Constantin Films announced yesterday that The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes is suspending production until further notice so that the studio can analyze the results to date in terms of its franchise opener The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and reposition the series in order to maximize future installments. The sequel was already in production, with newcomer Sigourney Weaver attached to star. Principal photography was to begin soon.
The franchise is based on Cassandra Clare's best selling young adult novel series, and was released by Sony this summer, taking in only $14 million over the course of its five day opening, arriving in theaters Wednesday, August 21. The film is held at a budget of $60 million and has only grossed $34 million worldwide to date.
Harald Zwart directed The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which was panned by critics, some claiming it was nothing more than a "desperate Twilight wannabe", and that it was too corny to resonate with its teenage audience. Harald Zwart is set to return for the sequel. He had this to say in August.
"[I'm] very excited about the script for The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes. It's gonna be even more complex and scary than the first one."
Constantin Films' Martin Moszkowicz had this to say about the delay.
"Constantin Film has a long tradition of adapting books to the big screen. Pushing back the start of production of The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes was a decision we did not take lightly. But after speaking with all of our partners on the creative and distribution side, it was clear that it will be beneficial to have more time to reposition the film in the current marketplace. The Mortal Instruments series has an incredibly loyal and ardent fan base and is a best-selling book series. While taking Cassandra Clare vision to the screen we want to make sure to draw on the full potential of the franchise."
The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes was to be released sometime in 2014. It is not known when production will begin again, or when principal photography will start. It's possible that the sequel will be delayed until sometime in 2015.