From Page To Screen (52) The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones

For this weeks From Page To Screen I'll be comparing the book turned film The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

First let's discuss the book.
Here is a bit of back story in case some of you aren't familiar with the novel. City of Bones is a novel written by the Author Cassandra Clare. The book was originally published March 27, 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry. City of Bones received mostly positive reviews upon release and quickly shot up the Bestseller lists. City of Bones is the first book in the Mortal Instruments Series.

 Let's take a look at some of the characters now, shall we.
Clary Fray- Raised by her divorced mother, Jocelyn Fray/Fairchild, a former Shadowhunter, and the werewolf Lucian 'Luke' Garroway/Graymark, a family friend who served as a father figure to Clary. All traces of the magical world were hidden from her in an attempt to keep her safe and have her live a normal non-Shadowhunter life. She is a little over 5 feet tall, with bright red hair, green eyes, freckles, and described as looking almost identical to her mother. She is an artist, like her mother, often drawing out her emotions in pictures - her version of a diary.

Jace Lightwood- A Shadowhunter who was orphaned at a young age due to his Father's murder. He is said to be the best Shadowhunter of his age, his father having trained him before death. He is described as having golden hair, eyes, and skin. He initially dislikes Clary but finds himself oddly attracted to her. He is surprised to learn that she is much more than she appears to be.

Main differences between the book and film.
In case some of you aren't familiar with the film, here is a bit of back story. City of Bones is a film directed by Harald Zwart and was released August 21, 2013 by Screen Gems (Entertainment One in U.K.). Initially Cassandra Clare had a hard time pitching The Mortal Instruments film to Studios due to the book having a Female lead. She was asked by several studios to make Clary a male. Needless to say she declined.  The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was made for $60 million and to date has grossed only half that at the box office. The Mortal Instruments has received mostly negative reviews from critics. The Review site Rotten Tomatoes claimed that the film was "Bogged down by narrative clutter and tween-targeted supernatural romance, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones borrows ingredients from seemingly every fantasy franchise of the last 30 years—but can't seem to figure out what to do with them". Despite this it was announced that a film adaptation of the second book of the The Mortal Instruments series, City of Ashes, will start production on September 23, 2013 with a 2014 release date.

Main differences between the book and the film
 Jace, Clary and Simon are searching Luke's. When he enters they hide and witness him casually talking to Pangborn and Blackwell. Clary and Jace enter Luke's, leaving Simon outside. Luke is already inside, being tortured by Pangborn and Blackwell. Clary asks Jace to save him. 
Hodge tries to kill Clary after he gives Jace and the Moral Cup to Valentine. Luke ends up saving her.
Hodge helps Valentine summon the demons but then helps Isabelle and Simon shut down the pentagram.

Clary doesn't know she has a gift of drawing runes until the second book.
Clary quickly learns to draw a rune to freeze demons. She also draws a rune that has the effect of telekinesis.
The Mortal Cup is hidden in Idris by Valentine.Clary hides the Mortal Cup in a tarot card.
Simon is turned into a rat by a potion. Simon does NOT get turned into a rat. He is however drugged and used as bait to lure Clary and the other Shadowhunters into Hotel Dumort.

Clary and Jace rescue Simon from Hotel Dumort.
Isabelle and Alec join Clary and Jace on the rescue mission.

Were led to believe that Jace and Clary are siblings.
Hodge gives Valentine the idea to lie to Jace and Clary about them being related.

Isabelle leads the Eidolon demon into a storage room at the Pandemonium Club.
Jace, Clary and Isabelle kill the demon in the middle of the nightclub.
Demons never make it into the institute. Valentine brings demons into the institute with him.
Jace recognizes Valentine as his father.Jace has to be reminded that Valentine raised him.
This does not happen.Simon shows signs of becoming a vampire.
The final fight takes place at Valentine's lair.

The final fight takes place at the institute.

These are the major differences I noticed when the book was taken From Page To Screen. I know that I've missed a few key points but these are what I noticeably could pick up on when watching the film. Which however do I prefer? Hands down the book, no comparison. While the film isn't a complete train wreck it isn't really that good either. Clary is so boring in the movie compared to her book counterpart. Sure she's annoying in the book but at least she isn't flat. Whether it was just bad writing or bad acting remains to be seen but I will say that Lily Collins might be this series equivalent of K. Stewart and that is unfortunate. Also I really didn't like the actor who played Jace. I always pictured him being played on screen by  Jackson Rathbone who played Jasper in the Twilight films. Lastly, they changed to much of the story. I really hate when directors incorporate plot from further books instead of just using the source material as written. I'd rather a director take liberties with the script then spoil further books for the viewer. Now the one thing I really did like about the film compared to the book was Valentine. I LOVE me some Jonathan Rhys Meyers and he pulls off the role brilliantly. Definitely check out the book as it is far superior to the film. I will recommend checking out the movie but either stick with a Matinee or wait for the DVD. I think you'll be disappointed if you paid full price to see this.

Still not convinced? Check out the trailer below!

Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Have a recommendation for an upcoming From Page To Screen, let me know in the comments below!

Have you read the book or watched the film? 
Which did you like better? Why? 

Just for fun:
If you've read any of Cassandra Clare's work before Which book is your favorite?

Leave your answers in the comments below, I love to read your responses.


  1. Sounds about as I expected. I'm waiting for it to hit On Demand, lol. I hated most of the casting for this movie: I always pictured the Pettyfer as Jace and I had envisioned Jason Isaacs as Valentine. He plays a terrific villain. Honestly, I'm kind of over these books in general, and not just because of this adaptation. I really wish she'd left it at three books. I'll read the last book in this series because I'm a finisher, but I don't think I'll be picking up her other series based on Shadowhunters. (Not including The Infernal Devices, which I actually loved more than TMI.) Thanks for the honest review!


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