If The Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga had a love child, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones would be it.
The tale centers on a seemingly ordinary, auburn-haired teenage girl from New York who comes to learn she is descended from a line of young, good-looking warrior-angel people called Shadowhunters.
They in turn, protect our world from demons – that’s where the seemingly ordinary takes a turn for the paranormal with a complex, rootsy mythology – and hail from a place that looks like it might be a suburb of Gotham.
Called Downworld, the alternate New York underworld is wonderlandy and dangerous, and comes complete with warlocks and vampires and werewolves (oh my!) to go with the aforementioned demons.
Based on the worldwide best-selling book series for young adults, which explains the fangs and fur thing, there are a few things you may or may not know about the cast.
Cersei Lannister is in it.
Well, not really. Lena Headey, the actress who plays the formidably villainous queen in HBO’s Game of Thrones, takes a turn as a Shadowhunter in this film. She’s also mother to Clary Fray (played by Lily Collins).
This isn’t Lily Collins’ first tea party. After playing Snow White in Mirror Mirror last year, Collins has wasted no time establishing herself as a strong leading actress. Trading the flouncy bustle for semimundane ("mundane" another word for mortals in the books) stiletto boots she continues a kind of fairy tale theme – the only way to describe a secret, supernatural culture that lurks amid the underbelly of our own.
While the vampires in Mortal Instruments don’t sparkle or have eyebrows as heavy and broody as Robert Pattinson’s, there is an Edward Cullen connection. Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the dreamy Jace, played Caius in The Twilight Saga. A member of the Volturi – the largest and most powerful coven of vampires around – his job was all about enforcing the laws of the vampire world. You know, by force. And fang.
After spending more than four years playing the crazed character King Henry VIII – yep, that was him in a small screen bromance with Superman’s Henry Cavill – in Showtime’s The Tudors, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers plays another big bad, this time as Clary’s father and a disliker of Downworlders. He’s not that fond of Shadowhunters either. It’s all very Highlander if you think about it.
Alex Pettyfer – yep, the very same from Magic Mike and The Butler - was first choice for the role of Jace Wayland. Alas and alack, he turned it down. No pressure, Jamie.