The bad news: the film adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones doesn’t hit theaters until Aug. 23. (That’s 284 days away, but it’s not like I’m counting or anything.) The good news: Clare spoke with me about the movie for the new issue of EW on stands this Friday. You’ll have to wait until the end of the week for the first look, but read on for the rest of my chat with Clare. If it’s any consolation, Clare says she is just as eager as fans to see City of Bones. Here she talks about being involved in her first movie, and teases the next installments of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Check it out after the jump.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How involved have you been in the movie-making process?
CASSANDRA CLARE: They are very good about listening to my opinions. It’s interesting to me because I’m coming from the world of books. A book is really a one-person project, and a movie is a multiple-person project. So they’ve let me be a voice in the room, which I really appreciated, but mine is not the only voice. They’ve let me participate in discussions about casting, and they consulted me about props and about what people’s costumes should look like. And they let me have unlimited access to the set, so I was there for quite a bit of the shooting which was really nice. But the project is really [director Harald Zwart's] project. You know the director is always going to be the person with the final say.
Can you talk about casting Lily Collins as Clary?
Lily was actually cast first, and she was the only one cast without my being involved at all. I didn’t actually know that much about her at the time. I went running to find out more information. I watched her in The Blind Side, and I talked to Sony and they sent me a copy of Priest. I really liked her. When they cast her she was pretty unknown. In the interim period she’s gone on to be in a lot of projects, and she’s gotten some really great work. So I feel like we got really lucky getting Lily when we did. She’s extremely dedicated and a really hard worker.
Is there one person you were most excited about being cast in City of Bones?
I was incredibly excited that we got Jared Harris, actually. He is fantastic. He’s playing Hodge [Starkweather]. I had just seen him as Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and I knew him from Mad Men. He’s so great at playing these conflicted characters. My other favorite casting was Robert Sheehan for Simon. He’s not as well-known here in the U.S. as he is in the U.K. I first encountered him when I was in the U.K. and a friend of mine showed me his show Misfits. He’s an amazing comic actor and so funny. I was really excited to meet him, and then I discovered he’s exactly like his character on Misfits. If you’ve seen it, you know what that means.
When we were talking about casting initially, Harald was concentrating very hard on wanting to build a team of people who would work together well. And I don’t know how he predicts these things, but he really did manage to get a whole bunch of people together who get along incredibly well. I think it’s a huge relief for everybody because they had to work on this project for three months together. They’ll be doing publicity and—fingers crossed—more movies in the future. So it’s great that they all are actually really good friends.
NEXT: What’s next for Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices, and Dark Artifices