Zwart Picks Up Mortal Instruments

Lily Collins still attached

A little over a month ago, Sony went on a bit of a house-clearing project purge and decided to ditch both the Adam McKay-developed adaptation of graphic novel The Boys and the first cinematic take on Cassandra Clare’s fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments. Production company Constantin Film promised to try to set it up elsewhere, and now has Unique Films on board to co-finance, with Harald Zwart directing.

Lily Collins, who has been attached for a while now, is staying on board to play the heroine, Clary Fray, a young woman who discovers that she’s a descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret group of half-angel warriors who protect the world from demons. In the first book, City Of Bones (which will form the backbone of the first film), Fray’s mother disappears and the girl joins forces with other Shadowhunters who show her the alternate New York called Downworld that is just brimming with nasty supernatural creatures.

Zwart, who last directed the successful remake of The Karate Kid, is taking over megaphone duties from Priest’s Scott Stewart, who had been attached when Screen Gems was developing the film.

“Lily is the perfect Clary,” says producer Robert Kulzer in a press release that landed in Deadline’s inbox. “Harald Zwart really understands the visuals and heart of The Mortal Instruments. That was crucial to us. Of course, having Cassandra Clare’s support throughout and collaborating with her on this project has been especially rewarding.”

Jessica Postigo and I. Marlene King have written the script, and Zwart plans to start calling the shots this August in Toronto.