With the season one finale of Freeform’s Shadowhunters around the corner, airing Tuesday, April, 5 at 9:00p.m. EDT, we sit down with the cast and creators of the show in order to get some insight into how far we’ve come since the beginning and what it’s like adapting characters from a beloved series into a new iteration of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series.
In speaking with Ed Decter, the showrunner for Shadowhunters, about what it’s like taking on the difficult task of mixing original content and book content for the viewers and longtime fans, he talks about being able to delve deeper into the story through the tv medium. “There’s too much good stuff to explore. From here forward we’re going to take our time a little bit more, do a little bit of invention so that we can tell Cassandra’s story in a [deeper] way.”
In regards to adding new original characters, such as Lydia Branwell’s character within the Malec storyline, Decter talks about gaining the fan’s trust that they will do the source material justice. Executive producer McG adds on that they always hope to honor the essence of the show.
There was a lot of talk about Malec at the con, and following the “Malec” episode this week we can see that it has fulfilled a lot of the dreams of the fan. Matthew Daddario commented on taking on the role of Alec, and portraying his character in a way that would serve him justice. He also talks about the challenges in wanting to create a character that’s loyal to its book character but also being able to recreate his own version of Alec. “It’s scary. There’s a lot of responsibility and expectation, we have to fulfill a certain amount of what people want to see.”
Harry Shum Jr. talks about Magnus’ character beyond just his feelings for Alec, which hints at his past with Camille, as we saw a bit of in the previous episode. “He’s also dealing with his past, with trying to heal from past wounds. You’ll see a character that really messed him up, that closed him off for a long time.” It looks like even with the development of Malec from the most recent episode, there are still a lot of obstacles standing in their way.
Although it’s no huge surprise to the book fans that Jace and Clary are siblings, the reality of their relationship with one another might still be murky for those who aren’t familiar with the series. Dominic Sherwood approaches the television series in a very organic way, having only read the first book in the series.
With the show changing little by little from the series, knowing what happens in the future books might become a hindrance for Sherwood. “I don’t want to know where Jace ends up,” Sherwood says. When approaching scenes like Jace’s meeting with Valentine, it’s more beneficial for him to not know how the conflict will playing out, commenting that knowing too much doesn’t help him perform.
Regarding Sizzy aka Simon and Izzy, Emeraude Toubia and Alberto Rosende both express enthusiasm with the pairing and hint at being able to see a little bit more of the two of them together in season 2. Rosende gushes about the relationship being his favorite in the whole series, “they really mature and grow together.”
Although it looks like Simon and Izzy are headed towards each other, Rosende adds that even in the books, “Simon and Izzy both need to mature into the people that are going to be right for each other.” Which also prompts Toubia to remark that “Simon and Clary need to happen before Sizzy happens.”
Toubia also talks about her love for Izzy’s character, “She’s willing to do anything for her family. […] I would want a sister like her, a sister who is willing risk everything for me.” With Izzy maturing throughout the first season, we see her fighting for equality within the shadowhunters world, and speaking for the downworlders, it’s a message that is not exclusive to Shadowhunters, but rather “extends throughout the rest of the world.”