On Tuesday night, news broke that production on The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes had been delayed by Constantin Film because “the company did not want to rush into production with an unfinished screenplay, preferring to take the time to get right.” The film has not been cancelled contrary to some reports. Just delayed.
Cassandra Clare addressed the postponement of City of Ashes saying that “a delay could be good.”
Here’s what she had to say:
By now you guys likely know that the filming of City of Ashes was delayed: In fact a lot of you knew about it before I did since I found out from Twitter this morning!
Some of you have been asking me about it, and I wish I could answer you, but — I think I’ll quote Rick Riordan here — though the movies are based on my books, they are not my movies. The books are my books, but the movies belong to the production company. They make the decisions they make, and sometimes I know about them and sometimes I don’t. I’m sorry I can’t answer you, but it’s like asking me about your math homework—I would like to help you but I don’t know the stuff. (I am very, very bad at math.) Like I said a year ago, I am a terrible source of movie news and that remains true.
Delays happen in the movie biz. Lots of things happen in the movie biz—it’s a really chancy business, which I know about generally because my grandpa worked in movies and I think would’ve approved of me taking to the peaceful writing life instead. Look, I never thought they’d make the first movie. I literally assumed it would be cancelled up until the moment of the premiere.
According to The Wrap:
“The decision to delay “City of Ashes” was made several days ago after Constantin spoke with its international distributors at the Toronto International Film Festival, Moszkowicz told TheWrap. While Constantin is committed to making the sequel, the company did not want to rush into production with an unfinished screenplay, preferring to take the time to get right.”
Speaking for myself —and honestly, for readers and fans, too — I think a delay could be good. The draft of the screenplay I saw for the first time last week was very far from the book City of Ashes, and if they’d really started shooting in September there wouldn’t have been time to change it. From the limited amount I know, it seems to me better to take the time to get it right than to rush ahead.
Bottom line: The movies are not up to me and I am not part of the production team that makes them. I am distanced from what’s going on right now also — I am in Provence writing City of Heavenly Fire* and having a late celebration of my birthday with a big group of friends. Do I totally sympathize with people being disappointed at the delay? I do. But like I said, movies are v.v. chancy and out of my control — I remember when Screen Gems dropped the project, and we all assumed that was that, and later they picked it back up again. There’s no way to know what will ever happen in films, especially if you’re not in the business. I am incredibly lucky in my career and my readers, and even if they made a movie where Magnus ran for president or something, it wouldn’t change that.
We now return to our regularly scheduled posting of snippets and fanart — and the countdown to Heavenly Fire. If I hear anything movie related that’s news, I’ll let you know!
Sounds like a delay might be the best thing for the franchise in the long run. It’s great that the studio wants to take the time to get it right and make a faithful adaptation. What’s a little wait to get a film that is faithful to the book?
What scenes are you most excited to see come to life in City of Ashes?