Columbia Pictures Dumps The Boys Adaptation & Screen Gems Drops The Mortal Instruments
02.12.12 by BJSprecher
Following hot on the heels of the news that Legendary Pictures has pulled the plug on director Alex Proyas' (I, Robot) planned adaptation of John Milton's 17-century poem about the Fall of Man, Paradise Lost, that would have seen Bradley Cooper play the devil, two more movie adaptations have bitten the dust. According to THR, Columbia Pictures has dumped director Adam McKay's (Anchorman, The Other Guys) live-action adaptation of the violent anti-superhero comic book The Boys that has been in development for nearly four years, and Screen Gems has dropped Scott Charles Stewart's (Priest) adaptation of Cassandra Clare's young adult fantasty series The Mortal Instruments.
The Boys, created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson, is a violent comic book series about governement fixers who keep superheroes that abuse their powers in line...by any means necessary. The screenplay adaptation written by Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay (Clash of the Titans) was apparently good enough to entice McKay to sign on to direct, even though he once said that he "would never direct anything" he didn't write. THR offered no explanation for why Columbia dropped the project, but it's likely that McKay's insistence that the movie "has to be R" caused the studio to flinch. Producers Neal H. Moritz of Original Film and Jason Netter of Kickstart Productions are currently looking to set up The Boys at a new studio.
THR also failed to give an explanation for why Screen Gems decided to stop pursuing The Mortal Instruments as its own Twilight- or Harry Potter-style movie franchise designed to appeal to young audiences. The screenplay for the first movie was written by Jessica Postigo and was based on City of Bones, the first book in Clare's series. The movie would have starred Lily Collins as the protagonist, Clary Fray, a teenager with "The Sight" to see Downworlders — vampires, demons and shapeshifters — and the angelic Shadowhunters dedicated to ridding the world of the Downworlders. Jamie Campbell Bower (Anonymous) was also attached to play "bad boy" Shadowhunter Jace Wayland.
Constantin Film controls the rights to The Mortal Instruments and may self-finance the movie adaptation or look for a co-financier. However, Stewart has departed as director, instead choosing to focus on developing a TV version of his 2010 Screen Gems movie Legion, which also featured angels operating on Earth. Stewart is executive-producing the series with plans to direct. The series is being written by Vaun Wilmott (Sons Of Anarchy).