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I have not read "The Mortal Instruments," mainly because there are only so many hours in the day and there are now roughly 100,000 different Young Adult series that deal with romance and the supernatural, and I have to sleep and eat occasionally.
Screen Gems is gambling on this as a new franchise that can put them into the same sort of business that Summit has so beautifully managed over the last few years with the "Twilight" franchise and which every studio in town has been chasing as hard as possible. Lionsgate managed to pull it off with "The Hunger Games," but there are plenty of examples of where it's gone wrong, the cinema landscape littered with the corpses of "City Of Ember," "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising," "Eragon," and more. At first glance, I'm not sure what sets "The Mortal Instruments" apart. It looks like a riff on "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," with Lily Collins starring as Clary Fray, a girl who learns that she is not a mortal, but is instead a powerful being born to hunt and kill demons on Earth.
With a supporting cast including Lena Heady, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jared Harris, and Kevin Durand, this looks like a Screen Gems movie through and through. That's probably great news if you're a huge fan of the "Underworld" and "Resident Evil" movies. Harald Zwart is a guy who's been at this for a while now, and while earlier films like "One Night At McCool's" and "Agent Cody Banks" were less than noteworthy, he seems to have made the best of a bad situation with his remake of "The Karate Kid." This is Sony's thank you to him for making that a hit, and I'm curious to see how he handles the picture. He could either break through to the A-list with this one or end up back in the same place he was when he made "The Pink Panther 2."
Check it out and see which way you think it's going to go:
And for those of you who are big fans of the books, let me know what it is that makes these special. I'm genuinely curious, since I'm not sure the trailer makes the case persuasively.
"The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones" opens August 23, 2013.