While the company seemed to be moving full speed ahead to build a franchise of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments book series, it would appear that Constantine Film is hitting the brakes after the first release – City Of Bones – didn’t become quite the smash hit it was hoping for.
The main sticking point appears to be that Bones, which cost around $60 million to make, has only taken in $70 million so far worldwide.
At the moment, it appears that the planned follow-up, City Of Ashes, is only being delayed so that the company can, as it said in a statement, “analyse the results to date and reposition the franchise in order to maximize the results for future instalments.” That’s a slight withdrawal from its previous determination to press on, since it was going full steam ahead on development for Ashes and a prequel based on Clare’s Infernal Devices, and may mean that they're going to try to proceed on a lower budget or reassess their plans overall.
Returning director Harald Zwart had planned to start filming later this year, and chances are that we will still see the further adventures of Lily Collins’ Clary Fray along with co-star Jamie Campbell Bower and Sigourney Weaver, who had already been cast for the sequel. But when that might happen is another matter. Delays mean actors’ availability shifts, even if they’re contracted, so it might be a while before the sequel gets moving again…