The film is not due to hit theaters until August, but Constantin Films is already developing the prequel to the film ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ and has hired Stephanie Sanditz to pen an adaptation.
The film will be called ‘Infernal Devices’ and is based on a trilogy by Cassandra Clara. Although it was not mentioned, the movie will probably have a subtitle much like ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ as there are 3 books in the series, ‘Clockwork Angel’, ‘Clockwork Prince’ and Clockwork Princess’ (with the latter book just published last month). Constantin Films hope that ‘Internal Devices’ will also lead to a franchise and it will be up to actor-turned-screenwriter Sanditz to scribe the script for the first film. While she is a relative newbie in the screenwriting world, Sanditz adaptation of Meg Cabot’s ghost love story was a big reason why she got this gig.
It’s not unusual for a production company to begin developing a follow up film before the original film is released. Sequels for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ were started even before they hit the theaters. The only difference with the follow up film for ‘The Mortal Bones’ is that it will be a prequel and not a direct sequel.
Unlike ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’, ‘Infernal Devices’ takes place in Victorian England and tells the story of Tessa Gray who is “plunged in a journey of adventure and self-discovery.” While that depiction may not be very effective in describing what the film will be about, maybe this book description of ‘Clockwork Angel’, the first book in the series, from Amazon will be more helpful:
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
While the prequel will be introducing new characters, the narrative of the book does allow characters from ‘City of Bones’ to overlap with ‘Infernal Devices’.
What is very interesting is that Constantin seems to be putting all their eggs in one basket. ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ is still months away and there have not been enough buzz so far to indicate that it will do well enough at the box office to warrant a second film. The disappointing showings from the other YA novels adapted to the big screen films, ‘The Host’ and ‘Beautiful Creatures’, should give some pause.
Apparently the production company has a lot of faith in author Cassandra Clare and is willing to take this risk, so if you have read these books and want to help ensure that a new franchise is developed, then make sure you head over to the theaters to see ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ when it is released on August 23.
Currently, Constantin is now looking for a director to bring ‘Infernal Devises’ to life.