The Sony and Screen Gems panel at San Diego Comic-Con moved from the lighthearted “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2” to some slightly more intense fare in the way of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.”
Based on the book by Cassandra Clare in which an ordinary girl finds herself in a new world filled with demons, vampires, werewolves, and shadow hunters, fans expect it to be the next young adult hit in the vein of “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games.”
Director Harald Zwart, Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace Wayland), Godfrey Gao (Magnus Bane), Lilly Collins (Clary Fray), Robert Sheehan (Simon Lewis), Kevin Zegers (Alec Lightwood), and Claire herself joined fans in Hall H for the panel.
“What I loved about Clary so much is the fact that she’s after finding her mom through this entire movie,” Collins says of the story’s protagonist. “She’s tenacious, and she’s courageous, and she’s thrown these crazy twists and turns throughout the story, but she never is weak.” She says she was a fan of the books before being cast.
Zwart says the film will be a faithful adaptation of the book, though it was a challenge to condense its hundreds of pages onto the screen. “The source material is really great,” Zwart says. “We didn’t have to change anything, really.”
Clare says she collaborated with Zwart to help make sure the film stays faithful. “I wanted to be involved. I was pretty interfere-y,” she says. “It was very collaborative.”
They debuted the first footage from “The Mortal Instruments” seen anywhere in the world. In the clip Clary questions the mysterious shadow hunter Jace while her mother, played by “Game of Thrones'” Lena Headey, contends with a duo of supernaturally strong attackers. Her fate is left unclear, and when Clary arrives at home she does battle with a dog-shaped demon. She’s rescued at the last minute, but not before blowing up half her kitchen.
Hardcore fans asked in-depth questions during the Q&A, including which runes those onstage would draw on themselves if they had a choice. “Fearless,” Clare replies. Zwart, meanwhile, says he’d choose the “direct a hit movie” rune.
“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” is in theaters Aug. 21.