I didn’t think I could be any less confident in ABC Family’s The Mortal Instruments TV show, Shadowhunters, but then in came this update. According to Deadline, McG is set to direct the first episode and executive produce the straight-to-series drama based on the Cassandra Clare-penned YA books, which is scheduled to go into production in Toronto next month.
Back when Constantin Film first announced plans to turn the source material into a show, I thought they were nuts. Their 2013 film adaptation was expected to kick off a franchise but tanked, taking in just $31.2 million total at the domestic box office. If you tack on the international earnings, it brings the grand total to $90.6 million, which is well clear of the supposed $60 million production budget, but even then, that number still suggests the large majority aren’t interested.
Regardless, Constantin pushed forward with the show and a couple of weeks ago, ABC Family snatched it up. I’m not watching any ABC Family shows at the moment and normally never do, but I did give Pretty Little Liars a go for a stretch of time and it was actually good fun until I had enough with the show’s determination to stretch one single concept out for far too many seasons. However, if Shadowhunters belongs anywhere, it’s probably there.
As for McG, he’s got a few long-running shows to his name like Chuck and Nikita, so it makes sense that Constantin and ABC Family would want him involved, but from the perspective of someone who knows him primarily for his films, I’ve got even less hope in this project.
But McG or no McG, the big problem with Shadowhunters is that it shouldn’t be happening at all. The 2013 film isn’t the only problem. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones isn’t even a good read. Perhaps writer-showrunner Ed Decter is some sort of genius who’s capable of isolating the source material’s few redeeming qualities and building a solid show around them, but until I see proof, there will be no talking Shadowhunters without some serious cynicism.