Lily Collins;Jamie Campbell Bower;Kevin Zegers

Poor box office sank plans for a second Mortal Instruments movie, but the franchise will live on in a different form. ABC Family has set McG to direct the first episode of Shadowhunters, based on the fantasy YA series by Cassandra Clare. More details on the Mortal Instruments TV series after the jump. 

Deadline reports McG will executive produce the series in addition to directing. Ed Decter (Unforgettable, The Client List, In Plain Sight) will executive produce, write, and serve as showrunner. Shadowhunters already has a series order from ABC Family. Shooting begins this May in Toronto.

Shadowhunters follows a similar premise as The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, with a few tweaks. The protagonist is Clary Fray, who upon turning 18 discovers she’s descended from a long line of Shadowhunters (i.e., half-angel warriors who battle demons). After her mother Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary goes on a journey of self-discovery through the world of faeries, warlocks, vampires, and werewolves.

Constantin Films initially seemed optimistic about 2013’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, getting the ball rolling on the sequel (subtitled City of Ashes) before the first film was even in theaters. But when it underperformed, the follow-up was delayed indefinitely.

Nevertheless, Constantin remained determined to make something of the property. Since it started as a popular series of books, it already has a built-in fanbase, and according to executive board chairman Martin Moszkowicz, the film has done brisk business on DVD. So last year, they put plans in motion for a Mortal Instruments TV show.

Shadowhunters continues McG’s relationship with ABC Family, as he also recently directed their pilot Kevin From Work. His other TV credits include NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura and Chuck, and Fox’s Fastlane. On the film side, he is coming off of the Kevin Costner thriller Three Days to Kill.

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