ABC Family Orders Shadowhunters, Based on The Mortal Instruments Series

Shadowhunters ABC Family

ABC Family is giving The Mortal Instruments a second chance at life.

Despite the box-office disappointment of 2013’s Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Cassandra Clare’s popular young-adult book saga has been given a series order, with production beginning in Toronto this May.

Now titled Shadowhunters, the one-hour drama series will follow a girl named Clary Fray (played in the film by Lily Collins), who discovers on her 18th birthday that she’s a Shadowhunter — a human-angel hybrid born to hunt demons. Following her mother’s kidnapping, Clary teams up with a fellow Shadowhunter named Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower in the film) and her best friend Simon to fulfill her destiny.

Various other supernatural creators, including vampires, werewolves, fairies and warlocks are also in the mix.

All right, Mortal Instruments fans, speak up: Who should play Clary and Jace? Drop a comment with your dream casting picks below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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148 Comments
  1. kensi1713 says:

    I think you meant “creatures” instead of “creators” :)

  2. Dude says:

    I didn’t enjoy the film but I did walk away thinking it would have made a better TV show. I felt the same about Vampire Academy.

    • Amelia says:

      The movie was a mess! They changed so much and for what seemed like no reason. I completely agree that it would work better as a tv show. It would’ve fit perfectly on the CW but I’m interested in seeing how it plays out on ABC Family. I think a tv show will give it the chance to really expand on the mythology and I’m looking forward to it.

      • johnhelvete says:

        13 episode TV season gives them time to do the complete book but also like you say expand on the mythology and create additional story lines… that way the fans get the stuff they like from the books and hopefully the writers of the TV series come up with other interesting story lines for season 1 and instead of getting less of something (the book) the fans get more things to enjoy. Than season 2 is the next book etc etc.

        • Matt says:

          Oh no, don’t include anything from the infernal devices in this show, for me if they do a season per book, we only get 6 seasons and if it is really good we are going to want more.

          So what better way then to have them follow up this show with one based on the infernal devices, they would even have Jem and Tessa and Magnus (some others too) already familiar to the fans, after they appear in the shadowhunter show, so they could use the same actors and it would link them even more.

          In the time these potential 9 seasons take to air, the next trilogy (maybe both) book series might have been released and there you have potentially 2 more tv shows adding 6 more seasons for us to watch ;)

          So no need to merge the infernal devices in the mortal instrument show, the books have more than enough to stand alone for a season each, no need to push more stuff into it, that might cause things from the actual mortal instrument books to be left out.

      • Matt says:

        I totally agree, they relgated Raphael to ‘vampire leader’ in the credits and he is a pretty big deal in the books and to the storyline.

        They pretty much left out all the mythology of the shadowhunters and pretty much destroyed the concept of the accords as well.

        Turned a pretty spectacular sounding weapon from the books (Seraph blades) into plastic sticks lol

        Just hope with the books they do a decent job of converting from the books, hopefully they will take a look over to Game of Thrones and take a leaf out of that approach.

      • Kiera says:

        I agree that the movie was a mess. I personally didn’t like I much compared to the books. But I think that abc family is a good choice of a channel to put the show on there putting in way more detail then come would.

    • Wordsmith says:

      I absolutely agree on both counts. Cool worlds, solid casting, but cramming everything into a 90 minute movie makes everything feel rushed and underdeveloped. Very interested to see what a TV version will look like.

    • James says:

      God! YES! PLEASE! MAKE A VAMPIRE ACADEMY TV SERIES! I’m sorry, but the movie was so underrated and the cast was amazing. The books deserve a second chance at life. The same thing for Percy Jackson! Out of all the YA sagas out there, Mortal Instruments is by far the worst in quality.

    • mia says:

      I def thought the same thing. Vampire Academy would def make an awesome tv show too

  3. Ryan says:

    I loved the movie, wish it was a movie sequel but ill def watched this.

    • Ray says:

      Ditto. ABC Family doesn’t seem like the best match for a show like this (I still recall the horror that was Ravenswood), but I’ll tune in anyway.

  4. Aleana says:

    Oh I love this have all the books casting

    Mackenzie Rosman as Clary
    Ken Baumann as Simon
    Benjamin Stone as Jace
    Grace Phipps as Isabella
    Kevin Zegers back as Alec
    Jonathan Rys Meyers back as Valentine
    Jessica De Gouw as Jocelyn

  5. Riana says:

    I wish they could convince the cast from the movie to do the show. If not, I’d love to see Alyson Stoner in the lead.

  6. Dude says:

    Kaya Scodelario for the lead!

  7. K says:

    Molly Quinn (Castle) for Clary

  8. K says:

    No I’d much rather see Bella Thorne in this role than the other AbC family show she’s doing

  9. It would be awesome to have the same cast from the movie… But a good alternative for Jace would be Benjamin Stone (remember The Nine Lives of Chloe King?)

  10. Becky says:

    Yes! This is definitely a good home for this show. Can’t wait!

  11. The only one I’ve always thought would be great as Jace is Austin Butler (from The Carrie Diaries). Will have to have a think about the rest.

  12. YES!!!! Love the books! Don’t screw up the casting! Magnus needs to be perfect like the movie one.

  13. Jasmine Grossmann says:

    Why is the cast even in question? Keep the cast exactly as it. The actors started it, put their heart and soul into it, and should have a chance to finish it. Jamie Campbell is JACE, no doubt about that. Lily Collins is Clary. Robert Sheehan is Simon and so on and so forth. The cast has such great chemistry on and off the camera so why destroy is by casting for new members? Why create something totally different from something that already had a beginning? I will be so disappointed, as will many others, if anyone but the original actors/actresses are casted.

    • Marissa C says:

      YES the cast needs to stay the same I agree with you wholeheartedly, I really hope abc family does a good job with this show, they need to stay in line with the book, the book was perfect and filled with more than enough drama and characters for a tv show

    • Jess says:

      I disagree. I hated both Clary and Jace in that movie. Jamie looks nothing like Jace and neither did Lily look like Clary.

    • Amelia says:

      I think it might be hard to get some the cast from the movie to commit to a tv show either for the pay or for the years of commitment. Lily Collins has a decent movie career, I can’t see her committing to a multi-year television show and reducing her potential movie roles. Lena Headley is a regular on Game of Thrones so unless they kill off her character then I doubt she would commit to another tv show as well. Robert Sheehan has 6 movies coming out, I have no idea his role size in any of them but I would have to think if he’s getting decent movie roles he wouldn’t want to commit either.

    • Stephanie says:

      I agree!! If they don’t keep the same cast it’s going to throw me off. The cast is exactly how I pictured them. The only thing I didn’t like about the movie was that they were trying too hard to make it funny.

    • Megan B says:

      I totally agree, why change the cast when they already did their best from the movie. I think it would be good to make it a TV series, but I think they should’ve just keep the movie series going………. The cast should deffinitly stay the same! I personally loved who the picked as the cast for the movie very much.

    • Jamie says:

      I strongly dislike the cast in the movie it was not like the book characters at all. They couldn’t even dye the characters hair the right shade for the movie.

  14. Erin says:

    Clary should be played by the amazing and beautiful Lily Collins and Jace should be played by the talented jamie Cambell bower!! Even though the movie didn’t do great their chemistry was amazing

    • Aiyonna says:

      I agree with you I think lily Collins as clary and jace should be played by Jamie they were so good in the movie together

  15. uk-usa-tvaddict says:

    Never read the books and I thought the film had some interesting elements. Did the books have other creatures? I am tired of vampires and werewolves. As crap as Teen Wolf is at least they introduced some interesting creatures.

    • Marissa C says:

      You should definitely read the books it’s nothing like twilight (which I personally did not like) there are so many characters and creatures and new ideas involved. It’s beautiully written

      • Temperance says:

        The worldbuilding for that series is pretty solid. Familiar, but not dull, and quite broad, so there would be lots of room for the writers to play.

    • Meg says:

      Definitely read the books, but then read the sort of pre-qual-like/companion trilogy books Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess. I loved these ones even more! They could even incorporated these into the TV show as “flashbacks” should it last more than a few seasons (need to have a decent amount of background, I think, to start on those storylines). I gotta say, I’m quite excited about this, it definitely has some great potential.

  16. Briiza says:

    Are they changing everyone’s ages for the show? Because Clary was definitely 16 at the beginning of the books.

  17. Layal Abdelaal says:

    I think that in order for fans to watch this series the cast has to include lily Collins and Jamie Bower. Any fan who has read the series knows that these 2 are the perfect fit for the roles and it won’t be the same any other way. I hope you take the fans opinions into consideration and keep lily and Jamie as the main roles.

    • Matt says:

      I love all the books and an eagerly waiting for the next two trilogies to come out, but honestly the movie had a lot of flaws and while i don’t blame the actors totally, Jamie and Lily were not how i imagined Jace and Clary from the books.

      I also remember Jamie from Camelot and thought he was weak in that as well to be honest.

      As for chemistry, i didn’t really see it in the film, then again the film was a stinker and i really do try not to judge the actors too harshly, but for me they need to stay well clear or Jamie and Lily.

    • Fran says:

      Nah, other fans feel differently. I think the series needs different actors for the leads. Lily and Jaime just didnt do it for me. To each their own though.

    • kathy says:

      I agree with u layal abdelaal because if there is someone who likes a movie they have to see it in the show

    • Laura says:

      I have read the books very years ago and I can tell for sure that Jamie has nothing to do with Jace. He ruined my vision of him! So weak and skinny… Oh my God, don’t make me remenber it… >_<

  18. Kristen says:

    Alex Pettyfer for Jace, Dakota fanning with red hair for Clary!

  19. Bogi says:

    I think they should keep the same cast from the movie! Especially those actors who played Alexander Lightwood and Magnus Bane!!! Unfortunately as a movie was too short and it didn’t really made sense because of the detailed things that happen in the book they just rushed everything and it didn’t had the expected outcome. But the books are AWSOME so if the tv serie will go according to the books then it will be a big succes!

  20. Kyle says:

    The movie was terrible.

  21. Bogi says:

    For me to even watch this serie they must keep Godfrey Gao as Magnus Bane and Kevin Zegers as Alec Lightwood!!!

  22. BrianR says:

    I’m sure the casting call will go wide and most likely an unknown (to Americans) Aussie lass will get the lead role. I thought the movie casting was great Lilly Collins and Lena Headley looked so much alike as Mom and daughter. They messed too much with the book and made a much cleaner ending than the book.

  23. Kate says:

    So glad this is happening! I loved the books, and the movie was well cast, but the script for the movie was pretty bad. It would be nice if they could bring back some of the movie cast, especially Kevin Zegers and Robert Sheehan.

  24. Temperance says:

    Cool. Honestly, the movie wasn’t that bad.. of that set of teen-book-hits-made-movies, it was one of the better ones. A TV series would have a lot of potential, and probably feel a lot less pressure to have giant core conflicts that can be distracting. It could be pretty cool if done well.

  25. cathie jna says:

    Keep the cast. They were amazing, and i’ve imagined them in all the books, i think it would be proper if you gave them a second chance as well

  26. Becca Raska says:

    Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower. It won’t be the same without them now that the movie is out.

    • Matt says:

      To be honest we don’t want it to be the same as the movie, so Jamie and Lily need to be as far away from the tv series as possible.

      The Tv show needs to not resemble the movie at all, it was a stinker and while i liked the guy who played Simon, i think they need to just make a clean break from it.

      While the director and script have to take most of the blame, i really didn’t think Jamie or Lily were anything like i imagined Jace and Clary to be, sure Jamie had blonde hair but for me he didn’t make much of an impression other than coming across as a little sulky, he didn’t seem to have more than that though.

      Just my opinion though and i will concede that the movie was so bad it could have made my opinion on performances a little unfair

  27. Madison adams says:

    You should keep all the characters in she show the same as the movie. JACE IS HOT!!!! I LOVE THE BOOKS SO MUCH (PLEASE STICK WITH THEM)

  28. Madison adams says:

    KEEP MAGNUS THE SAME PLEASE****

  29. Megan Moran says:

    I’ve always pictured Clary as being Skyler Samuels (Nine Lives of Chloe King) . Jace looks like Alex Pettyfer in my mind

  30. Steph says:

    If it’s a ABC Family that does it, won’t that mean that there can’t be much blood and violence in it? Not that there is but there can be some scary stuff got children, and if it’s on Family, kids will watch it..

    • Lizo says:

      Family might be low on the gore, but as a network they don’t shy away from sensitive and adult topics. Kids shouldn’t be watching their dramas in the first place (teens and up), but if they do it’s less visual gore and more suggestive depictions. Plus, the station here in Canada plays reruns of Ghost Whisperer and that’s a visually creepy show so….

  31. Skyler says:

    I HATED the movie and I hope this will be good… I really want the Clary actress to have actual ginger hair!?!?! And Jace needs to be WAY more attractive.

  32. Zester McKinley says:

    I feel like the cast should be the same people who were playing them in the movie, i don’t know and i don’t really care as long as they act like the character because its my favorite book series and i dont want this show to be messed up and not like the book at all ya know?

  33. Louise says:

    I would really love for Jamie Campbell Bower to play the role of Jace again. He is just so perf for the role <3 <3

  34. Lizo says:

    Yes yes yes. This series is better suited for television than the big screen and ABC Family hasn’t let me down yet in their scripted drama department so I’m totally on board for this.

  35. 👍 says:

    Alex Pettyfer shaven with longer hair would be the perfect Jace!!!!!!!!!

  36. ferrari_the_car says:

    Lily and Jamieeee ❤️❤️❤️

  37. ame says:

    it need to be Lily Collins and Jamie Campell Bower

  38. Chad says:

    Molly C. Quinn as Clary; Ben Hardy as Jace; Joshua Anthony Brand as Alec, Amber Heard as Isabelle, Robert Sheehan returning as Simon, and Godfrey Gao returning as Magnus!

  39. K says:

    Bailee Madison would be a good Clary

  40. Allie says:

    I think Austin Butler should play Jace. And I actually like Lily Collins as Clary in the movie. I’m not sure who else could play her.

  41. Sarah says:

    Jammie Campbell Bower should NOT play Jace!

  42. Dalilah Jewel says:

    I think the actors whom were the characters in the film should be in this tv series it would be amazing and would have us asking for more because when I saw the first movie I thought they were gonna continue the series but I was disappointed and I think this would be a great idea .

  43. Ashley says:

    Alex Pettyfyer for Jace and Elizabeth Olsen for Clary!!! You don’t see much of either of them right now!!

  44. Katie says:

    Either Alex pettyfer or Benjamin Stone should play have wayland they both look like jace and can pull of that bad boy secretly sweet attitude

  45. Keep the cast like it is, jamie campbell bower as jace, and lilly collins as clary. The movie needed word but the cast was perfect

  46. Jessica Cutler says:

    When I found out they were turning it into a TV series I was so excited. But then I realized the cast would probably change and that would just destroy the story. The cast are completely perfect for each character that Cassandra Clare has created in the book. I know I’ll hate it if they changed it. I mean just look at Godfrey Gao as an example he has Magnus Bane down to a T. The cast MUST REMAIN THE SAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. jessieb963 says:

    And they should definitely not give the truth away about the main plot line about Clary and Jace’s relationship like they did in the movie because that just ruined it.

  48. neaorlean says:

    Who cares about Jace when Magnus Bane is in the room? Just make sure he’s perfect.

    That said, the cast of the movie (minus Magnus) was horrible and almost anything would be an improvement. Caleb Ruminer (is that his name? Crash from Finding Carter) could do a decent Jace. Robbie Kay as Sebastian. Somebody tiny and actually ginger for Clary. Somebody huge for Valentine, not like the movie one, in what universe is Jonathan RM tall and broad shouldered? Also find a really gorgeous Isabelle. Just get a casting director that has read the books, please.

    Or just make it all about Magnus. Is it too early to hope for a spinoff?

  49. Dreamer says:

    They should keep all the actors from the movie especially Clary they should just dye her hair a lighter red that goes with the character. She’s a good actress they all were and Jace needs to build up more. Jace is bigger build and his hair should be kinda of long and blond. I remember in the book Clary moves his hair out of his face a lot. He’s dreamy and looks a lot like a angel. Isabel,Simon,Alec,Hodge,Luke and Clary’s mom in the movie was perfect. This movie wasn’t bad ,but it’s good their making it into a series I love these books and I
    I would like them to be true to the books. I’m happy that the characters are becoming real on the screen or on television. Thank u Cassandra for these great books they made me laugh, cry ,and I enjoyed them will read over and over. I’ve also bought all your other books. Magnus Bane is the best please keep him for the series.

    Always a fan, Dreamerf

  50. Amelia says:

    Daniel Sharman as jace and molly Quinn as clary!