people will want to get interested in TMI since the film’s release and see what the hoopla is about. If anything I’m just honestly glad that it wasn’t overhyped to high heaven because that gets annoying after a while, but I’m just saying.

  2. COB was awesome and I can’t wait to see COA. I hope all the books will be made into movies and I hope that the same cast will be around for all the movies. They are all so perfect for their roles, especially Jamie!!!!

  3. Whoa #1 is totally messed up, if Summit and Lionsgate can agree to make Twilight Hunger Games and Divergent even though it has a female lead in it why did people initially have issues with this one. Me thinks i suspect favortism going on, but that’s just my two cents. But hey bravo for Cassie for telling them to go shove up. Well that’s just my way of putting it.

    • People did initially have issues with Twilight and Hunger Games as well. It’s not just the Mortal Instruments series XD

      • I believe you but i also remember that during the time the first Twilight was out, it did make an alternative on women and cinema and that they are a very unique breed of audience and theater goers that don’t get much respect. I doubt that any of these sexists views will go away any time soon but that does not mean we should be afraid to try and take a risk we do it because we want to.

      • THG has been very, very lucky because they got a production company that REALLY believed in them. THG was optioned 2010 and the movie came out 2 years later. It was quick because the company believed in the film. Lionsgate even changed the original screenwriter because he wasn’t writing the screenplay close to the book.

    • The thing people don’t realize is that they were talking about making TMI long before Hunger Games and right around the time of Twilight. So there was hesitation about a female lead. It’s the reason why TMI went from Warner Brothers to Constantin. WB wanted Clary to be a boy.

  4. In addition how many movies like this get made without the excessive use of special effects it’s kind of like doing an indie film all over again

  5. Seriously? They wanted to switch the lead into a male before they’d sign on? That just pisses me off. While I know that movies featuring male leads make more money and are more popular, the only reason to change that is to take a “risk” and cast more women in lead roles. That just goes to show you how sexist our culture still is, even in this day and age.

    • I know that’s what I said before in my comment above that some of the studios were acting like sexists pigs. I mean Hollywood as we know it is already a sexist industry to begin with but something like that is taking it too far, but thank God, our beloved Cassandra stood up and told them to go to hell. Well i hope she did because there is no Mortal Instruments without Clary, because she is the one who starts it all, imagine Hunger Games without Katnis how would that turn out.

    • And yes it is a shame that our human society is still filled with sexist pigs

  6. Just a question out of curiosity.
    When City of Ashes (God willingly) gets released next year what month do you think would be best for it to debut?
    Personally I think somewhere in mid October might be fairly decent I could be wrong, but does anyone have any other ideas?
    Just as long as it is not in the summer or November, unless they want to compete with Mocking Jay Part 1 (Bites finger nails) or in December with the last Hobbit. (Hair stands up as if it was electrocuted)

  7. Well, this was an interesting read. I knew most of this already, but it was good to hear, nonetheless^_^

    Dear god: I am SO glad that they didn’t make Clary a guy, and we got the amazing movie we did. That would have changed EVERYTHING that the book was, if they’d made Clary a male. Ugh. I hate sexism…

    …You know: They probably could have mentioned the “from the Producer of The Lord of the Rings” while marketing CoB. It probably could have done much better if they had. I feel the main problem for people who didn’t read the books going into this, was that they didn’t know what to expect. “The Lord of the Rings” thing might have helped them out there, and might have inspired more people to see it. Hopefully they’ll mention it next time, maybe?

    And I really do have to respect the artistic way they took this movie. I like that it wasn’t crazy with the CG, and that the stunts were real. Kudos to Jamie for that one flip, and the entire cast for training so hard.

    And I am SO glad they cast Jamie as Jace. He plays him so well, and he and Lily have such great chemistry. It would have been a totally different movie otherwise, and honestly… I don’t think it would have been as good that way. I LOVE the cast for this movie. They’re just great:)

    Can’t wait for CoA! I’m so glad it’s coming out this year 😀 And who knows? Maybe we can affect things in CoA, too! We already did in CoB, which is just awesome:)

    • I do agree with you on the whole comment. I think if it isn’t too late next time around if they intend on making City of Ashes much bigger and better than city of bones, and since sequels are usually supposed to be better than the predeccesors things might change, perhaps maybe they should announce the producers name in the coming attractions. I mean look at what they did with Catching Fire, in order for it to be bigger and better than the first, another manuever they did that really helped was finding some really good well known actors I mean maybe they don’t have to be big house hold names and be over the top and too well known like Daniel Day Lewis or Maryl Streep but it helps to have some veterans in the mix next to those who are either unknown indie actors to beginners. That’s why i was so happy that Sigourney Weaver got the part not only because i think she’ll be amazing and by god she will but i think maybe that’s kind of putting the film in the right direction and something might spark, meaning there is some good potential and attraction to outsiders.
      Either way, let’s all hang in there and keep doing our job as a fandom to not take the easy way out because we are fighters. 🙂 I rest my case, I’m going to shut up now.

      • Sigourney Weaver? -looks her up- Oh! She played the mother in Prayers for Bobby! She was amazing! And she’s exactly what I imagined when I imagined Imogen too….I think she’ll be PERFECT!

  8. #1 *shudders*
    thank you so much, Cassie, for not letting them do that

  9. hmm…interesting. If previously they want a male lead in this movie, I wouldn’t mind. Would love to see Jace in the forefront of this movie. I wonder how it would have turn out to be if its in a different perspective.

  10. This comment is for Alyssa;
    I didn’t know that Warner Brothers originally wanted to do TMI. But yet they had the nerves to want to alternate the story

    Here this is a very interesting article about defending Young Adult fiction. I think it mentions TMI

  12. teamedwardjace // September 1, 2013 at 8:36 PM // Reply

    Coa will be even better and at first Hollywood asked caddie to v
    Change the gender? Sexist bastards or rather some are sexist. Good on Cassie for sticking up for herself

  13. Why does COA have to be just 2 hours long ? I think all of the movies should be 2 1/2 hours (+ or -). Who decided that the public can only sit for 2 hours ? I can sit longer than that in front of the TV or computer.

  14. This list makes me so happy Constantin got it! Cant’ wait for CoA ❤

    • Here here, Kayla. It makes me want people that are a bit TOO angry with the CoB movie to read this, and realize just how bad it COULD have been.

      @Miranda I’ll have to read that article when I get the chance;) Sounds interesting.

      And nothing spells obsession, like me looking at the clock right now and realizing I could go see CoB again right now, if I wanted to. LOL. But what can I say? We need to support our fandom as much as possible, right?:)

      And on the subject of marketing things better, I really hope they have more/better trailers next time around. I mean, I’ve read all the books and when I saw the trailer, I was confused about some of it/what they were trying to say.

      I think they could actually take a leaf out of the Twilight trailers, honestly. (Most people are about to kill me for saying this, and I don’t even like the Twilight movies, myself), but I like how they used the book taglines for it and whatnot.

      I SO was expecting TMI to be “To love is to destroy” and being all epic, but they didn’t go there, when really… I think they should’ve. It would have resonated with the book fans more, I think, and intrigued some people if they heard Jace’s quote.

      Honestly, the whole marketing thing bothered me. They kept being like, “You have to be chosen”, which I can get why they would, but it’s not even strictly true. They also made it seem like Shadowhunters were the kids of an Angel and human. I’m not complaining, and it was an easy thing to do, but IDK… Maybe next time be more accurate and have a more snazzy trailer?

      I think the next trailer should be hard-hitting, mysterious, and cause you to want to find out more. It needs to give a taste of what TMI is without ruining it for everyone, you know?

  15. I know everyone is tired of Twilight comparisons but… I don’t want TMI to get massive like Twilight did. I think all of that craziness helped turn that franchise into a pariah. We don’t need to break box office records to get sequels, and we don’t want Hollywood to milk this franchise for every little penny they can. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
    I think as long as the fandom remains supportive, we will get our sequels and our Tessa/Jem/Will! And we’ll get GOOD adaptations!

    • I was actually having an interesting conversation to someone on this site on another post just the other day, and it was quite a doozy. But first let me get this off my chest and you don’t have to agree with me too but first of all I am of course a Twilight fan and i have been and still am for the past five years And although i love it very dearly i really and i mean i’ll admit that the crazy hype from it that was being milked from hollywood as well as the wild tabloid hoopla made it unbearable because it was too much of it the more people talked about it and went over the top with it the more annoyed people got. But i will say any kind of hateful comment is unacceptable and rude, but in a way i understood where the annoyance came from and it wasn’t fair, it just got out of hand. I wish the hype wasn’t so over the top.
      But anyway, back to the original of mortal instruments, I totally get what you’re saying and as i have said in one of my comments i made the other day I am unsurprisingly relieved that the hype for this film wasn’t so over the top. I think the marketing definately need some adjustment and room for improvement (a little feedback in the reviews will help a bit.). But anyway i was saying that alot of hype at some point as i have mentioned in twilight does get annoying and it will most likely hurt a franchise. And when the hunger games was out the hype exploded up to high heaven. And the scary thing about hype is that not only does it irritate people but it turns them off and the thing that annoys me the most is definately the media scrutiny and papparazzi and tabloid frenzy that are being thrown at the actors particulary the main casts (The two main lead actors for the most part.) And when that happens it gives people a reason to get into the franchise but it also is a humongous risk because it hurts the actors and it’s fans because all we want to do is support them, we don’t want to be humiliated or ridiculed for being obsessed. So yeah your comment makes alot of sense I really would like it if mortal instruments did not have to go through that and if bad reviews are the least of our problems than we should just pretty much ignore them and continue to do what we want to do. Being in the spotlight of hollywood is not all that cracked up to be it can be very scary and harmful to the fanbase and the actors. All we truly need is all we really have is our support and plus i think Constatine takes very good care of us, they actually genuinely care for our fan base and our story and don’t look at it as a cash cow they look at it as a beautiful story that deserves to have its one life off the pages. And plus the casts, the production team Harold and Cassandra have been so unbelievable gracious, appreciative, kind and so giving. They are the most wonderful people ever, they’re not in it for the money or here to make a name for themselves they just want to make good movies and support our fanbase.They don’t care if they’re not super famous or win prestigous awards. They’re only job is to continue to do service to our fan base by making these and continue to be engaging and ever so kind and just stay true to themselves. That’s all we need. All we need is each other and that is what makes us special. 🙂 Ok im going to shut up now.

    • Sorry if i made the comment too long i just had alot to say and get out of my system

    • And also continue to work together while they do the movies and help give some feedback

  16. I think, and hopefully won’t offend anyone, Constantin needs to market it outside of our core fan group to ensure more ticket sales and higher chance of COG and future sequels. With this movie, the marketing outside of the fan base wasn’t all that great.
    We can watch it all we want, 10+times if need be, but book sales won’t always mean movie sales.

  17. Miranda i just want to say you are the most awesome person i have meet,(even though i haven’t meet you) i totally agree with everything you said. im a guy (not a peto) im 14 and i don’t know what i would do if they stopped making the TMI movies. us as fans are here to support the franchise as much as we can but there is a point where its to much. i was watching an interview with the actors for TMI movie and they were saying that it is really weird to have so many fans and screaming girls that faint in front of them. lily said there is no way to prepare for it. sorry for babbling on, my main point was that we are here to support them not make them want to crawl up in a corner and cry. I mean i was reading a conversation on this website a couple of days ago a someone was saying that they would make Cassie die in a hole if she kills there Favorite character in the book. i am a really big fan of the books and movie but there is a point of going overboard. if anyone has any new info on the books or movie pls inform me!!!!:)

  18. Ive also noticed that people on this website at school and many other places have been complaining that the movie is different from the books. Well my message to you is that they can’t put everything into a 2 hour movie and also its the directors vision not cassies, sure she was asked for her opinion but she didn’t get to decide what happens. Just because WE LOVE HER VISION and so familiar with it doesn’t mean we can’t try to look at it from another point of view.

  19. the article u posted Miranda sounds like an interesting read i will check it out after dinner!

  20. someone reply 🙂 pls!!!

  21. can’t believe Hollywood is that ignorant to not let Female leads on movies, its time to let go of these metatypes

  22. I want CoA because I want to see more MALEC.

  23. I think that Jamie as Jace was actually really good but one thing that really bothered me about the movie was the whole parabatai thing, like the part when alec was wounded by the greater demon i guess (madame dorothea?) and then jace saw simon and clary hugging and he was all sad and hurt, i was shouting ummm your freakin parabatai is dying right now, why r u moping instead of freaking out over him?? God not to be a critical biatch but that rlly annoyed me cuz in the books jace practically freaks out about this and for me it showed how great their bond and that jace isnt just a cocky guy (he also is extremely protective when it comes to his family) but in the movie it came off as he didnt care especially when isabelle started yelling at him for bringing along clary and he took clary’s side, i was like wow way to be there for your parabatai, sorry if this was long

  24. I’m SO SO SO excited about City of Ashes!!! City of Bones was incredible [seeing it again tomorrow with my BFF] and correct me if I’m wrong but I think we’ll get a trailer of CoA in late December or beginning of January. Almost 3 months away!!! *fangirls* And like we’ll get the movie in late September of 2014, I think.

  25. @Maria I couldn’t agree more with what you said. Personally, if the fandom could stay like this forever, I’d be more than happy. I do like how its being treated as art, rather than a get-rich quick scheme. I do enjoy how everything’s going/where the franchise is at now, but I am worried that they’ve only made about half of what they spent to make TMI The movies don’t have to become huge, but I hope they make enough to be able to continue the beautiful film adaptations they’ve started.

    Also… I respect you a lot for being a Twi fan, Miranda. Though I’m not a huge fan of the movies per se, I’ll always adore the books. And in this day and age, it truly is a blessing to find another Twilight fan, amongst all the haters. Honestly, the whole thing surrounding Twi is completely ridiculous, and I hope TMI never gets that way. And you are allowed to like more than one book series, people. (I like all of the “big” book-movie ones, actually).

    @Sugi That sort of idea in the twenty-first century is just saddening. It looks like we’ll never truly get over sexism, which is such a pity. All in all, it just makes me respect the people who do challenge it all the more. Like Mike and Bryan (who are behind the Legend of Korra series) were like, “We’re making this series about a girl, because you’re still asking us why we would choose to do so,” when asked why they’d chosen to make their lead character a female. Really, you think people would get a clue already. After all, girl heroines have been starting to own the box-office more and more, so…

    @magnus! I couldn’t agree more. A movie can never be exactly like the book. I’m still surprised how many fans are nit-picking at this movie, tbh. Perhaps it’s natural, but IDK. It just seems so unnecessary to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen a TON of book-movie adaptations, and can tell which ones are bad and which ones are good? But really, this is a GREAT adaptation. It’s very faithful to the source material, embodies the feelings you get from the books, has all the main points from the books, as well as fan favorite moments and lines; the characters and acting were great… And even the changes were understandable and worked in the grand scheme of things. Honestly, I think the fans could lighten up when complaining about this movie some. I mean, look at all the amazing things we WERE given. Not the few things that were lost/ changed, but to each his own, I guess.

    @Lea I get where you’re coming from and respect your opinion, but I, personally, think it made sense. For one thing, they didn’t explain parbatis in the film (at least that we saw), so that’s a factor. And secondly Jace (and the audience) didn’t know how hurt Alec was at the moment. He was just trying to catch his breath, and maybe get a hug from Clary after everything. Is that really so bad? LOL.

    Personally, I liked that scene because I think it was hinting at Jace and Clary’s bond (which we finally understand in CoG). Jace is actually shaking in that scene, as he watches Clary hug Simon, because they LITERALLY can’t live without each other. I won’t say why, though, because I don’t want to spoil anyone here, who might not have read CoG.

    And as for him standing up for Clary… Technically it WASN’T her fault. And I don’t think it was really him being like, “I don’t care that Alec’s dying, if you’re going to bark at my girl, Izzy” so much as it was, “Can we please keep it together, and not turn on each other so we can focus on Alec?” Plus, I think the fight was somewhat needed between the two, as they’d been having some issues with each other ever since Clary had shown up, but these are just my two-cents:) Anyway…

  26. @Shanna Yea true, i see what you’re saying 🙂 i just love the books sooo much and i guess i had this image in my head of how i wanted the movie to go, but it can’t be like it exactly, i just really hope the city of ashes movie makes more sense to me, i’m still going to see the sequel , and i will probably see city of bones again and look at it from a less critical view point lol 🙂

  27. Miranda read the article it was awesome thank you. Everybody on this site should read it. Great point of view!!!

    • Thanks. Although it did not mention mortal instruments the writer in that article was very clear with what age was saying that people have hypocritical criticism when it comes to judging ya fiction I personally think that ya books have a lot more substance than anything written in adult books strictly for adults and it makes us think about our youth and what it us like growing up defining yourself

  28. Rowena Drake // September 3, 2013 at 2:14 AM // Reply

    1. Hollywood studios were initially hesitant to produce a film version of The Mortal Instruments because the book features a female lead.

    Sexist, misogynist pigs.

    In Sweden 29th August. That is the only date we have but Sweden gets movies on Fridays. Count the days for the other countries and..
    MIRACLE. We have the release dates.
    Your welcome.

  30. I absolutely love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme.

    Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own blog and would
    like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named.
    Appreciate it!

  31. secretlyashadowhunter // November 6, 2014 at 12:21 PM // Reply

    The movie was terrible and not accurate to the book at all. I think that they should have done better putting the characters together, and had them read the books again to really understand the personality of the characters they were playing. They also barely followed the story line. The movie was such a disappointment that I did’t even finish it.

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