They can’t all be The Hunger Games.
With The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones only raking in less than $30 million domestically, production on the planned sequel, City of Ashes, has been “postponed indefinitely,” according to EW.com. The cast and crew was expected to begin working on the sequel next week. Now, they might not work on it at all.
“Constantin Film has a long tradition of adapting books to the big screen. Pushing back the start of production of City of Ashes was a decision we did not take lightly,” producer and Constantin exec Martin Moszkowicz said in the press release announcing the delay. “After speaking with all of our partners on the creative and distribution side, it was clear that it will be beneficial to have more time to reposition the film in the current market place.”
Reposition it on a shelf, where it can be forgotten. The failure of City of Bones is a harsh reminder to studio heads chasing the next Twilight or Hunger Games. Snatching up semihot works of published fan fiction and hoping you can convert it into a fantasy realm that makes sense on-screen doesn’t guarantee success. You need to put in the time and effort to properly adapt your source material – and choose excellent source material, in the process – or your franchise is going to die on the vine.
With the fate of Mortal Instruments virtually decided, here are three other upcoming adaptations of hot literary properties that need to remember Hunger Games and Twilight are lightning in a bottle, and there are far more City of Bones flops waiting to occur.
Another adaptation that brought footage and cast members to Comic-Con, Divergent also takes place in a dystopian future where a female protagonist must rebel against a rigid system to ensure her survival. Shailene Woodley is becoming a star. Kate Winslet IS a star. There could be multiple Divergent films if this movie connects… or only one if it flops.
Opening: March 21, 2014
More beautiful teen vampires locked in battles for their lives, loves and futures. This isn’t the Cullens, however. The story centers on Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch), member of a peaceful vamp tribe known as to Moroi. They constantly battle against the violent Strigoi… and things are about to get worse. Can the movie adapt seamlessly to the big screen?
Opening: February 14, 2014
Wes Ball’s planned adaptation of James Dashner’s YA novel also opens on February 14 – the first indication that it might struggle, as it will go after the same audience as Vampire Academy. This story is different, though, focusing on young men (known as Gladers) who toil away in a camp that’s surrounded by a gigantic maze. The arrival of a girl sets events in motion, including the main character – Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) – challenging the Creators and defeating the maze.
Opening: February 14, 2014