Clarissa “Clary” Fray (Lily Collins) has been living quietly in Brooklyn for as long as she can remember, when she suddenly begins to see startling and seemingly impossible things. Just as suddenly, her single mom (Lena Headey) disappears after a violent struggle.
A seemingly ordinary young woman discovers a hidden world and an extraordinary destiny in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the eagerly anticipated big-screen adaptation of the first book of Cassandra Clare’s blockbuster fantasy adventure series, The Mortal Instruments.
Clarissa “Clary” Fray (Lily Collins) has been living quietly in Brooklyn for as long as she can remember, when she suddenly begins to see startling and seemingly impossible things. Just as suddenly, her single mom (Lena Headey) disappears after a violent struggle. As she and her best friend Simon (Robert Sheehan) search for her mother, Clary begins to uncover the dark secrets and darker threats in the hidden world of the Shadowhunters, angel-human warriors who have protected humanity from evil forces for centuries.
Surrounded by demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other supernatural denizens of the Shadow World, Clary joins forces with young Shadowhunters Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), Isabelle (Jemima West) and Alec (Kevin Zegers) to locate and protect an ancient Cup that holds the key to her mother’s future. Discovering abilities and courage she never knew she possessed, the young woman surprises even herself as she proves to be a formidable opponent against an array of deadly adversaries.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones stars Lily Collins (Mirror, Mirror; Priest), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows), Robert Sheehan (Killing Bono, Season of the Witch), Kevin Zegers (“Gossip Girl,” Transamerica), Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones,” 300), Kevin Durand (Resident Evil Retribution, I Am Number Four), Aidan Turner (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Jemima West (The Borgias, Maison Close), Godfrey Gao (All About Women, Say Yes), with CCH Pounder (“The Shield,” “Warehouse 13”), with Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, “Mad Men”), and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors, Mission Impossible: III).
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is directed by Harald Zwart (The Karate Kid) from a screenplay by Jessica Postigo Paquette (Tarzan). The film is produced by Robert Kulzer (Resident Evil: Retribution) and Don Carmody (Chicago). Executive producers are Bob Shaye (The Lord of the Rings), Michael Lynne (The Lord of the Rings) and Martin Moszkowicz (Resident Evil: Retribution).
Director of photography is Geir Hartly Andreassen (Max Manus: Man of War). François Séguin (The Karate Kid) is the production designer. Gersha Phillips (The Whistleblower) is the costume designer.
A Constantin Film GmbH and Unique Features (TMI) Inc. Production, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a Canada-Germany co-production.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for the following reasons: intense sequences of fantasy violence and action, and some suggestive content.
In 2007 author Cassandra Clare introduced young adult readers to the reluctant warrior, Clary Fray, in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the astonishing first entry in what would become a fantasy-adventure empire. In Clare’s carefully constructed magical world, a young woman finds herself surrounded by warlocks, vampires, werewolves, demons—and the mysterious Shadowhunters, a hidden race of angel-human hybrids who secretly protect humankind from the ultimate evil.
Clare began writing her New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly best-selling series of young adult novels in 2003. “I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy and epic stories of good and evil,” she says. “I wanted to write a coming-of-age story with a girl at its center, which I don’t see very often, and I decided to set it in New York City, because I had just moved there and fallen in love with its beautiful and amazing history.”
Four years later, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hit the bookshelves and became a worldwide phenomenon, launching not just five more novels featuring Clary Fray and her Shadowhunter comrades in The Mortal Instruments saga, but three more multi-part series set in Clare’s brilliantly imagined Shadow World as well: The Bane Chronicles, The Infernal Devices and The Dark Artifices.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was optioned for film in 2009, something Clare says she dreamed of but never thought would really happen. “It’s been quite a journey from the kernel of the idea of the book to the production of the film,” Clare says. “And it’s been surreal. When you write a book, you hope maybe someday it’ll be a movie, but you don’t count on it. I still can’t quite believe it.”
Producer Robert Kulzer read Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series at the suggestion of his colleagues, Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, producers of blockbuster movies including The Lord of the Rings franchise. “When you read the novels, you discover a new world,” says Kulzer. “I found myself wanting to spend more time with these characters as they go on this incredible journey of discovery. There are so many surprises contained in this world and we want to create a similar sense of wonder in this movie.”
Kulzer shared his find with Don Carmody, with whom he has produced the five hugely successful Resident Evil movies. “Since the success of the Twilight movies, every movie producer has been trying to find their own equivalent,” Kulzer says. “After reading these books, we felt they had the potential to become a huge franchise.”
While Carmody was unfamiliar with the young-adult fiction market, he had a panel of experts close at hand. “It turned out that my teenage daughters are huge fans of the books,” the producer says. “They had grown a bit blasé about the movies I make, but this made them take notice. The Mortal Instruments is what they really want to see on screen. When I started checking around and realized how big the audience was for the novels, I enthusiastically came on board.”
The books have been translated into 36 languages with more than 22 million copies in print worldwide. A sweeping epic that spans centuries and continents, the series has inspired legions of dedicated fans, with whom Clare keeps in close contact through personal appearances and social media.
“As an author, one of the most amazing parts of the experience has been to be able to create a world that started off in my head and that so many other people now want to live in,” she says. “I try to stay in touch with them as much as possible online, through book groups, through signings and traveling the country. It’s been wonderful to be able to share the excitement with people who are as involved with the story as I am. They love the characters like family and now they are fully embracing the film’s actors as their avatars.”
As compelling as the fantasy elements of the books are, Carmody believes the appeal lies deeper. “It’s all about a young woman discovering who she really is,” he says. “It’s a brilliant premise and a great yarn, but it addresses themes that young adults are particularly interested in, because they are in the process of finding themselves.”
The producers spent two years developing the script, always keeping in mind that Cassandra Clare’s legions of dedicated fans were watching the process closely. “We had to be very careful when we altered the narrative or made changes in a character,” Carmody says. “The movie had to be as true to the books as we could possibly make it.”
Screenwriter Jessica Postigo Paquette was tasked with drafting three chapters in what is envisioned as a major franchise with an enviable heroine. “When I first read The Mortal Instruments, I fell in love with Clary Fray,” says Postigo. “She is no damsel in distress—in fact, she kicks ass. She is thrust into this parallel world that no one would ever have imagined even existed and handles it fearlessly.”
“I also love the realistic urban setting,” says Postigo. “Clary lives in Brooklyn and her life is not delicate or precious in any way. You want to know more and more about the characters. Despite having lived with them for years now, I never tire of them. I want to hang out with them.”
Postigo says her first responsibility is to Clare and the books’ fans. “It was very important for me to protect Cassandra’s baby,” says Postigo. “That’s how I saw it. I have so much respect for the world she’s created. The Mortal Instruments books are very different from any other young adult novel I’ve read.”
She was careful to seek the author’s counsel along the way. “Cassandra was an integral part of the process,” says Postigo. “We consulted her often while we were developing the script. She was always very understanding of our concerns and sometimes had a solution we hadn’t considered. She has such a strong, beautiful voice and she’s very smart about the way she chooses to collaborate.”
Clare also provided the filmmakers with an intimate understanding of her readers. “The fans have been very supportive,” says Carmody. “I know it helped that Cassandra was part of the process. Nobody knows this story like she does. She was extremely helpful with casting and with helping us communicate with the fans.”
With the writing process underway, finding the right director became the next step in the equation. “We were really looking for something very specific in our director -- someone who had already worked in the genre world and knew how to manage the fantastical elements of the book with the special effects, and create an original world.
When Harald Zwart, fresh off the enormously successful remake of The Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith, came in to meet with the producers, they realized he was the right director for the film – approaching the material, not from the genre world as they had anticipated, but from a grounded, character-specific perspective. Says Kulzer, “Harald had fallen in love with the characters and the world,” says Kulzer. “He wanted to recreate them just as they are in the book. Harald had a whole folder full of tear sheets and boards that he had put together. He had envisioned the characters, the setting, the color palette, even the magic, in such incredible detail.”
After a single two-hour meeting, Zwart was hired. “I said, Harald, I get the feeling you really want to do this movie,” Kulzer says. “He agreed to drop everything else he was working on and focus on prepping this film. He soaked up the world, reading all of the fan blogs to learn what they like and don’t like. If he had questions about anything, he went directly to Cassandra, which made it a very transparent and fluid process, because she is so intimately connected to the fans. If she mentioned any aspect of the film to them, we immediately had thousands of responses.”
The director says he was drawn to the excitement and the visual possibilities of the story, but his strongest connection was to the characters, especially Clary. “In some ways it’s really a detective story about a young woman searching for something that is lost,” he says. “On the way, she discovers that much of what she’s believed all her life is not true. Every day, the character has a ‘what?’ moment that turns what she thought was true upside-down. But Clary is a very powerful young lady and she takes control of her own life. One of the things I love most about the character is that when someone tells her not to do something, you know she’s probably going do it.”
Zwart and Clare made a strong connection and worked closely together to develop a cohesive world for the story. “The first time I met Harald in Los Angeles, he launched into all these questions,” says Clare. “It was so much fun talking to someone for hours about something that I’ve thought about almost exclusively for seven or eight years. It’s very real to me at this point. He didn’t have any experience with fantasy, so he was really fascinated by the rules and systems that you have to adhere to once you establish them. In Harry Potter, we know you have to point a wand and say a word to make magic. The magic in these books is completely different, but it is just as consistent.”
Most importantly to Clare, Zwart was completely attuned to the emotional lives of the characters. “In this genre, it is easy to get caught up in the visuals, and he definitely understands that aspect. But he knows that no matter how cool the movie looks, it’s no substitute for rich inner lives and emotional connections between the characters. Harald is a great director for the project because he is extremely interested in all the relationships: familial, friendship and romantic. That makes it feel real.”
Zwart also sought Clare’s advice on the best ways to fit the sprawling narrative into the limited length of a feature film. “When you adapt a very popular book, you have to make some difficult choices,” Zwart says. “You have to give up certain things for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps something doesn’t work for the logic of the movie, or it’s a stumbling block to moving the story forward, or simply for budgetary reasons. We did our best to preserve what’s really important, and thankfully, Cassandra was very supportive of the choices we made.”
Clare sounds more like a fan than a best-selling author when she speaks about viewing the finished film. “To be able to actually see the City of Bones, the greenhouse, the Institute, Java Jones, Clary’s apartment—all these places that I have described in the books, is an amazing experience,” marvels Clare. “The fans will finally get to meet the characters that they’ve come to love.”
In The Mortal Instruments book series, the world we know holds within it another, hidden world populated by magical beings engaged in a constant struggle of good against evil. Known as the Shadow World, it contains mysteries that go back a thousand years to a time when darkness was threatening to engulf the earth.
Ten centuries ago, the Black Death ravaged Europe and endless Holy Wars tore apart the Middle East. According to Cassandra’s Clare’s elaborate and meticulously plotted mythology, demonic forces trying to destroy humanity and take over the world for themselves were behind this strife.
Fearing that evil was about to triumph over good, the Angel Raziel took desperate measures. He mixed his blood with the blood of men in a mysterious crystal goblet. Anyone who drank from this Mortal Cup became part of a race of half human-half angel hybrids known as Nephilim or, more commonly, the Shadowhunters.
This singular race, gifted with great strength and magical abilities, has been protecting the human world against demons ever since. That battle has been ongoing in the Shadow World, although ordinary humans live their entire lives without ever knowing it exists.
“The Shadow World is not an alternate universe,” says producer Don Carmody. “It’s right here, right now. Humans just don’t see it, unless they are Shadowhunters who are there to control the demons and other creatures when they get out of hand and try to cross over into our world.”
The Shadowhunters pursue their enemies relentlessly, without thought for their own safety. “Their selflessness is what fascinates me,” Carmody says. “It’s a very difficult life. They’re constantly in danger of being hurt or killed themselves, yet they never think twice about stepping in when a demon crosses the line.”
For all their strength and unusual abilities, the Shadowhunters remain mortal, with all of the frailties that implies. “It’s important to remember that they are humans with human emotions and a thankless life,” says Clare. “Humans don’t even know they exist, much less risk their lives daily.”
Their primary job is fending off demons, the immortal source of everything evil, that continually try to wrest control of the earth from humans. These inter-dimensional beings, who travel from world to world destroying everything in their path, are divided between lesser and greater demons, with dozens of sub-species. When they are ‘killed,’ they do not actually die, but rather return to their home dimension where they exist in a weakened state until they recover from their wounds.
“Sometimes demons are disguised as other humans and sometimes they’re simply invisible to the human eye,” Clare explains. “They travel through the world, murdering people, taking over their bodies and destroying what has been created. Shadowhunters are our only protection against these predators.”
The Shadow World teems with other supernatural creatures, also known as Downworlders. Downworlders include warlocks, faeries, vampires and werewolves, each with their own unique histories and abilities.
Warlocks, like Clary Fray’s protector Magnus Bane, are the offspring of humans and demons, often conceived through trickery. Also known as Lilith’s Children, they are immortal and their demon ancestry enables them to perform magic. They can be male or female and are the most powerful of the Downworlders.
Vampires and werewolves are humans who have been infected by demonic viruses. In werewolves, the infection can be passed on through a werewolf bite or from parent to child. Their ability to shape shift from human form to wolf initially depends on the phase of the moon, but with experience, a werewolf can learn to control that power. They live in packs and the New York clan is led by Luke Garroway, who is a close friend of Clary Fray’s mother, Jocelyn.
Vampires, also known as the Night Children, are blood drinkers who must hunt between sunset and sunrise. A human can be transformed into a vampire by drinking vampire blood and then being drained of blood by a vampire. Traditionally, vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies, and both were formerly at war with the Shadowhunters, but an uneasy accord is now in place.
“With the Downworlders on their side, the Shadowhunters have a better chance of fighting off the demons,” says Clare. “But there’s a lot of friction between them. It’s not unlike the NATO alliance. They’ve united against a larger threat, but the constantly shifting loyalties and enmities make it very unstable.”
“Because ordinary humans remain oblivious to the mortal combat going on around them, Shadowhunters and Downworlders are a bit contemptuous of them,” says Clare. “They refer to them as ‘mundanes.’ I got the term from friends who play Dungeons and Dragons. It’s what they call everybody who doesn’t play. I thought it was a terrific and evocative phrase. Anybody who isn’t actually a Shadowhunter or a supernatural being is a mundane.”
Until she meets the Shadowhunters, Clarissa Fray, known as Clary, doesn’t believe in magic. “She is not interested in the supernatural,” says Clare, “and then suddenly she starts to see this other world. That’s because she is herself a Shadowhunter, but she’s also something more.”
Clary’s quest throughout the series is to recover and protect each of three magical items that are central to the Shadowhunters’ struggle. “The three Mortal Instruments are items that the Shadowhunters require to survive and keep their race going,” the author explains. “There’s the Mortal Cup, which Clary and the others are looking for in City of Bones. There is the Mortal Sword, which Shadowhunters use in battle as well as in peacetime, when it can compel any Shadowhunter to tell the truth. And there is The Mortal Mirror, which has been lost to antiquity. This movie focuses only on The Mortal Cup, but the other Mortal Instruments will take center stage later in the series.”
The Mortal Cup is the goblet in which Raziel mixed his blood with the blood of humans. Anyone who drinks from it will become a Shadowhunter. “The Shadowhunters continue to use it to make more Shadowhunters,” says Clare. “It also has the power to heal and to bestow unique abilities on Shadowhunters. For centuries, it was kept very carefully by The Clave, the body that oversees Shadowhunters around the world, but it was stolen years before our story starts and the hunt for it is the engine that powers the story.”
Each warrior amasses unique abilities that are manifested by elaborate markings that appear on their bodies. These markings take the form of runes, ancient symbols that originated in Northern Europe. Clare says she first learned about runes from a friend in New York who designed a series of markings based on traditional designs.
“Runes originally served as both a sort of alphabet and as magical talismans,” she says. “Each has a unique meaning. Warriors wore them into battle because they believed that the runes would protect them against injury and allow them to win out against evil. I thought, what if there was a race of people who used these symbols to fight demons and use magic? They were an important part of the initial idea for the books.”
Given to the first generation of Shadowhunters by Raziel to assist them in fighting the demons, some runes are temporary, fading with time, while others remain permanent.
“In our story, once you tattoo yourself with these runes, you acquire a particular type of power,” says director Zwart. “You can make yourself invisible or stronger. They can heal wounds or freeze time. The runes are the source and the symbol of the Shadowhunters’ abilities.”
The mysterious Shadow World remains hidden from mundane eyes through the use of glamours, spells that can make a majestic cathedral appear to be a ramshackle old church, covered in graffiti, as it does the Institute, the Shadowhunters’ magical stronghold.
“In every large city there’s an Institute, usually built on holy ground,” says Clare. “In New York, it is an enormous cathedral that I based on St. Patrick’s. For the Shadowhunters it’s both a sanctuary and a war room. So when Clary is endangered in the supernatural world, she is taken to the Institute because that is the safest place the Shadowhunters know.”
In The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Cassandra Clare’s mythological world has been spun into a rich and fascinating three-dimensional land. “The mythology initially seems very complicated,” says Zwart. “But once you get in to it, you see that Cassandra has absolutely made sense of it all. There is a real logic and a beauty to it that works seamlessly in the film.”
Casting is always a sensitive and important part of filmmaking, a delicate balance of alchemy, artistry and the practical realities of the box office. But for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the filmmakers had the added pressure of the fans’ expectations.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” says Carmody. “And I’ve made a lot of fanboy movies. We didn’t want to disappoint the readers. I don’t want to disappoint them as much as I don’t want to disappoint my daughters. They want to see this story come to life as true to the book and the characters they love.”
Reassuringly for filmmaker and fans alike, author Cassandra Clare gives the casting choice an enthusiastic thumbs up. “It’s been amazing to see it take place,” says Clare. “They’ve made some really wonderful decisions. Lily Collins was cast first and I was just delighted, because she looked exactly like Clary did in my head.”
CLARY FRAY AND SIMON LEWIS
Lily Collins had played just two small film roles when she was cast as Clary Fray, the Brooklyn teen who comes into her own as a supernatural warrior in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Even so, the word was out in Hollywood that she was a young actress to watch.
“We thought she would potentially be a great Clary,” says Kulzer. “When we experienced some unexpected delays, she was offered the lead in Mirror, Mirror, and she took it. That turned out to be a total blessing for us, because all of a sudden she was starring opposite Julia Roberts.”
“Collins has a talent that is rare to find in an actress just starting her career,” says Kulzer. “She’s an acting phenomenon. Off screen, she seems like any other pretty young woman, but the minute she walks on set, there’s a transformation. She really is completely absorbed in the world of her character. Clary spends a lot of time listening to other people talk and there’s something about the way Lily reacts that tells you she is completely present.”
A fan of the books long before she was cast, Collins immediately agreed to play Clary. “Once you start reading the books, you just really can’t stop,” she says. “That’s the beauty of Cassandra’s writing.”
But, she says, being a fan of the series adds a little bit more pressure. “There are advantages and disadvantages to reading a series of books before doing the movies,” she says. “I’ve read them all, so I had to distance myself from the subsequent books, because Clary doesn’t know what’s coming next. At the beginning of the series, she really is a normal girl. Having too much knowledge would compromise her purity in the situation.”
It was exciting for the young actress to watch as the script evolved. “It is a faithful adaptation of the book, but it can stand alone as a film,” she says. “It’s character-based and emotionally driven in both the way it was written and the way that Harald directed it.”
“Clary Fray is just a teenager living in Brooklyn when the story begins,” says Collins. “But when her mother disappears, it’s up to Clary to retrieve a sacred object that has been hidden away from dark forces. She goes from an ordinary girl to a heroine with all this responsibility and these new powers that she doesn’t yet understand. She’s in peril for the whole movie, but she finds these new relationships along the way to help her, and she’s forced to question ones that she thought she knew.”
Collins has the ability to be convincing as both a tomboyish, all-American girl and a soldier in a treacherous and confusing new world. “She’s never winking at us or trying to play a superhero,” says Carmody. “As she plays her, Clary is just a regular girl who finds herself in this incredible circumstance. And she goes for it, because she has no other choice. She’s not unafraid, but she’s not cowering either, which makes her a great heroine.”
Collins had already committed to playing the role when Zwart signed on as director. In fact, she was one of the reasons he pursued the project. “She shows great range as an actor, which makes my job very easy,” he says. “It can get very technical making movies like this. She’s great at preserving her emotions even when it does.”
Clary’s longtime best friend is Simon Lewis, a slightly nerdy young man she has known since she was six. Simon is alongside Clary on every step of her journey into the Shadow World.
“Simon is that geeky gamer type,” Collins says. “He’s also that best friend that she can joke around with. They finish each other’s sentences, they’ve had sleepovers and they know each others’ families really well.”
A beloved character in the world of The Mortal Instruments, he is also secretly in love with Clary and has been for years. “Everybody sees it, everybody knows it, except Clary,” says Kulzer. “In a weird way, he’s the most heroic character because he’s just a regular guy with no special skills or weapons. But he uses his brain and his bravery to defend Clary. He has almost a Clark Kent quality because he is the geeky guy with the glasses who is there with the funny line, but who hasn’t quite found his place in the world yet.”
In casting this and other key roles, the filmmakers relied heavily on fan input for guidance. “The name we heard over and over again was Robert Sheehan,” says Kulzer. “He’s an Irish actor, not a big name, but with solid credits. Simon has some really funny, kind of skewed one-liners and Robbie has the perfect comedic timing.”
Clare agrees wholeheartedly: “Robbie is an absolutely terrific Simon. He has both that funny energy and the passion and accessibility that Simon has.”
For his part, the actor responded to what he calls the script’s “lovely sense of adventure and unpredictability.”
“Simon is a different sort of character for me to play,” says Sheehan. “He’s the only normal guy in the whole script and he brings a sense of perspective to this entire magical world. He doesn’t really have a moment to digest what’s going on, which brings a bit of humor to the proceedings. Once they’re thrust into it, he just has to concentrate on what’s truly important to him, which is Clary.”
He is also forced to face the attraction Clary has for the young Shadowhunter, Jace Wayland, creating a tense love triangle. “Simon sees immediately that Clary fancies Jace and Jace fancies Clary,” he says. “That comes down on him like a ton of bricks. Simon and Clary have some lovely quiet, personal scenes where they address the unspoken love Simon feels for her.”
Those are the kinds of moments in which director Zwart really shines, Sheehan says. “What Harald always seemed most interested in was those small and emotional moments between the characters. These days, our eyes are tricked so commonly and casually in movies. Clary and Simon have something very real.”
The actor gives his leading lady high marks for her dedication and authenticity. “I know when you do a movie with someone, you are expected to blow their horn a bit,” he says. “But she really is a consummate professional. She’s becoming a true movie star, but she just takes it all in stride.”
When Clary witnesses a trio of Shadowhunters—Jace Wayland and Alec and Isabelle Lightwood—apparently kill a young man in a nightclub, it is the first time she gets a glimpse of what is happening in the Shadow World. She is as frightened and confused by the fact that she seems to be the only who can see them as she is by what she has seen.
“Jace, Alec and Isabelle are actually battling a demon,” says Collins. “And they’re quintessentially beautiful beings, fantastical people that seem a little unreal. The fact that she sees them, though, is a complete surprise to them as well as her, because she’s supposedly a mundane.”
Casting Jace was one of the tougher tasks the filmmakers took on, according to Carmody. “As written, he is incredibly handsome and extremely intelligent. Jace is wise beyond his years, because he’s been killing demons for a very long time. He has a sardonic point of view about what he does, because he sees that he is protecting these humans from the stupid things they get themselves involved in. He’s noble, but not that noble.”
Millions of fans had very specific ideas about Jace, who is closely connected to Clary in a variety of ways throughout the six books. “We needed someone really special,” says Kulzer. “We were lucky because Lily wanted to be involved in the casting and make sure they had real chemistry. We brought in Jamie Campbell Bower because he has a slightly ethereal, but still very dangerous, quality that we thought would be perfect. When he first read with Lily, no exaggeration, sparks were flying.”
“The character of Jace is vibrant, endearing, mysterious and very cocky,” says Collins. “You like him and you feel for him as well. He’s not afraid to show insecurity. Jamie brought all of that to the table. He did all of his own stunts with a smile and was so genuinely proud of his work.”
The character is cocky, agrees Bower, but with real justification. “He knows that his late father was a great Shadowhunter,” says the actor. “And Jace is very good at what he does. He also knows women are drawn to him. But that cockiness is dangerous because it leads him to take too many chances.”
Bower, whose previous credits include Caius in the Twilight Saga and the lead role of King Arthur in “Camelot,” the epic television adaptation of the classic Arthurian legend, points out that Jace’s vulnerability is always just under the surface. “He has a façade that is very strong. He appears to be the archetypal warrior, but he’s still a boy. I enjoy his bluntness, which he uses to conceal his vulnerability. He’s very sarcastic and hides behind his humor, particularly to deflect a situation that becomes awkward or hurtful to him.”
“Jace is drawn to Clary by a kind of strength he’s never seen in anyone else,” he says. “Plus, she’s smoking hot, which doesn’t hurt. He’s destined to fall in love with her. The fact that he initially believes her to be a mundane cements his fascination in a strange way. When he discovers she isn’t one, that becomes even more intriguing.”
That love story is what drew Bower to the script in the first place. “Of course I love the world of demons and Downworlders, but it’s also touchingly real,” he says. “I think that’s what audiences want to see as well. I’m very proud to have been a part of it and honored to have been given the opportunity to work on a book that is loved by so many.”
Once the filmmakers had Collins and Bower in place, they began to build the rest of the extensive ensemble. “The most important thing was to find really great actors,” says Zwart. “ It's a movie where you can get carried away in the special effects and the fantasy of it, but unless the actors are just superb, it just wouldn't work. For example, we really worked at taking the fantastical elements from the book and grounding them in reality to make the performances accessible and believable for the audience.”
Jace may have been immediately fascinated by Clary, but his companions, brother and sister Alec and Isabelle Lightwood, are not as taken with the unusual young woman. Fearing she has a hidden and possibly evil agenda, they view her as a potential threat, but Jace impulsively brings her into their world.
“Isabelle has to be beautiful and have a strong physicality,” says Kulzer. “ Jemima West has an aristocratic air that is perfect for the character.”
While West had not read the novels, the script itself was enough reason for her to get involved. “It was an incredibly cool story,” she says. “And I knew they had great actors like Lily and Jamie attached. After I was offered the part, I read all the books and was completely captivated.
“When we did our first read-through as a cast, I was blown away by the rest of the actors,” she continues. “Everyone was very focused on doing their best. When you have actors who are working hard and enjoying themselves, it can’t get much better.”
The character’s sense of loyalty and family appealed to West. “Isabelle has such strong values,” she says. “No one can come in the way of her family, which includes Jace, so she is so tough on Clary and Simon. I grew quite attached to her. She sometimes says things without really thinking them through, which gives her an entertainingly human side.”
Isabelle has multiple objections to allowing Clary in the inner circle. “First of all, she thinks, ‘what the hell is this mundane doing here?’” West says. “And not only is she a mundane, she’s another girl. Isabelle is used to being the only girl.”
Clare commends the actress’ ability to bring both tenderness and fierceness to the Shadowhunter. “Jemima has all the warmth that Isabelle has, but she also looks like someone you wouldn’t necessarily want to get into a fight with, especially if she has her whip with her.”
Isabelle and her older brother Alec were raised with Jace after he was orphaned. As close as siblings, Alec and Jace fight demons side by side. The filmmakers chose Kevin Zegers to play the role.
“We did a film with him years ago called Wrong Turn,” says Kulzer. “It was an incredibly hot young cast, but the line outside Kevin’s trailer was always the longest.”
Alec joins his sister Isabelle in her suspicions about Clary. “He doesn’t particularly like anyone new coming into their situation,” says Zegers. “He has much less patience for her prettiness and all that stuff that Jace finds so appealing. What they have going on works and has been working very well for a long time. Clary is a variable that nobody’s fully considered and when she arrives everything starts to go badly for them.”
The character has a secret that makes him a bit of an outsider among the Shadowhunters. “Alec is a pretty complex character,” the actor says. “It’s always interesting to play a guy that people can’t really pin down. On a basic level, Alec is a killer and it’s all he thinks about. His main life objective is to do his job and do it well. Some guys, like Jace, are just naturally very good. Alec has to work really hard at it.”
Clare and her fans think he makes an excellent Alec, very much in keeping with the book’s depiction. “He looks like Alec should look,” she says. “He has a little bit of that elegant standoffishness that Alec has.
Zegers has a lengthy resume of lower profile projects, but The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones should send his profile soaring. “I’ve done so many things that not too many people have seen,” he laughs. “This has a lot of the things I like to see in a movie, like a great story and fun characters. I think audiences will enjoy it as well.”
When Clary takes refuge at the Institute, the Shadowhunters’ home and training ground, she comes under the tutelage of Hodge Starkweather, a seasoned Shadowhunter who has been overseeing the education of Jace, Alec and Isabelle.
“Hodge is one of my favorite characters,” says Clare. “I was so excited when they told me Jared Harris was going to play the role. I’m a big ‘Mad Men’ fan and his character, Lane, is one of my favorites. He captures Hodge’s essential dilemma. Hodge is extremely conflicted about his life and what he believes the Shadowhunters should be doing about their ultimate destiny. If anyone can capture those shades of grey, Jared is the guy.”
Hodge is still dealing with the consequences of ill-considered choices he made earlier in life. “He is essentially a good man, but he makes some bad decisions, which is always interesting to play,” says Harris. “He has an inner life that is an integral part of the saga, so there’s a lot of information available in which to ground the character. Working on this was not so different from playing an historical character.”
Hodge’s conflicted nature leads him to do things he later regrets. “But I don’t think Hodge is evil,” says Harris. “I’ve played other characters who were just out-and-out bad guys. Moriarty, whom I played in Sherlock Holmes, was evil. He simply didn’t believe in right and wrong. But Hodge’s moral ambiguity comes because he knows what the right thing to do is, and he doesn’t do it.”
For the last 18 years, Hodge has been confined to the Institute, prohibited from leaving the premises by the Clave. “Harald and I had the idea that the curse that keeps Hodge from leaving the Institute is a psychological effect, a sort of Jedi mind trick,” says Harris. “But that doesn’t change the fact that he is stuck and he wants his curse to be lifted. At this point, he’s prepared to do what he must, even if he knows it’s wrong.”
Harris is confident the movie remains true to the spirit of the book. “Personally, I love the whole mythology,” the actor says. “It reinvents a lot of stories that we’re familiar with and throws in a good old-fashioned teenage love story at the center, with two people who are attracted to one another but discover there’s an impediment.”
Over the centuries, the Shadowhunters have divided into factions: those who believe they were meant to protect the world selflessly and those who believe they should be well rewarded for the risks they take. The movie’s elegant and dangerous villain, Valentine, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is in the latter camp and his machinations threaten to disrupt events in both the Shadow World and the mundane world.
“Valentine is not some drooling, evil character or incredibly wicked mega-villain,” says Carmody. “His danger lies in his charm. He represents everything the Shadowhunters should not be. And yet he has managed to get all these people to follow him down a path of darkness.”
Valentine’s whereabouts remains hidden for most of the film, but his shadowy presence infects the atmosphere. “Just his name is enough to send a cold shiver down people’s spine,” says Kulzer. “As Clary starts investigating what happened to her mom, he comes up time and time again. That sets the stage for the moment when he finally shows up.”
Clare says Rhys Meyers’ brooding intelligence makes him an ideal Valentine. “I’ve loved Jonathan’s work since I first saw him in Velvet Goldmine,” says the author. “He gives Valentine a sort of evil reasonableness. Even though you know that what he’s saying is fundamentally immoral, you want to agree with him. A number of theoretically good people became part of his Circle. When I first posted online that Jonathan Rhys Meyers was going to be our Valentine, a lot of people wrote back to me and said, ‘well, I would join the Circle if he was running it.’”
Valentine made off with the Mortal Cup years earlier, only to have it stolen from him. He wants it back and will do whatever is needed to get it. “Valentine is undeniably charismatic, but most dangerous men are,” says Rhys Meyers. “He has been at war for so long that he now only knows war. He’s trying to save his people. He stole the Mortal Cup because he no longer believed in the laws of the Clave, which is the political arm of the Shadowhunters. His experiments with it have made him half-man, half-demon.”
Each time Valentine drank from The Mortal Cup, the stronger he became. Valentine has acquired powers that set him apart from every other Shadowhunter in history. He can call up demons, travel through time and space, and perform magic that no other Shadowhunter can.
A wickedly inventive performer, Rhys Meyers constantly surprised his co-stars. “After we shot the first scene with Valentine, Jamie Campbell Bower said to me quietly, ‘I’m a bit scared of him,’” says Kulzer. “And Lily came over and said ‘he’s great, but I’m a bit scared of him.’ And I said, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
“Even in rehearsals, his intensity was apparent,” says Collins. “He’s so alluring and that’s what I imagined when I read the book. Valentine is the scariest, most frightening person alive to Clary, and he really captured that danger.”
Valentine is aided in his search to recover the Mortal Cup by Emil Pangborn and Samuel Blackwell, two literally larger-than-life brawlers played by Kevin Durand and Robert Maillet, respectively. “Valentine doesn’t get his hands dirty,” says Clare. “He directs them to take care of the violence that he wouldn’t sully himself with.”
And they do it with gusto. “When I heard Kevin Durand and Robert Maillet were cast in those roles, I was really excited,” Clare says. “I knew Kevin’s work from the Resident Evil movies and I remembered Robert from his very memorable role in Sherlock Holmes. He was huge and terrifying. I think they are great choices for these characters. I wouldn’t want to tangle with them in a dark alley.”
Pangborn’s sole purpose in life is to help Valentine find the Mortal Cup. “He’s a dark character,” says Durand. “I have played a lot of dark guys, so I wasn’t sure about this. But once I got a chance to speak with Harald, I realized there was going to be room for me to create something that was beyond what was on the page. We’ve made him a little goofier, even though he’s quite intense and focused on his task.”
The 6-foot-6-inch Durand is used to physically dominating whatever set he is on, but when partnered with Maillet, who stands 7 feet tall, he felt almost petite.
“For the first time in my career, I am emasculated by another actor’s size,” admits Durand. “He’s such a big man, which was cool. Someone had my back for once. We got close, comparing notes on the characters, as well as comparing notes on what it is to be a vertically gifted human being. When I walk down the street, people constantly comment, but when I’m with him, they don’t even ask me those questions anymore. I got to feeling protective of him. Stop asking him how the weather is up there, because we’ll rain all over you!”
Maillet describes Emil as the brains of the operation, while his character is the muscle. “Emil does most of the talking,” he says. “I’m there to add presence to it all, which is kind of funny because he’s a such big guy himself. But if he doesn’t get his way, I’m the insurance. And we will do whatever it takes to get the Mortal Cup.”
Clary’s extraordinary quest is sparked when she returns home to find her apartment ransacked and her mother, Jocelyn, missing. “In a lot of books, you have a boy coming of age and becoming a hero,” says Clare. “Often his father is a hero himself. I wanted to create a strong heroine with a heroic mother this time. Jocelyn is actually a great champion in the Shadowhunter world, but the experience was so frightening that the most important thing in the world to her is to make sure her daughter never experiences anything like that.”
While Jocelyn appears only briefly in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the stage is being set for her to step forward later in the saga. “The story arc for Jocelyn over the six books is pretty extraordinary,” says Kulzer. “It requires an actress who can believably portray an elegant, modern woman who also happens to be a major action heroine. Lena Headey, who is gorgeous and has played both Cersei Lannister in “Game of Thrones” and Sarah Conner on ‘The Terminator Chronicles,’ was at the top of our list of casting possibilities.”
As the movie begins, Jocelyn has given up her former life as a Shadowhunter for a simple life as an artist in Brooklyn. “She keeps her past a secret from Clary because she wants to keep her safe,” says Headey. “It’s her wish to give Clary a normal life. She has done everything she can to keep the truth at bay, even having a magical block put on her daughter’s memory to prevent her from remembering anything about the Shadow World, but Clary is beginning to see inexplicable things.”
The actress is looking forward to continuing to work with this cast and crew as the story progresses. “I’ve never really experienced such collaboration from a director,” she says. “He got excited about the actors’ ideas and let us experiment. That makes for a great working environment, because you are able to discover new things all the time. It was a constant lesson for me, a constant evolution. And an added benefit is that we’ve made a film that my son will actually be able to see and enjoy one day.”
The memory block that Jocelyn sought out for Clary was put in place by Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn. Magnus’ magic has kept Clary safe during the years she and her mother have been in hiding by making her forget everything she sees in the Shadow World as soon as she sees it. Now, the spell is starting to fade and she is becoming aware of the magical events and creatures all around her.
“There had to be a warlock who ran the New York society of warlocks,” says Clare. “But I rejected the idea that warlocks and wizards have to be wise old men with long grey beards and white hair. Warlocks live forever. They have the power to be any age they want to be. Why not make him a crazy raver kid from New York? He is also incredibly smart and extremely dangerous, but he has this unbelievably fun lifestyle. Fans have really responded to him. Aside from Clary and Jace, he is the most beloved character in the series.”
Taiwanese model and actor Godfrey Gao makes his American feature-film debut in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. “Magnus Bane is a party animal on a level all his own,” says Gao. “First of all, he’s an 800-year-old warlock, so he’s done it all and seen it all. He basically owns Brooklyn. He throws parties that everybody wants to attend. Magnus is very powerful as well as very flamboyant, so when he’s in a room, everybody listens. Both men and women are drawn to him and he takes full advantage of that.”
But Clary brings out a different side of the powerful warlock. “He is unexpectedly fatherly to her,” says Gao. “She is very special to him and he wants her to be safe as much as her mother does. He’s very drawn to her because she’s so pure. Lily brings exactly what Clary should have to the character.”
Magnus’ elaborate costumes and over-the-top androgyny make an unforgettable visual impression. “I wear really seductive, sexy makeup,” the actor says. “Every day I put on my earrings, got my hair done and slapped on some lip gloss. Magnus Bane has a look that is all his own.”
Clary has another male protector in Luke Garroway, the gentle proprietor of a Soho antique shop who is close friends with her mother. But what she doesn’t know about Luke, played by Irish actor Aidan Turner, is that he is a werewolf.
“The first moment I read the script, I wanted to do it,” Turner says. “It’s a really exciting and believable portrayal of this crazy world full of demons, Downworlders and sinister dark lords. Ultimately, it is the age-old story of good versus evil and how you inevitably have to answer for the choices you make. Cassandra’s writing is so compelling. She’s created this complete world for us to inhabit where there’s something happening all the time.”
Luke has become a sort of a surrogate father for Clary. “He looks out for her when she has nobody to confide in,” Turner explains. “He’s protecting her without impeding her path of discovery.”
The role was something of a change of pace for the actor, who is perhaps best known for his portrayal of John Mitchell, a vampire, on the British television series “Being Human.” Turner believes that finding the familiar in such exotic characters is essential. “Luke, for the most part, lives a very ordinary life. I never felt I had to drive home the fact that he is the leader of a werewolf pack. I have trouble with supernatural characters playing the supernatural element all the time. It’s more interesting when you can see them as real people first. Being a werewolf is more of an affliction for Luke than a defining characteristic.”
Downstairs from Clary and Jocelyn lives Madame Dorothea, a storefront psychic living in a cramped apartment full of crystal balls and “magical” paraphernalia. “Madame Dorothea represents the kind of magic that mundanes are aware of,” says Clare. “She’s a palm reader and a Tarot card reader. The fun of it is that Madame Dorothea is hiding in plain sight. She is actually a powerful witch who has chosen to disguise herself as a ‘witch,’ because that is the last place that someone looking for her would go.”
Veteran stage and film actress CCH Pounder, currently a regular on the Sy-Fy Channel series “Warehouse 13,” plays Madame Dorothea. “CCH Pounder brings a gravitas to the table, but what we didn’t know was how much fun she would have with playing the character,” says Kulzer. “Madame Dorothea undergoes an amazing transformation and CCH was so unbelievably good. There’s no monster in the world that can that can be scarier and more fun that she is, basically kicking the ass of three Shadowhunters who are in top shape. The crew was applauding after each take, and she just had so much fun doing it.”
Pounder describes her character as, “a lovely woman who lives in Brooklyn and will tell you the future, for a price. In the book, she seemed perhaps to be Eastern European. We reconceived her as a Caribbean lady. I’m such a completely unexpected choice for the character that I felt I did not have to live up to anyone’s expectations. It’s always fun to be able to break the mold. To my great surprise and pleasure, Cassandra Clare told me she never thought of the character this way, but was delighted with the casting.”
Madame Dorothea undergoes a terrifying metamorphosis over the course of the film, which Pounder was asked to create without the benefit of elaborate special effects. “Harald Zwart decided that he’d rather see the internal emotion expressed by the actor, rather than creating a CG effect,” she says. “I was thrilled. The modern film industry has been taken over by technology, but in the theatrical tradition I grew up with, this is the way we would do it. It was wonderful to feel like I was on the stage, where you have to create the character and have it come out of you rather than the editing process.”
With such an enormous cast, the filmmakers say they felt fortunate that everyone involved bonded so quickly. “That was a delightful surprise,” says Carmody. “Especially watching Lily, Jemima, Jamie, Kevin and Robbie interact with each other. They’ve really become a close unit.”
Bower points out that it may be because they each share so many personality traits with their characters. “As Cassandra wrote in the books, we get along even though we have conflicting qualities. I do feel very connected to everyone. We are like a pack, very protective over each other.”
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones takes place in a beautifully realized, visually stunning world that, like the Shadowhunters themselves, balances elegantly on the very edge of reality and fantasy. Blending real-life, gritty urban locations with imaginatively conceived enchanted spaces, the film’s lush and gorgeous settings—from the cluttered comfort of Clary and her mother’s bohemian artist’s flat to the gloomy grandeur of the titular City of Bones—reflect the director’s insistence on a stylized version of reality.
“Harald always said, if we make it too fantastic, no one’s going to believe it,” producer Carmody explains. “We went for very realistic locations, costumes and casting choices. We have to believe that this place exists within the city, here among us.”
Zwart began by assembling an eclectic and international creative team to develop and execute his vision. “It was very important to me that this didn’t become a monster movie,” he says. “I really tried to approach it from a completely different angle. We have the most talented director of photography in Scandinavia, Geir Andreassen, with his beautiful lighting. Our production designer is François Séguin, who has created extraordinary sets for films, as well as for Cirque du Soleil. Atli Örvarsson did the amazing score. The costumes, which were designed by Gersha Phillips, are incredibly fashion forward.”
“We worked with a very strict palette that developed together,” the director continues. “It is, for the most part, quite muted. Although it’s tempting to go high contrast with this type of movie, we always went for soft light sources to enhance the angelic look of the skin tones.”
That approach fit well with Carmody’s theory that good filmmaking requires many of the same elements as throwing a great party. “It’s all about the people you invite,” he says. “We’ve got an amazing cast, we’ve got an astonishing crew. Cinematographer Geir Andreassen is an incredible find. Robert Kulzer and I sat on the set looking at the images on the monitors and couldn’t believe he got that kind of quality so quickly.”
The filmmakers decided to shoot on film as opposed to using digital cameras to give the film a lush and classic look. “We actually shot this movie on 35mm Panavision Scope which makes it look absolutely gorgeous,” says Zwart. “I know I’m one of the few still holding back on doing digital. I’m not going to argue for or against either, but I think for this movie, where there’s a lot of romance and skin tones and beautiful colors, shooting it in a traditional fashion on film gives it a very special look.”
Production designer François Séguin had previously worked with Zwart on The Karate Kid. “François is incredibly talented,” the director says. “I obsess about the look of everything I do. We have created a beautiful world for this movie. He brought a sort of fairy-tale realism and artistic quality to it.”
The film’s fantastical setting is something of a departure for the production designer. “As with Harald, it didn’t seem a natural fit at first,” says Kulzer. “But once we saw his sketches, it was clear he could create an astonishing world for us, sometimes with very limited means. He was able to use certain lighting or simple, old-school techniques to create illusions that didn’t require gigantic visual effects or a gigantic budget. He and Harald came up with incredible solutions that allowed them to do so many things in camera that we never expected to be able to do.”
“François really stepped up on this one and created some amazing sets and set pieces,” agrees Carmody. “The greenhouse sequence, which I know the fans are looking forward to, is one of the most romantic sets I’ve ever been on. It’s just amazing.”
Emphasizing in-camera effects over CGI, Zwart and Séguin accomplished some mind-boggling imagery. “Some of the optical illusions we’re doing work so well because the audience can see that it’s absolutely happening in front of you,” says Zwart. “Look at the construction of the pentagram; I love this scene because the scene seems to be about something else, and that Valentine is randomly hitting swords into the floor out of anger, then in the end we see that he has with extreme precision been able to make a prefect pentagram when seen from a specific angle. I spent days constructing the idea in 3d on my computer because I wanted it to be looking like a random mess unless you see it from one, and one only specific angle .”
Séguin began his designs with the book’s original artwork, which he has adapted and sometimes reimagined for film. “My job was to try to create a world hidden in New York City that we humans never see,” he says. “There was detailed artwork already in existence, but it didn’t always translate to a three-dimensional, live-action movie. We took some license in order to fit the vision of the book into the script in a certain time span with the budget we had.”
With a mandate from the director to emphasize the use of three-dimensional settings over green-screen re-creations, Séguin used a combination of practical locations in metropolitan Toronto, and specially-built sets on the Cinespace Film Studio stages to stand in for the New York City settings. Over the course of the 12-week shoot, Séguin, his supervising art director Anthony Ianni and their team designed, constructed and dressed over 50 different sets, one of the most important of which is the Shadowhunters’ safe haven, the Institute.
A number of different locations were utilized in creating the Institute, including the University of Toronto’s stately Knox College and Casa Loma, a historic medieval castle. One of the biggest challenges for the production design team was the Institute library. Constructed on a stage at Cinespace Studios, the massive circular set sports bookshelves that rise two stories. It took 10 weeks to build and dress.
Realizing he would be unlikely to find a location that could stand in for the lair of the sect of Shadowhunters known as the Silent Brothers, Séguin constructed the subterranean necropolis known as the City of Bones from the ground up. The set is inspired by the famous Paris catacombs, with one notable exception. “It is a very short sequence,” says the designer. “We shot it in a day, but we wanted to give an expansive feeling in just a few shots. I came up with the idea that it would be round, rather than series of long corridors, so we see more of it.”
A very different approach was taken to create the vampire haven known as the Hotel Dumort. Once a glittering Art Deco showplace, the derelict Manhattan hotel is now overrun by the undead. The filmmakers located an actual abandoned hotel and renovated it for their purposes. “The Hotel Dumort was a lucky find,” says Carmody. “It had six years of complete decrepitude and thousands of pigeons roosting in it. Vandals had stripped it of everything. We had to clean it up so we could work there and then have the art department dirty it up again. It’s a very creepy place.”
It was, in a word, perfect. “It was almost like an abandoned soundstage,” Séguin says. “The whole structure was already there, like a half-painted canvas. We had real corridors and real staircases. We redressed and repainted it, but we had the bones.”
Costume designer Gersha Phillips faced a tall challenge of her own. Zwart asked the designer to create a unique look for the Shadowhunters, something that went beyond the obvious and helped to define the characters while tying in to contemporary fashion.
“When I first met with Gersha, I instantly saw that she was perfect for the job,” he says. “We could have ended up with very conventional black leather outfits. We do have leather and a lot of black, but these Shadowhunters make a bit of a fashion statement. Everything looks like tomorrow’s new jacket or tomorrow’s new pair of pants.”
The Shadowhunters’ costumes had such specific requirements that, for the most part, they had to be custom designed and built. “I wanted the clothing not to look like anything you could just buy in a store,” Phillips says. “They had to be things we hadn’t really seen before. And then, because they’re warriors, everything that they wear has to take that into consideration. Things can’t be too confining or restrict their movement. We had to build knit panels into the inseams and padding into the knees and elbows. We had a high fashion take on everything, sometimes taking period pieces and redoing them in contemporary fabrics and contemporary styles to give them that edge.”
The designer also incorporated runes into the costumes. “The Silent Brothers, who communicate telepathically, have one called ‘clairvoyance’ that we used around the sleeves and hems of their robes,” she says. “Jace’s costume incorporates the runes for strength and fearlessness, which are so characteristic of him.”
Clary’s transformation from schoolgirl to demon hunter had to be reflected in her clothing, as well. “In the beginning, Harald was concerned about her looking too hip,” Phillips says. “We put her in Doc Martens and boyfriend jeans, which suited her tomboy spirit. Then there’s a very sharp switch when she enters the Institute and Isabelle gives her those first pieces of clothing, the tighter pants and the leather jacket.”
Collins, a budding fashion icon in her own right, found the designs impeccable. “It could have become very costumey, but the Shadowhunters shouldn’t look like they tried too hard. She nailed it. They just have the right vibe.”
Jonathan Rhys Meyers wanted Valentine to have a Samurai-like edge and Phillips was happy to collaborate with him on his costumes. “Of course, there’s a lot of black and there’s a lot of leather,” says Rhys Meyers. “That’s the world they live in. Leather is such a sexy fabric and it brings a certain element of danger. Valentine also has a Samurai topknot ponytail that swings during the fight scenes. It’s very effective.”
During those fight scenes, Zwart insisted on having the actors perform as much of the action as they could and the performers embraced the challenge, undertaking months of training for the film. “They’re all pretty athletic anyway,” he says. “I tried to make sure that they were able to do pretty much everything themselves, so we could avoid the old ‘cut to a double, and then cut to a close-up of the actor.’”
“We wanted to base the stunts in reality,” says Carmody. “When they’re fighting vampires or demons, they’re not doing anything way out of the ordinary. They’re not superheroes. They’re human beings who have trained all their lives to do this. Thousands of years of training has been passed down to them, so they’re very good at it.”
[Stunt Coordinator] Jean Frenette worked closely with the performers to develop fighting styles that set each of them apart. “One of the unique aspects of the project was the sheer number of varieties of characters,” says Frenette. “We have Shadowhunters, demons, vampires, werewolves. Harald wanted each of them to have signature weapons and fighting styles, so the werewolves are more animalistic and physical. The vampires might fly or leap great distances. That gave the luxury of the creating action sequences that stretch reality a little bit more.”
Because the Shadowhunters have existed throughout the world for ten centuries, Frenette was able to draw on a millennium’s worth of weapons and fighting styles from around the globe. As Jace, Jamie Campbell Bower becomes an elegant, acrobatic killing machine, as ruthlessly efficient as he is effortlessly graceful.
“Jamie trained intensely for months before shooting began,” Frenette says. “Even during production, every day he was off, we trained together. He looks very natural because we designed his stunts to showcase what he does well naturally. Jace is very agile and an expert with blades, so we put Jamie through a mixture of different types of sword work. He also studied Krav Maga, a brutal fight technique developed in Israel by the Mossad.”
Using Rhys Meyers’ Samurai analogy as inspiration, Frenette gave Valentine an expertise in Asian martial arts. “I trained with a Samurai sword and a 17th-century epee,” Rhys Meyers says. “For hand-to-hand combat, we’re using Pencak-Silat, a martial art from Indonesia and Wing Chun, which is a form of Kung Fu. They both use the other person’s body strength against them. Everything is almost elegant up until the last moment, where it’s pure danger.”
The overall result is that even during the chaotic jumble of battle, the audience will be able to identify each character. “Alec’s fighting style is violent and ferocious,” says Zegers. “It reveals a great deal about him. He’s an over-killer. And when you’re fighting side by side with people, it makes a difference for the audience if they can tell who is who.
“We were in Hotel Dumort for four days fighting with vampires and werewolves,” he notes. “No matter who the camera was on, the rest of us were all working in the background. Because of Jean’s attention to those details, people will be able to see that it’s me, and see that it’s Jamie, and see that it’s Lily or Jemima.”
Frenette worked with the filmmakers to devise unique weapons for the Shadowhunters, as well. “We tried to create something special for each of them, a weapon that fit the character,” he says. “Isabelle, for example, has a whip, which allowed us to do some very creative choreography. Jemima West had never had any fighting training, so we had to start from scratch with her and she did really well.”
West was intimidated at first, but learned to wield Isabelle’s signature weapon with panache. “Shadowhunters have been born and raised fighting,” she says. “Each of us has a specialty. As soon as I arrived, they handed me a whip. It’s a scary and quite dangerous weapon, but very elegant.”
James R. Murray, the film’s inventive propmaster, created most of the weapons from the ground up. He ingeniously disguised Isabelle’s whip as jewelry. “Throughout the books, Isabelle wears a snake bracelet on her wrist,” he says. “We built it so that as Isabelle extends her hand, the snake uncoils and becomes a whip.”
Murray and his team were responsible for a variety of custom weapons, including a wide assortment of blades. “We had so many sword meetings,” says Kulzer. “What is the difference between the blade that kills a demon, the blade that kills a vampire and the blade that kills a werewolf? The number of blade discussions that we had would blow your mind.”
The most challenging and iconic is undoubtedly the glass sword used by Shadowhunters to kill demons. “Actually crafting them from glass would have been impossible,” says Murray. “They would have weighed 17 pounds and been extremely fragile.”
Instead, his team developed a process that allowed them to mold the weapons out of acrylic and polish them until they were crystal clear. “I think we made about 60 blades in total,” says. “The first day of shooting, we brought the blades to set and they were too clear. We had to buff them out a bit.”
Cassandra Clare seems a bit awed when she looks at her creation brought to life on the big screen. “Writing is a very solitary process,” she says. “You imagine this world. These characters come to life inside your head, so you feel a little bit as if you’re chronicling a story that already exists. To come to the set of a movie and to see it in three dimensions, to see the City of Bones and the runes, to see the actors dressed as the characters was such an incredible experience. It makes me feel a little like I’m in the movie Inception. It’s like I dreamed this and now it’s become real.”
Clarissa “Clary” Fray (Lily Collins) – Clary Fray is living a low-key and relatively sheltered life in bohemian Brooklyn when her mother suddenly disappears and their apartment is left in shambles. Searching for her missing mom, the beautiful and sensitive young woman is astonished to learn that she is the descendent of a long line of Shadowhunters, human-angel hybrids charged with protecting humanity from unseen evil. As she valiantly faces a shocking new world filled with demons, vampires and werewolves to track down her mom, Clary must also learn to harness the power she has suddenly discovered and to navigate an unfamiliar tangle of new friends and adversaries—who are often difficult to tell apart.
Jace Wayland (Jamie Bower Campbell) – An orphaned Shadowhunter raised by the Lightwood family, Jace is cocky, courageous and extremely deadly. One of the world’s most ferocious and effective Shadowhunters, Jace takes Clary under his wing, introducing her to his foster siblings, Alex and Isabelle Lightwood, and their mentor, Hodge Starkweather, as she begins to put together the pieces of her family history. Angelically handsome as well as a fierce warrior, Jace finds himself drawn to Clary in a way he has never felt before, despite his friends’ objection to her presence.
Simon Lewis (Robert Sheehan) – A slightly geeky gamer with an irreverent sense of humor, Simon has been Clary’s best friend since childhood. When Clary is drawn into the treacherous world of the Shadowhunters, Simon remains by her side without any thought for his own safety. He is also completely in love with Clary, a fact that is obvious to everyone but her.
Isabelle Lightwood (Jemima West) – As slender, graceful and deadly as a dagger, Isabelle has spent her entire young life training beside Jace and Alec to hunt down the demons that threaten humankind. Accustomed to being the only female on the team, she initially resents Clary’s presence, but when she sees the newcomer’s innate skill and courage, Isabelle becomes her mentor and friend.
Alec Lightwood (Kevin Zegers) – Isabelle’s older brother and Jace’s best friend, Alec is intense and reserved. The elder of the Lightwood siblings, he is extremely protective of his family. Alec resents Clary’s intrusion on his relationship with Jace and mistrusts her motives for joining the Shadowhunters.
Hodge Starkweather (Jared Harris) – Hodge tutors the young Shadowhunters at the New York Institute, including Jace, Isabelle, Alec— and eventually Clary. A former member of Valentine Morgenstern’s infamous Circle, Hodge has been confined within the Institute walls for the past 16 years as punishment for his transgressions, and he is desperate to find a way out.
Valentine Morgenstern (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) – Valentine is a renegade Shadowhunter who formed a band of rebels known as the Circle and stole the Mortal Cup—the vessel that created the Shadowhunters 1,000 years ago. Decades of experimentation with the Cup have warped Valentine to the core, making him the most powerful Shadowhunter who has ever lived, as well as the most evil. He believes that Jocelyn stole and hid the Cup and will do anything to get it back.
Jocelyn Fray (Lena Headey) – Clary’s mother, Jocelyn was once a daring Shadowhunter herself, but she fled to a quiet life in the “mundane” world, taking her daughter into hiding with her. Believing that Jocelyn knows the whereabouts of the missing Mortal Cup, Valentine dispatches his henchmen to abduct her so that Clary will help him locate it.
Luke Garroway (Aidan Turner) – Luke is Jocelyn’s confidante and the closest thing to a father Clary has known. By day, he runs a SoHo antique store, but by night, Luke is the leader of New York City’s powerful werewolf pack. A Shadowhunter and member of the Circle, he is devoted to the Fray women and marshals the strength of his pack when he learns that Clary and Jocelyn are in danger.
Magnus Bane (Godfrey Gao) – The 800-year-old High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus appears to be in his early 20s, with an intense personal magnetism and flamboyant style that make him irresistible to both men and women. Unbeknownst to Clary, her mother has been depending on Magnus’ magic to protect the girl for many years.
Madame Dorothea (CCH Pounder) – Clary and Jocelyn’s downstairs neighbor, Madame Dorothea is a real-life witch masquerading as a store-front psychic in the “mundane” world. Although she is unaware of it, she is hiding the key to an important mystery on Jocelyn’s behalf.
Emile Pangborn and Samuel Blackwell (Kevin Durand and Robert Maillet) – Valentine’s enforcers, Pangborn and Blackwell take Jocelyn hostage in an effort to locate the Mortal Cup for their boss. Massive and ruthless, they are also deeply loyal to Valentine and his cause.
The world of The Mortal Instruments is a magical one. Mortals walk the earth ignorant of the secretive shadow world. Shadowhunters, part-angel and part-human, maintain peace and protect humans from the dangers of downworlders and demons.
Burned into the skins, runes are used by the shadowhunters to fight demons. Each rune is a mark that must be painfully carved into the skin. Some are permanent, but most disappear after they're used.
Runes possess great power and without them shadowhunters become vulnerable. Each mark has a specific purpose and use. Placement of runes is also important, as the closer it is made to the shadowhunter's heart the stronger its effectiveness. The parabati rune pairs two shadowhunters together and allows them to draw on each other's powers. The mendelin rune is an invisibility rune which can be used to hide people or objects from mundanes.Other more simple runes are more self-explanatory like the fire or acid rune.
Known by several designations, downworlders are part-human and part-demon. Downworlders are separated into several factions including warlocks, werewolves, and vampires.
Sometimes referred to as nephilim, shadowhunters can be traced back to the Bible. Several thousand years ago, a demon invasion threatened humans with extinction. To save the human race, a warlock summoned the Angel Raziel for help. Raziel mixed some of his own angelic blood with that of a human in what became known as the Mortal Cup. Those who drank the blood from the Mortal Cup became the first shadowhunters. The mandate of the shadowhunters was and shall always be to protect the mortal world from demons and rogue downworlders. Shadowhunters are governed by the Clave and call Idris their home country.
Mundanes or mundies are ordinary mortal humans. They are neither part of the Shadow world, nor can they see beings from that dimension. Demons appear to mundanes as something ordinary like a dog or even another human being. Glamours can be placed on objects or buildings to obscure them from mundanes, like in the instance of the shadowhunters’ New York Institute. If bitten by a vampire or werewolf, a mundane can be turned into a downworlder.
Vampires, also referred to as Night Children, are downworlders. Like the myths and legends, must consume blood to survive, but only rogue vampires drink the blood of humans. Like werewolves, vampires do not have demon blood, but are instead infected by demonic disease. Vampires can mesmerize mortals and have been known to use this power to control and capture human prey. If bitten by a vampire, mundanes can contract the demonic disease and consequently be turned into a vampire.
Warlocks are the only downworlders who can cast magic or possess demon blood as they are the direct offspring of humans and demons. Because of their hybridism, warlocks cannot procreate. Most warlocks possess a physical abnormality or a ‘demon’s mark’ such as goat feet, cat eyes, bat wings or lizard tails.
Werewolves, sometimes called Children of the Moon or Lycanthropes, are downworlders who shapeshift into wolves. Like vampires they are human, but have been infected by a demonic disease. Werewolves possess the strength and power of wolves whether in their human or wolf form. If a mundane is bitten by a werewolf, it can contract the demonic disease and turn into a werewolf.
Short for the Conclave, the Clave is the governing body of the shadowhunters. They hand down curses as punishment for breaking laws. The Clave meet at Alicante, capitol of Idris. Every fifteen years, the branch of the Clave called the Council signs the Accords.
New York Institute
The New York Institute is a sanctuary for shadowhunters. It is located in a gothic cathedral in New York City, but a glamour makes it invisible to ordinary humans. There are several Institutes around the world designed to offer shadowhunters refuge while away from their home country of Idris.
New York Pack
The New York Pack is a collective of werewolves who live in the Chinatown section of Manhattan.
The Circle began as the Circle of Raziel, named for the angel who created the race of shadowhunters. A group of young shadowhunters led by Valentine Morgenstern founded the group dedicated to wiping out all downworlders in an effort to purify the world and protect the shadowhunters. Most of the original members of the Circle abandoned Valentine when his directive became overwhelmingly extreme.
The Silent Brothers are archivists, but that is not all they do. They can read minds and are among the most feared of all demon hunters. They walk in darkness and do not speak, but they can crack a mortal’s mind for good or detrimental purposes.
LILY COLLINS (Clary Fray) is a rising star in Hollywood. She has already gained praise for her numerous roles in the industry and has become one of the most sought after young actresses in the business.
Collins made her film debut in the 2010 Academy Award® nominated film The Blind Side alongside Oscar® winner Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. The film, based on the Michael Lewis book, "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game" centers around a teenager who is recruited by a college football program and is groomed into an athletically and academically successful NFL prospect.
Lily was most recently seen on-screen in Josh Boone’s Stuck in Love, which follows the story of a literary celebrity who is still hung up on his ex-wife. Released in July 2013, Collins plays their college-aged daughter, who -- like mother, like daughter -- is lusted after by her aspiring-writer schoolmate, played by Logan Lerman. The film also stars Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Nat Wolff, Liana Liberato and Kristen Bell.
In May 2013, she appeared in The English Teacher starring opposite Julianne Moore, Nathan Lane and Greg Kinnear. The film follows an English teacher as her life is disrupted when a former student returns to her small town after failing as a playwright in New York.
Lily was seen in 2012 playing Snow White in Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror. She teamed up with an all-star cast including Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen and Armie Hammer as Prince Andrew Alcott.
Prior to Mirror Mirror’s release, Lily was seen on the big screen in Abduction, where she starred opposite Taylor Lautner, Sigourney Weaver, and Alfred Molina. The Lions Gate thriller follows a young man who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website. She starred as Lautner’s love interest in the film.
In 2011, she starred in the Screen Gems film Priest opposite Paul Bettany, Karl Urban and Stephen Moyer. The film, directed by Scott Stewart, centers around a warrior priest who disobeys church law by teaming with a young sheriff and a priestess to track down a group of renegade vampires who kidnapped his niece.
Collins also appeared on the small screen in 2009 in the final two episodes of the first season of the CW drama "90210.” Collins played the character of Phoebe, a West Beverly High School student and rival of Annie.
Lily has many passions aside from acting. She is a published journalist and experienced television host. She covered the presidential inauguration for Nickelodeon, both the Democratic and Republican National Convention for SEVENTEEN Magazine, she was a contributing writer for CosmoGIRL! Magazine, a host for Nickelodeon’s “Hollywood Hang” and “Countdown to Kids’ Choice!” (Nickelodeon’s unique pre-show to the 2009 Kids’ Choice Awards) as well as hosted "Live from the Red Carpet at the Oscars®" for the E! Network.
She attended the 2008 Spanish GLAMOUR Awards in Madrid where she received the “Best International Model” Award. She was also presented with the “One to Watch” award at the “2008 Young Hollywood Awards” for her hosting success. She was also the host of HOLLYWOOD LIFE Magazine’s 5th Annual “Hollywood Style Awards” in Los Angeles. The evening honored celebrities, stylists and designers; including Rachel Bilson, Jessica Simpson and Monique Lhuillier.
Collins discovered her passion for journalism at age 15, when she began working for the popular fashion magazine ELLEGIRL UK, where she designed a page informing readers on current Hollywood trends and Los Angeles hot spots.
No stranger to the camera, the entertainment industry has been a big part of her life from the time she was born in West Sussex, England. She started acting when she was an infant with a role on the British version of the television series “Growing Pains.” After moving to the states at age six, she took her love of acting and singing to the stage, performing musical theater and drama at the Youth Academy for Dramatic Arts.
Lily currently resides in Los Angeles.
JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER (Jace Wayland) is one of Britain’s brightest young stars with an extremely exciting time ahead of him.
Last year saw Jamie return to his role as ‘Caius’ in The Twilight Saga- Breaking Dawn Part 2 the penultimate installment in the hugely successful Twilight Saga, adapted from the novels by Stephenie Meyer. Jamie also appeared in The Twilight Saga- Breaking Dawn Part 1, and The Twilight Saga- New Moon. ‘Caius’ is one of the leaders of the Volturi coven of vampires, alongside a cast including Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
2011 saw Jamie in the lead role of ‘King Arthur’ in Camelot, an epic television adaptation for Channel 4 of the classic Arthurian legend which also opened for the US channel ‘Starz’ earlier in the year. Jamie starred alongside an impressive cast including Eva Green, Joseph Fiennes and Claire Forlani. In film, he starred as ’Young Oxford’ in Anonymous, a political thriller about the real author of William Shakespeare’s plays. From the award-winning director Roland Emmerich, the film also features Rhys Ifans, Rafe Spall, Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson.
Despite a short career to date Jamie can already add a number of critically acclaimed and hugely successful films to his repertoire. He made his film debut in Tim Burton’s gothic musical Sweeney Todd and the Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring in a leading role opposite Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter. Late last year he was seen in London Boulevard from the novels of the same name by Ken Bruen. The crime drama marks the directorial debut of the Oscar® winning writer William Monahan (‘The Departed’) and featured an outstanding cast including Kiera Knightley, Colin Farrell and Ray Winstone. Jamie also played the role of ‘Gellert Grindelwald’ in the hugely successful penultimate instalment of the Harry Potter series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I. His other film credits include Guy Richie’s RocknRolla with Gerard Butler and Thandie Newton and Martin Koolhoven’s Winter in Wartime.
Jamie was seen in a new adaptation for ITV of the cult 1960’s television series The Prisoner with Jim Caviezel, Hayley Atwell and Sir Ian McKellen, also seen in 2009 in the US on AMC. In 2007, he received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Douglas in the BBC’s The Dinner Party.
ROBERT SHEEHAN (Simon Lewis) IFTA Rising Star nominee, Robert Sheehan is perhaps best known for playing the much loved role of ‘Nathan’ in the BAFTA award winning Channel 4 series “Mifits.” This role saw Robert nominated for several awards including a BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actor, an IFTA for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor – Drama Series at the Monte Carlo TV Festival.
Robert has been acting since childhood, making his debut appearance in the acclaimed feature film Song for a Raggy Boy. As a teenager he went on to appear in a number of feature films including Ghostwood and Summer of the Flying Saucers. In March 2009, Robert appeared as ‘BJ’ in the Channel 4 trilogy, “Red Riding” alongside Sean Bean, David Morrissey, Andrew Garfield and Paddy Considine which aired to huge critical and popular acclaim and was nominated for several BAFTA Awards. In 2011, Robert was nominated for an IFTA in the Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television category for his role as ‘Darren’ in the Irish crime drama, “Love/Hate.” Channel 5 recently acquired seasons 1 and 2 of the hugely successful RTE’s drama series and plan to air both seasons of the show in an unbroken run of ten episodes this July. In December 2011, Robert starred opposite Stephen Fry, Christopher Eccleston and Victoria Wood in the BBC adaptation of “The Borrowers” which aired on Boxing Day. Robert’s other television credits include “Bittersweet,” “Rock Rivals,” “The Tudors,” “Bel’s Boys,” “The Clinic,” “Young Blades,” and “Foreign Exchange.”
For film, Robert starred in UK drama “Cherrybomb” opposite Rupert Grint, Kimberly Nixon and James Nesbitt which premiered at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival. He also appeared in the lead role opposite Nicholas Cage in US fantasy thriller Season of the Witch as well as playing ‘Ivan McCormick’ in Killing Bono alongside Ben Barnes and Pete Postlethwaite. Robert also took on the lead role in British horror film, Demons Never Die. In 2010, Robert provided the voice of ‘Ray’ in the animated film, A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures.
October 2011, saw Robert make his professional stage debut in the title role opposite Ruth Negga and Niamh Cusack in The Playboy of the Western World at the Old Vic which was critically acclaimed. Robert himself earned stellar reviews; Caroline McGinn of Timeout cited “Robert Sheehan makes a seriously impressive stage debut here as the lyrical chancer himself, Christy Mahon” and Keith Watson of the Metro stated “Sheehan has justifiably been marked out as a rising star”.
Last year Robert was seen in the second series of the BBC drama, “Accused,” created by Jimmy McGovern, receiving rave reviews for his performance with Huffington Post’s Caroline Frost commenting, “Robert Sheehan is a magnetic presence on the screen and surely destined for Hollywood.” He also featured in “Me and Mr. Jones,” a comedy for BBC with Neil Morrissey and Sarah Alexander.
Robert is currently filming Roberto Faenza’s Anita B, alongside Eline Powell and Antonio Cupo.
KEVIN ZEGERS (Alec Lightwood) Canadian born Kevin Zegers will will soon be seen opposite Bill Paxton and Laurence Fishburne in the film The Colony. On the small screen, Zegers was last seen starring on the hit CW teen drama, “Gossip Girl.”
Zegers is most known for his starring role in the critically acclaimed film, Transamerica for which he won the 2006 Cannes Film Festival Chopard Award, the remake of Dawn of the Dead, as well as his role of Josh Framm in the Air Bud film franchise.
Zegers other past film credits include: Fifty Dead Man Walking, The Entitled, Jane Austen Book Club, Gardens of the Night, Wrong Turn, and It’s a Boy Girl Thing.
He currently resides in Los Angeles.
LENA HEADEY (Jocelyn Fray) brings to life the role of Cersei Lannister in HBO’s epic television series “Game of Thrones,” based upon the popular fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin. The show’s highly anticipated third season will premiere on March 31, 2013. Headey was most recently seen on the big screen in the comic-book adaptation of Dredd, a futuristic 3D movie opposite Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby. She recently completed production on the feature film adaptation of Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box, based on the popular children's fantasy book series and the thriller Vigilandia alongside Ethan Hawke. She will next appear in Jon Amiel’s The Poisoners.
She previously played the title role in the Fox Network television series “The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, which continues the saga of The Terminator movies, with Headey taking over the part made famous by Linda Hamilton.
Headey’s recent film credits include Tell Tale opposite Josh Lucas and Brian Cox, the psychological horror film The Brøken, directed by Sean Ellis, The Red Baron, in which she stars as the love interest of Germany’s famed World War I flying ace, Baron Von Richthofen opposite Matthias Schweighöfer and Joseph Fiennes. She also starred in the action drama The Shooter, with Wesley Snipes.
In 2006, Headey showcased her talents in three different features: the horror thriller The Cave; the fantasy adventure The Brothers Grimm, in which she starred with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger; and the British romantic comedy Imagine Me & You, with Piper Perabo and Matthew Goode.
Headey made her feature film debut in 1992’s Waterland, playing the younger version of Jeremy Irons’ wife. She was also seen that year in the BBC television movie The Summer House. In 1993, Headey appeared in the period drama Century and the award-winning Merchant-Ivory film The Remains of the Day.
Her first leading role came in the live-action version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, and she continued to star in such independent films as Mrs. Dalloway, Face, Onegin, Gossip, Possession, Ripley’s Game and The Actors.
KEVIN DURAND (Emil Pangborn) Canadian-born Kevin Durand has developed a versatile background, beginning in comedy and Broadway then transitioning into television and film, illustrating his ability to captivate a wide range of audiences.
Durand was nominated for a 2012 Genie Award for his performance in IFC Films’ Edwin Boyd. In 2009, he was nominated for a Saturn Award for his recurring character, Martin Keamy, on the popular series “Lost”.
Durand can be seen in The Weinstein Company’s Fruitvale Station which won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It also took home the Un Certain Regard – Avenir Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. He can also be seen in Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot opposite Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon where he portrays John Mark Byers, the father of one of the murdered children in the West Memphis Three case.
Most recently, Durand completed production on Darren Aronofsky’s Noah for Paramount and New Regency alongside Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins, the independent The Last Druid: Garm Wars from acclaimed Japanese director Mamoru Oshii, Akiva Goldman’s directing debut Winter’s Tale alongside Russell Crowe and Will Smith for Warner Bros., Jack Heller’s independent thriller Dark Was the Night with Lukas Haas and reunited with director Atom Egoyan on his next feature Queen of the Night starring opposite Ryan Reynolds and Scott Speedman.
Before his film career, Durand was voted one of Canada’s funniest new comedians. In addition, he originated the role of Injun Joe in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” on Broadway.
Durand is best known for his roles in such films as David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis opposite Robert Pattinson, Screen Gems’ Resident Evil: Retribution, IFC Films’ Edwin Boyd alongside Scott Speedman, Shawn Levy’s Real Steel for Dreamworks/Disney opposite Hugh Jackman, Universal’s Robin Hood as Little John opposite Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood, James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, as Fred Dukes aka The Blob in X-Men Origins: Wolverine alongside Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiberg, Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces opposite Ben Affleck and Jeremy Piven, and Walt Becker’s Wild Hogs with John Travolta, Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence.
Durand’s other credits include: D.J. Caruso’s I Am Number Four for Dreamworks, the independent The Truth opposite Andy Garcia and Forest Whitaker, Screen Gems’ Legion with Paul Bettany, The Butterfly Effect opposite Ashton Kutcher, Jay Roach’s Mystery Alaska with Russell Crowe, Columbia Pictures’ Winged Creatures opposite Forest Whitaker and Dakota Fanning, Vertigo Entertainment’s The Echo, a series regular on “Touching Evil” and the James Cameron hit series “Dark Angel”.
He currently resides in Los Angeles.
AIDAN TURNER (Luke Garroway) is perhaps most recognized by audiences for his lead role as the vampire with a conscience, Mitchell, in BBC Three’s edgy and award-winning series Being Human, which has gained a worldwide following. This year, Turner also starred opposite Ruth Jones in the BBC Four biological drama Hattie. Turner also played the lead role, as artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in BBC One’s primetime drama “Desperate Romantics.” His other television credits include “The Clinic” for RTE and “The Tudors” for Showtime.
Turner most recently was seen as Kili, in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. Previous film appearances include Mal in Gerry Stembridge’s Alarm and Kevin in Gavin Clelland’s Porcelain.
On the stage, Turner has appeared in several productions for the Abbey Theater, including “Romeo and Juliet,” “A Cry From Heaven” and “The Plough and the Stars.” His other theater credits include “Cyrano De Bergerac,” “Titus Andronicus,” “Drive By,” “Yokohama Delegation,” “Le Merca” and “Crock of Gold.”
JEMIMA WEST (Isabelle Lightwood) was born in Paris and made her acting debut in Luc Besson’s Joan of Arc at the age of 10. She pursued her acting career while at school, appearing in various French television shows, before getting her break in the successful Canadian series “15Love.”
After graduating from The Sorbonne, having studied history of art, she landed the role of Rose in the successful French series “Maison Close.” The show, which is currently in its second season, became the highest-rated Canal Plus show of all time. West also appeared in Showtime’s second season of “The Borgias,” and the Franco-Portuguese movie Lines of Wellington, directed by Ruiz’s widow V. Sarmiento.
GODFREY GAO (Magnus Bane) was born in Taiwan and relocated with his family to Vancouver, Canada at the age of 9 where he later went on to study at Capilano University. In 2005, Gao returned to Taiwan where he began his career as a model, but quickly transitioned to acting and has appeared in several films and TV dramas.
He was most recently seen on the big screen in the highly successful Chinese romantic comedy 101 Proposals (Shanghai Media Group) which opened in theaters in China on Valentine’s Day 2013. Gao was also in the Hong Kong feature All About Women, and has also provided a voice for the Mandarin version of the international box-office smash, Toy Story 3.
Additionally, Gao starred as a lead role in the 2012 Chinese primetime television show, “The Queen of SOP.” The series was one of the highest rated programs on Hunan Television in China last year. His next series, “Gorgeous Family,” also boasted large primetime numbers. He is currently in post-production on his latest Chinese TV series "Remembering Lichuan," based on the very popular novel of the same name, where he plays the title character.
Having been dubbed the first Asian Male Supermodel; Gao has been on the cover of hundreds of magazines throughout Asia and was the face of the Louis Vuitton International Spring-Summer campaign for the 2011/2012 seasons. He has also been the face of Skii's Men's skincare line and endorsed such products as Phillips Fast Power Touch Shaver and Audi cars.
Gao speaks fluent English and Mandarin.
CCH POUNDER (Madame Dorothea) Award-winning actress CCH Pounder can currently be seen in the Syfy network series, “Warehouse 13.” Other notable projects include the feature films Avatar and Orphan, and the television shows, Revenge, Law & Order: SVU and HBO's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which garnered Ms. Pounder her fourth Emmy® nomination.
For seven years, Pounder portrayed Claudette Wyms on the critically acclaimed FX series, “The Shield,” which earned her many accolades including an Emmy® nomination, the MIB Prism Award, two Golden Satellite Awards and the Genii Excellence in TV Award. Other honors for Ms. Pounder include an Emmy® nomination for her role as Dr. Angela Hicks on the NBC series ER and an Emmy® nomination for her role in FOX's “The X-Files.” In addition, she received a Grammy® Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for “Grow Old Along With Me, The Best Is Yet To Be” and won an AUDIE, the Audio Publishers Association's top honor, for “Women In The Material World.”
Film credits include Bagdad Cafe, Prizzi's Honor, Postcards From The Edge, Robocop 3, Sliver, Tales From The Crypt, Face/Off and End Of Days.
Ms. Pounder is a founding member of Artists for a New South Africa and a Board Member of the African Millennium Foundation. An advocate for the arts, Ms. Pounder is active in the Creative Coalition and has nourished emerging artists through the Pounder Kone Art Space and the Musee Boribana in Senegal, which she founded with her husband. A graduate of Ithaca College, Ms. Pounder recently received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the school and was their 2010 Commencement Speaker.
JARED HARRIS (Hodge Starkweather) A classically trained stage actor and former member of London’s famed Royal Shakespeare Company, Jared Harris’ prolific career continuously showcases his ability to easily transition from one character to another, garnering him great praise and keeping him in the company of some of today’s most creative talent in film, television and stage projects.
On television, Harris reprised his role last March as 1960’s ad executive ‘Lane Pryce’ for the fifth season of AMC’s award winning drama “Mad Men,” for which he earned his first Emmy® nomination in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. The show itself has garnered three consecutive Golden Globes® for Best Drama Series, the first and only series to ever do so, and four consecutive Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Drama Series. “Mad Men” was nominated once again for a 2012 Emmy® in the same category.
Harris recently appeared in Steven Spielberg’s 2012 critically acclaimed Lincoln biopic, opposite Daniel Day Lewis, as the iconic Civil War Hero, ‘General Ulysses S. Grant.’ The film, which is based on historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s best-selling book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, focuses on the political collision of the former president and his cabinet as they face the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War. Since its release in November 2012, Lincoln has earned several awards nominations and wins, including a Golden Globe® Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama and an Academy Award® nomination for Best Picture.
In 2011, Harris starred as ‘Professor Moriarty’ in Warner Bros.’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the sequel to the 2009 film based on the fiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film also starred Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Noomi Rapace.
Harris’ extensive film career includes his appearance alongside Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in David Fincher’s 2008 film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and a riveting portrayal of Andy Warhol in the acclaimed I Shot Andy Warhol. Harris made his film debut in 1989’s The Rachel Papers, which was also the directorial debut of his brother Damian, and has since gone on to appear in over fifty films in a wide array of roles, including the sleazy Russian cab driver ‘Vladimir’, in Todd Solondz’s Happiness, for which the cast received the 1999 National Board of Review Acting Ensemble Award. Additional credits include Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans, Sylvia, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, Igby Goes Down, Mr. Deeds, Extraordinary Measures with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser, and John Carpenter’s The Ward, among others.
Harris has accumulated an impressive list of television credits in both England and the U.S., including a highly acclaimed performance as ‘Henry VIII’ for the BBC production of The Other Boleyn Girl. Additional BBC credits include the mini-series To the Ends of the Earth and the starring role in Coup!. Stateside, Harris has been seen in recurring roles for both “The Riches” and “Fringe” and has guest-starred on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Without a Trace.” He also portrayed John Lennon in the 2000 television drama and original VH1 film “Two of Us.”
Harris has appeared with some of the most renowned theater companies in both London and New York, and made his American stage debut as ‘Hotspur’ in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2. He then went on to perform with the company in both Tis Pity She’s A Whore and King Lear. Additional stage credits include the New Group’s Obie Award-winning production of Mike Leigh’s Ecstasy, the New Jersey Shakespeare Company’s experimental production of Hamlet, in which he played the title role, the Almeida Theatre’s production of Tennessee William’s bittersweet comedy A Period of Adjustment and the title role in the Vineyard Theater’s production of More Lies About Jerzy.
Harris was born in London, and is the son of Irish actor, Richard Harris. He attended North Carolina’s Duke University, where he majored in drama and literature and after graduation, studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Harris currently lives in Los Angeles.
JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS (Valentine) first gained international attention and a London Film Critics Circle Award for his starring role in Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine with Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale and Toni Collette. Since then, Rhys Meyers has snatched up a Golden Globe Award for his starring role in the CBS television miniseries “Elvis” and was honored again when he received his 2nd Golden Globe nomination for his role as Henry the VIII in “The Tudors.” Rhys Meyers continues to land leading roles opposite today’s hottest film actors and directors, and has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading men.
Rhys Meyers will star as the lead in the highly anticipated NBC drama “Dracula” produced by Colin Callender and Tony Krantz. “Dracula” began production in January 2013.
Rhys Meyers received the great honor of a Golden Globe Award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie” for his portrayal of the young Elvis Presley in the television miniseries “Elvis.” In addition to this honor he received an Emmy® nomination for his role. The flawless portrayal of the “king” by a young Irish actor floored critics and audiences alike.
Rhys Meyers starred opposite Natalia Vodianova in Belle Du Seigneur, the English-language adaptation of Albert Cohen's epic Swiss tale of a tortured love affair between a high-ranking Jewish official and the protestant wife of one of his employees.
Rhys Meyers appeared in the critically acclaimed feature Albert Nobbs. In the film he starred opposite Glenn Close and Brendan Gleeson. The film, directed by Rodrigo Garcia, centers around a woman (Close) in 19th century Ireland who distinguishes herself as a man in order to survive.
In From Paris With Love directed by Pierre Morel, Rhys Meyers starred opposite John Travolta. The film centers around a young embassy worker (Rhys Meyers) and an American secret agent (Travolta) who cross paths while working on a high-risk mission in Paris.
In 2010 Rhys Meyers concluded his run as Henry the VIII in the fourth and final season of the Showtime original series “The Tudors.” The series, which earned Rhys Meyers two Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of the king, focused on the rarely depicted, turbulent early years of Henry’s life including his romantic and political relationships. “The Tudors” was created by Michael Hirst and was directed by a variety of award winning directors including, Charles McDougall. “The Tudors” enjoyed excellent ratings over its four seasons.
Rhys Meyers showed great range in the musical romance August Rush alongside an all-star cast including Terrance Howard, Robin Williams and Keri Russell. The story centers around an orphaned musical prodigy who uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents, Rhys Meyers and Russell. The film was directed by In America’s Kirsten Sheridan.
Rhys Meyers was seen in the blockbuster action sequel Mission Impossible III in which he co-starred with Tom Cruise, Laurence Fishburne, and Phillip Seymour Hoffmann under the direction of J.J. Abrams.
Rhys Meyers earned critical acclaim for his role in the edgy film by Woody Allen, Match Point. Dubbed as Allen’s “comeback,” the film was nominated for three Golden Globes including “Best Picture.” Match Point, which co-starred Scarlett Johansson, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 with Rhys Meyers winning the festival’s Chopard Trophy for Male Revelation.
Rhys Meyers is also recognized for his role as the girls’ soccer coach in the award-winning sleeper hit Bend it Like Beckham in which he starred with Keira Knightly and Parminder Nagra. Rhys Meyers other film credits include starring roles in Oliver Stone’s epic Alexander, with Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie; and Mira Nair’s Vanity Fair, with Reese Witherspoon.
On the small screen, Rhys Meyers has starred in a wide range of longform projects, both here and in the U.K. Among his television credits are the Showtime presentation of “The Lion in Winter,” with Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close; Alfonso Arau’s “The Magnificent Ambersons”; “Gormenghast”; “The Tribe”; and “Samson and Delilah.”
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Rhys Meyers made his film debut in A Man of No Importance, and then played the young assassin in Neil Jordan’s biopic Michael Collins His subsequent film credits have included The Maker, Telling Lies in America, starring Kevin Bacon; The Governess, opposite Minnie Driver; the thriller B. Monkey; Mike Figgis’ The Loss of Sexual Innocence; Ang Lee’s Western Ride with the Devil; Julie Taymor’s Titus, with Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange; Prozac Nation, opposite Christina Ricci; The Tesseract; the crime drama I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, with Clive Owen and Charlotte Rampling; and The Emperor’s Wife.
Rhys Meyers currently resides in London.
HARALD ZWART (Director) Filmmaker Harald Zwart has established himself as a leading voice in a generation of internationally trained filmmakers, directing across a number of genres for film, television, commercials, and music.
Zwart most recently directed 2010’s The Karate Kid, a culture-melting coming of age story starring Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan and Taraji P. Henson. The film opened to critical acclaim and grossed over $359 million worldwide.
Born in Holland and raised in Fredrikstad, Norway, Zwart began making films when he was eight, and received his formal training at the prestigious Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam. After his student film Gabriel’s Surprise was shown on Scandinavian television, he began directing television commercials, where he quickly proved to be one of Europe’s most successful advertising and music video directors. Zwart’s commercial credits include BMW Mini, ING, Sky Television Capital One, and Nokia, and he has won numerous awards for his commercial work.
In 1997, Zwart made his debut as a long-form filmmaker with Commander Hamilton, a 4-part mini-series for Scandinavian television. After an overwhelmingly positive response from both critics and audiences, a feature-length version was released theatrically and became the region’s top-grossing film of the year, cementing Zwart as a prolific Scandinavian talent. Zwart’s American film debut followed in 2001 with One Night at McCool’s, which showcased Zwart’s talent for complex narrative, edgy humor, and inspired casting with stars Liv Tyler, Michael Douglas, Matt Dillon and Paul Reiser.
Zwart went on to shoot the action/adventure film Agent Cody Banks, and Pink Panther II, starring Steve Martin. He became the first Norwegian director to be accepted as a member of the Director’s Guild of America and was named by Variety as one of “10 Directors to Watch.”
A classically trained pianist, Zwart divides his time between Los Angeles and Oslo, and continues to direct commercials and develop feature projects through Zwart Arbeid, the company he founded with Veslemoey Ruud Zwart.
JESSICA POSTIGO PAQUETTE (Screenplay by) was born in Philadelphia, PA but raised in the Basque Country in northern Spain where she began her professional career as a political journalist for a national newspaper. She moved on to work for the country’s top independent ad agency where she created award-winning campaigns for international clients, including Newsweek, Converse and Renault.
Her lifelong passion for filmmaking inspired her to move to Los Angeles where she began working in production. After line producing the documentary Better Living Through Circuitry, she went on to develop screenplays for various production companies, which ultimately led her to writing them for major studios. Amongst others are her adaptation of the National Book and Newberry Award winning YA novel by Nancy Farmer The House of the Scorpion for Warner Brothers and the true story of Columbian hostage rescue mission Operation Checkmate for Sony Pictures. She also adapted the new animated Tarzan 3D movie based on the classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs currently in production.
CASSANDRA CLARE (Based on the book by) was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood traveling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father's backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old. Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm.
After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina's world travels and Britney Spears' wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, the first book of the Mortal Instruments, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favorite city. The Mortal Instruments went on to be New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers, as did the companion series, The Infernal Devices. Cassandra lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and three cats.
ROBERT KULZER (Producer) German born producer Robert Kulzer was named co-president of Constantin Film Development Los Angeles in May 2005, where he had worked as head of production from October 2000 to April 2005, and as head of development and acquisition from 1991 to 2000.
Among his acquisitions for Constantin Film were American Pie (1999), The Sixth Sense (1999) and Sleepy Hollow (1999). He also contributed to the production of The House of the Spirits (1993), Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997), Wrongfully Accused (1998) and The Fantastic Four (2005). Among his executive producers credits are Resident Evil (2002) and Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and the UK thriller The Dark (2005), starring Maria Bello and Sean Bean. He wrote and produced the German action comedy Autobahn Racer (2004), and produced the survival horror film Wrong Turn (2003), the action-adventure DOA – Dead or Alive (2006) and the action-thriller Skinwalkers (2006), as well as Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), the highest grossing independent film of 2007, the sci-fi horror film Pandorum (2009), and Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), the fourth installment of the Resident Evil movie franchise, which was filmed in 3D. In 2011 Robert Kulzer produced the The Three Musketeers (2011), which at the time was the largest European film to be shot in 3D, followed by Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), the fifth part of the Resident Evil franchise, a film series that has grossed over $900 Million in the worldwide Box Office.
Robert Kulzer’s most recent production The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013), an adaptation of the best selling Young Adult novels by Cassandra Clare will open worldwide in Summer 2013. Followed by Tarzan (2013), an animated adaptation of the classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 3D, using the largest motion capture set built in Europe to date.
Currently Robert Kulzer is producing Pompeii (2014) an epic disaster movie with Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) and the romantic comedy Love, Rosie (2014) starring Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire).
DON CARMODY (Producer) has been producing films for close to 40 years. He was vice-president of production for Canada’s Cinepix (now Lions Gate Films), where he co-produced David Cronenberg’s early shockers They Came From Within and Rabid as well as the popular comedy Meatballs.
Starting his own production company in 1980, Carmody went on to produce the smash hits Porky’s and Porky’s II, as well as the classic A Christmas Story, the Weekend at Bernie’s series, and The Late Shift which was nominated for seven Emmy® Awards and three Cable Ace awards.
His credits include some 100 films thus far, including the Academy Award® nominated Good Will Hunting, 54, The Pledge, Wrong Turn, Gothika, the cult hit The Boondock Saints films, Assault on Precinct 13, Lucky Number Slevin, Orphan, and the Resident Evil films, the 4th installment of which grossed over 300 million dollars worldwide and has become Canada’s reigning Box office champion.
Don Carmody Productions produces quality Canadian content features such as Polytechnique, which was invited to the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes 2009. He has won the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television’s Golden Reel Award, which honors the highest grossing Canadian Feature Film, an unprecedented six times – for Meatballs, Porky’s, Johnny Mnemonic, Art of War, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Afterlife and Resident Evil: Retribution.
Aside from his own productions, Don Carmody Productions also produces feature films for many of the major Hollywood studios and has been responsible for bringing more than $2 billion U.S. in projects to Canada. Some recent examples are Amelia, for 20th Century Fox and Gothika, Whiteout and Orphan for Warners and Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Productions.
In 2002, he was Co-Producer of Chicago starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, which won 7 Academy Awards® including Best Picture and 3 Golden Globe Awards including Best Musical/Comedy.
Recent Productions include Goon with Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber and Eugene Levy, the sequel to his hit film Silent Hill, as well as the fifth installment of his Resident Evil franchise. Don is currently in production on Pompeii.
Don Carmody grew up in Boston and Montreal and has gone on to produce films all over the world. He currently has offices in Toronto and Los Angeles.
In spite of his busy schedule, Don is always willing to answer questions from up-and -coming filmmakers. No pitches please. You can reach him through his website at: http://www.doncarmody.com. You are also able to access many of his films’ theatrical trailers and one sheets there as well.
His complete filmography is available on IMDB.
BOB SHAYE (Executive Producer) founded New Line Cinema in 1967 and guided the company's growth from a privately held distributor of art films into the entertainment industry’s top independent motion picture production and distribution company.
While working at the Museum of Modern Art, Shaye first began to explore the world of distribution. In 1967, he formed New Line Cinema in his Greenwich Village apartment. Building on early re-releases such as Reefer Madness and college distribution of foreign films, New Line broke out commercially with the release of such films as Godard’s Rolling Stones Sympathy for the Devil, the popular Street Fighter series, Academy Award® Winner Get Out Your Handkerchiefs. But it was the significant commercial success of Nightmare on Elm Street that set the stage for an IPO and the emergence of a full-fledged commercial distribution and production organization. A string of hits over thirty years followed, including such audience-pleasing films as Elf, Wedding Crashers, Dumb & Dumber, The Notebook, Hairspray, The Mask, Freddy vs. Jason, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Oscar®-nominated A History of Violence, Monster-in-Law, Seven, Critters series, Austin Powers series, Rush Hour series and The Final Destination series. In total, Shaye has overseen the production and/or the distribution of close to 600 feature motion picture films.
In 1998, when writer/director Peter Jackson brought his 25-minute pitch reel for a big screen epic of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings to New Line, hoping to turn the three volumes into two films. Shaye suggested Jackson make three films and greenlit an unprecedented simultaneous production for all three installments. Combined, The Lord of the Rings trilogy was nominated for 30 Oscars®, winning 17, including a clean sweep of 11 awards for The Return of the King, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. At the box office, all three films are among the top 10 grossing films of all time, earning a combined total of nearly $3 billion worldwide.
Shaye also produced and directed two feature films. 1991’s coming of age story based on Bill Kotzwinkle’s JACK IN THE BOX, Book of Love and the sci-fi adventure film, The Last Mimzy, in 2007, based on Lewis Padgett’s short story “Mimzy Were the Borogroves”.
In June 2008, Shaye and his longtime partner at New Line, Michael Lynne, departed New Line and formed a new independent film company, Unique Features. Unique currently has in development 10 feature film projects. Particularly noteworthy among these are Sailing to Byzantium from a prize winning Sci-Fi novella by Robert Silverberg; Middle Earth, a biography of JRR Tolkien; Heavy Rain, a mystery-thriller adapted from the best-selling video game, written by David Milch; Retaliation the retelling of classic Japanese 50’s gangster saga in collaboration with the Japanese company, Nikkatsu, and High In the Clouds, an animated feature written for the screen by Josh Klausner (Shrek Ever After) and to be directed by Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little & The Lion King) with an original score by Paul McCartney.
Shaye earned a degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and his J.D. degree from Columbia University Law School. He is a Fulbright Scholar, a member of the New York State Bar, and he has served on the Board of Trustees for the Neuroscience Institute, Motion Picture Pioneers, the American Film Institute and the Legal Aid Society of New York.
MICHAEL LYNNE (Executive Producer) is a Principal of Unique Features LLC, a new film production company with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Prior to the launch of Unique Features, Mr. Lynne was Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of New Line Cinema Corporation. During his almost 25 year long association with the company and its founder, Bob Shaye, he was a driving force in its becoming the most successful, fully integrated independent film company in the world, with divisions devoted to the production, marketing and distribution of theatrical motion pictures. Mr. Lynne was an Executive Producer of New Line’s historically successful The Lord of the Rings trilogy, of which the final installment, The Return of the King, was the winner of 11 Academy Awards®, including best picture. New Line Cinema produced and/or distributed nearly 600 feature films, including Elf, Wedding Crashers, Dumb and Dumber, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Player, Seven, Austin Powers and Rush Hour.
Unique Features is currently in active development on an exciting slate of feature film and television projects, including Middle Earth, a biography of J.R.R. Tolkien; High in the Clouds an animated feature to be written by Josh Klausner (Shrek Ever After) with an original score by Paul McCartney; and Retaliation a retelling of a classic 50’s gangster saga, in collaboration with the Japanese company, Nikkatsu. In television, the company is developing a series for Showtime with Bennett Miller and Kristin Gore as-writers and Miller as director and, also, an event miniseries for the History Channel based on the acclaimed WWII book The Liberator: 500 Days written by Alex Kershaw.
Mr. Lynne is a member of the Boards of the Museum of Modern Art and Citymeals-on-Wheels and chairs the Museum Committee of Guild Hall of East Hampton. Mr. Lynne is a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School and is a long-time trustee of the Brooklyn College Foundation. He is also on the Board of the publicly traded REIT, Vornado Realty Trust, and the entertainment and technology company, Imax Corporation. Mr. Lynne is a member of the New York Bar and received his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1964. He graduated from Brooklyn College in 1961 as an English Literature Major.
MARTIN MOSKOWICZ (Executive Producer) Martin Moszkowicz has been involved in well over 150 feature films as producer, executive producer, co-producer or managing director of Constantin Film. Mr. Moszkowicz’s long list of producing achievements include German and English language productions such as Caroline Link’s Oscar®-winning epic Nowhere in Africa (2001), Downfall (2004), Perfume – the Story of a Murderer (2006), Pope Joan (2009), Wickie the Mighty Viking (2009), the Resident Evil film franchise, The Three Musketeers (2011), Carnage (2011) and the German box office success Turkish for Beginners (2012). Among his current projects are the motion capture CGI reboot of Tarzan® (2013), as well as the action-adventure epic Pompeii and the romantic comedy Love, Rosie, both currently in post-production and slated for a 2014 release.
In his capacity as member of the Executive Board of Constantin Film AG, Mr. Moszkowicz is responsible for the company's film & television business, including worldwide production, distribution, marketing and publicity.
A graduate of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Mr. Moszkowicz began his film career in physical production as a production manager and line producer, before turning to producing films himself. In 1985, he became producer and managing director of Munich based production outfit M+P Film GmbH. In 1991, Mr. Moszkowicz joined Constantin Film as producer and was named managing director in 1996, a position he held through the company’s successful IPO in 1999. Mr. Moszkowicz has been a member of the Executive Board of Constantin Film AG since then.
Mr. Moszkowicz is also a member of the executive board of the German Producers Association and chairman of the supervisory board of German Films.
VESLEMØY RUUD ZWART (Co-Executive Producer) Veslemøy Ruud Zwart is one of Norway’s most experienced female producers, splitting her time between Los Angeles and Oslo. She is a founder and CEO of the feature production company Zwart Arbeid and the commercial production company, Motion Blur Inc.. Zwart’s producing credits include: One Night at McCool’s (2000), Agent Cody Banks (2002), Lange Flate Ballær (2006), Lange Flate Ballær 2 (2008) and numerous international, award-winning commercials.
Zwart is also an eager women's rights and human rights activist and produced the Documentary “Women in White” about the women affected by the Black Spring of 2003 in Cuba and their unique, non-violent form of protest against the Cuban regime. The documentary stirred up reactions worldwide.
Veslemoey was educated in Law, Political Science and Criminology, at the University of Oslo and lives with her family between Los Angeles and Oslo.
GEIR HARTLY ANDREASSEN, F.S.F. (Director of Photography) has served as cinematographer since 1996 on featurefilms and commercials. He is a member of the Swedish Cinematographers society. His recent movies are The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Kon-Tiki, Max-Manus, Så olika, 2023, Darling, Long Flat Balls I & II, Babas Cars.
He has a Bachelor of Arts in Cinematography from Stockhlom Academy of Dramatic Arts where he studied under Sven Nykvist (ASC).
He received the ”Guldbaggen” Award for best Cinematography in Sweden 2008 for ”Darling” and the Amanda award, in addition to the Kosmorama award for best Cinematography, in Norway 2009 for ”Max Manus”.
His recent movie ”Kon-Tiki” earned a Golden Globe nomination and is shortlisted for the Oscar®, Best Foreign Language Film 2013.
FRANCOIS SEGUIN (Production Designer) began his career in film in Canada as a set dresser and decorator. As a production designer, he includes among his impressive list of credits Afterglow, The Barbarian Invasions, The Red Violin, Lucky Number Slevin, Silk, and Push. He previously collaborated with Harald Zwart on The Karate Kid.
GERSHA PHILLIPS’ (Costume Designer) international eye for fashion is well deserved. Born in England to parents of Caribbean and African descent, she and her family moved to Canada when she was twelve years old. Since then her work has carried her all over the world.
Formally trained in fashion design, Phillips’ earliest work experience included, window display, store merchandising, pattern making and manufacturing for an independent label, and starting her own line of clothing. One fateful day, she spied a credit for “costume designer” while watching the credits for the feature film, Beaches and a seed was planted. Beginning her career as a volunteer for the Canadian Film Center, Phillips graduated from assistant to lead costumer over the course of her first production. Stage works, music videos and photo-shoots quickly followed. She has been moving full steam ever since.
Her numerous film credits include Foxfire directed by Laurent Cantet, and Home Again, both of which premiered at Tiff 2012. Other film credits include The Whistleblower (Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci, David Strathairn), Defendor (Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings), Traitor (Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce), Hurricane Season (Forest Whitaker, Taraji P Henson), First Sunday, (Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, Talk to Me (Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taraji Henson), Narc (Ray Liotta, Jason Patrick), Walking Tall (The Rock, Johnny Knoxville), Are We There Yet? (Ice Cube, Nia Long), and Owning Mahoney (Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Minnie Driver). For television her credits include the Emmy®-nominated A Raisin in the Sun (Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sanaa Lathan) and the first season of Falling Skies (Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton),
For the stage, Phillips has also received a Dora award nomination for her work on Florence Gibson’s “Belle.”
MR. X INC. (Digital Visual Effects) is a digital studio specializing in feature film visual effects and animation. By collaborating with filmmakers from pre-production through post, Mr. X helps to define the very look and feel of a film. With recent credits such as Resident Evil : Retribution, Cosmopolis, The Three Musketeers, Hanna, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, and TRON: Legacy, Mr. X continues to demonstrate its passion for visual story telling.
ATLI ÖRVARSSON (Music by) From historical epics to courtroom drama to tales of the supernatural, Icelandic composer Atli Orvarsson has provided innovative scores to tell all of these stories. Orvarsson’s talent, experience, versatility, and skill combine with his Icelandic roots to produce an individualized and compelling style. Orvarsson’s credits include orchestrating and writing music for some of Hollywood’s biggest projects, including the Pirates of the Caribbean series. He has contributed music to films including Angels and Demons and The Holiday, and has scored numerous films including The Eagle, Vantage Point, Babylon A.D, the Morgan Freeman caper Thick as Thieves, The Fourth Kind and the Nicolas Cage medieval fantasy Season of the Witch. Orvarsson’s most recent credits include the drama/thriller A Single Shot starring Sam Rockwell, the hit NBC series “Chicago Fire,” and working with Hans Zimmer to contribute music to the Zack Snyder Superman reinstallment Man of Steel.
Originally from the small town of Akureyri, Orvarsson earned three platinum and two gold records as a member of the Icelandic band Salin hans Jons mins before studying film composing at Berklee College of Music and the North Carolina School of the Arts. Orvarsson was the recipient of the Pete Carpenter fellowship, which brought him to Los Angeles where he began working alongside TV veteran Mike Post on projects such as “NYPD Blue” and “Law and Order.” Orvarsson soon caught the attention of the highly renowned composer Hans Zimmer who extended an invitation to Orvarsson to join Zimmer’s team at Remote Control Studios. In addition to critical acclaim, Orvarsson has received several ASCAP awards for his work and was nominated for the prestigious World Soundtrack Academy’s Discovery of the Year Award for his score for “Babylon A.D.”
STEPHANIE CORSALINI LIGORNER (Casting by) is currently casting Kyle Newman’s independent action comedy Barely Lethal staring Samuel Jackson and Hailee Steinfeld. Previous credits include Dennis Lee’s Jesus Henry Christ starring Michael Sheen and Toni Collette, Gabor Csupo’s Bridge to Terabithia starring Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb and Bailee Madison, Richard Shepard’s The Hunting Party starring Richard Gere, Jesse Eisenberg and Terrence Howard, and Stolen starring John Hamm, Jessica Chastain and Josh Lucas.
Prior to moving to LA from NY, Stephanie was a junior partner to Casting heavyweight Louis DiGiaimo, working with some of the industry’s most visionary talents such as Ridley Scott on his Oscar® winning film Gladiator, Sidney Lumet on his television series “100 Center Street”, Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana on their Emmy® award winning series “Homicide” and James Toback on his groundbreaking film Black and White.
Born in NY, Stephanie is a graduate of the esteemed Theatre Directing Program at Marymount Manhattan College. She is known for having an eye for talent and has cast a myriad of actors at very early stages in their careers.