When A Book Becomes A Television Show & You Can't Contain Your Excitement

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I should specify that The Mortal Instruments (TMI) was previously turned into a movie in 2013, and not such a great movie at that. Yet, still the excitement for the new TMI t.v. show, titled simply "Shadowhunters", has taken over my free time recently. I scour the twitterverse a few times daily looking for more TMI news like a fiend. It's a problem, yet not a problem I particularly hate having, I can't lie.
But I get ahead of myself. I was suppose to start this post with a little PSA. For anyone who's part of our bookclub, you're probably (maybe?) wondering where the hell April's book review is. Kay and I have had a super busy month and neither of us has actually finished the novel yet. So instead of pushing dates back or not giving a novel I've heard is fantastic the attention and recognition it deserves, we're gonna roll it over to next month. Meaning the May book of the month is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and we'll be reviewing it on Tuesday, June 2nd. Okay? Okay. Now back to all the Shadowhunter talk...

Beware, this is one for the bookworms, a-hem, bookdragons.
Photo from @the_mortal_instruments on IG.
After waiting months since the announcement of the show in October of 2014, we've been inundated with so much news this past two weeks. All of said news has made me so excited for the show that I'm currently re-reading the 700+ paged City of Heavenly Fire even though I have dozens of other books I need to read. Priorities...
Generally, I love them. Just simply love.

Jace Wayland - He is just so perfect as Jace! Movie Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) didn't really match Book Jace in my head, so while everyone was hoping for Jamie to reprise the role, I was ready for some new, admittedly hot, blood. And that's exactly what we got for our TV Jace, Dom Sherwood.

Simon Lewis & Isabelle Lightwood - Now despite all the uproar about this casting (more on this in the next section), this might be my favorite casting of them all. I spent the better part of an afternoon watching tape of Alberto Rosende (Simon) and OMG he is such a great actor. I'm most excited to see what he does with this role. As for Emeraude Toubia (Isabelle), she is exactly how I pictured Isabelle - long black hair, full lips, and simply stunning.

Clary Fray - I wasn't as invested in Clary's casting beforehand because honestly, I don't think it takes much to physically cast her character. But somehow, Kat McNamara looks like I expected Clary to look.

Alec Lightwood & Luke Garroway - At first, I was just okay with both of these. I love Kevin Zegers but I did think he was too old for the part in the movie so I was glad to get someone younger (although TV Alec, Matt Daddario, looks like like a baby). And Luke, well although I actually really liked Movie Luke, I didn't mind the casting of Isaiah Mustafa. However, both of these choices grew on me, especially after hearing Isaiah's clip, and they are perfect for the roles.
Cassandra Clare, the author of all Shadowhunter series including TMI, just shot to the top of my favorite authors/persons list. Although I love her novels and The Infernal Devices trilogy is one of my favorites ever, it's her comments on the casting and her response to unreasonable tweets that has made me obsessed with her twitter feed these past few days.

Cassie has make it crystal clear - she supports diversity. As casting news began to leak and the show began selecting more diverse actors for the character roles, she said this:

You can read her more in depth response to a fan question on her tumblr here, but basically, she's perfectly fine, happy even, with the wide range of representation in her cast of characters. Expanding upon the tweet above, she speaks candidly saying that she told producers and the network that "...while the characters who are characters of color in the book (Magnus, Maia, Raphael) must remain as characters of color, and be cast that way, I [have] no such feelings about characters who were white or white-assumed."

At that statement, I legit put down my phone and clapped. Because, there is no denying it - she just gets it. I love when people understand the struggle of others although they aren't necessarily similarly situated. Cassie acknowledges that her privilege exists and she aims to connect with her diverse readers by supporting the inclusion of diversity in derivatives of her work, although it wasn't as present in her original.

But she went even further than that. Cassie took to twitter after the casting announcement last week, informing fans that the characters of Simon and Isabelle would be played by a Latin actor and actress. In response to tweets complaining that the original characters were not hispanic and "no! so is the entire Lightwood family gonna be Spanish now?" and "but how can Simon be Jewish if he's Latin now?" (and about a hundred other comments ranging from simply misinformed to what I would consider outright racist), Cassie responded to her fans via direct tweets and retweeted particularly prejudicial tweets as a means of "calling her fans out". Unlike many authors whose work becomes the subject of controversy, Cassie didn't "stay out of it" but rather jumped in to defend her characters, the casting decisions and diverse representation like a, well, like a Shadowhunter :)

We may have known the show was coming, but all of this casting talk has made it seem like such a reality. In regards to casting and the addition of diversity, I'm all for it. So long as we have an Isabelle who's sassy, a Jace who's smart-assy, a Simon who's charmingly awkward and a Luke who's as kind as he is wise (among all the other things we love about Cassie's characters), I'm game.

What do you think about the Shadowhunters casting? In fact, what are your thoughts about casting for book adaptations in general? Discuss it with me below!


  1. I had no idea!! Omg now I am so excited!

  2. i don't mean to be rude, but why is it okay for the characters of colour to stay as such, but the ones who were white or white assumed can be changed? i'm honestly just curious. to be honest, i don't care what nationality the actor or actress is, as long as they play the character perfectly. I really like the way Lily Collins looks as Clary but she wasn't at all what I pictured personality wise, if that makes sense (and okay she wasn't the best actress). I really dig the new Jace. When is this TV show even going to start???

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