The TV adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s young adult novel series The Mortal Instruments has found a US network.
The project, which is working under the title Shadowhunters, has landed at ABC Family with a 10 episode straight-to-series order. It has been on the marketplace since MIPCOM 2014, when Constantin Film opted to go down the television route after the feature film adaptation failed at the box office.
Shadowhunters follows 18-year-old Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters – human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. When her mother Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with mysterious Shadowhunter Jace and her best friend, Simon.
The drama series is being produced by Constantin Film, who also produced box office flop The Mortal Instruments:
City of Bones. Ed Dexter is on-board to serve as the executive producer and showrunner of Shadowhunters. Production is set to begin this May in Toronto, Canada, for a 2016 premiere.
For the past few years YA novels have been a fertile ground for adaptation in the industry. The most notable example on the TV side has been ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, while the successful adaptation of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars on the feature side has fuelled further interest in YA projects.
“Shadowhunters is a big epic saga that will resonate with viewers who come to ABC Family for the ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Hunger Games,’ and ‘Twilight’ franchises,” said Tom Ascheim, President of ABC Family. “A New York Times bestseller for 122-consecutive weeks, with over 35 million copies in print worldwide, ‘Shadowhunters’ is the perfect story to share with our audience.”
“Clary is a strong, dynamic and captivating character that our audience will immediately identify with”, commented Karey Burke, ABC Family’s Executive Vice President of Programming and Development. “They will want her to succeed and will root for her on her journey to become who she was always meant to be. The series has a passionate fan base and an expansive universe that can sustain multiple seasons to come.”
“I’m excited to see ABC Family bring the world of the Shadowhunters to life, added Cassandra Clare. “As a huge fan of long-form television drama, I can’t wait to see the story unfold and for the fans to have more time with the world and the characters”.