#TMITV: An Open Letter to Ed Decter

Dear Mr. Decter,

You don’t know me and I don’t know you. I know we only have one thing in common and that is The Mortal Instruments. However, what I have learned lately is that we have some big differences of opinions on what is good and what is not good for the television series.

I get it – you have a job to do. And the first question that you may be asking is how would I know anything at all? Well, for as big as Hollywood is, it’s pretty small. And over the past few weeks, as I have attended various events around town – people have talked to me about the show. And there are a lot of rumors that are surrounding this show.

I could list them all, but I won’t. The first thing that I have learned is that a lot of people underestimate a fandom – but fans are like the CIA. We’re an intricate network of people who know people, and people who are people. And though we have rumors – that’s all we have, we need to address them.

So, as Constantin and you stay quiet on the subject of the television show, I am left to address rumors of this fandom, in order to speak out, and hope that for once someone listens and we don’t end up with a repeat of the movie.

Cause my fear is that is what we are setting out to. I know that the pilot is out all over Hollywood and that is making the rumors fly!

Let’s start with rumor #1 – Simon is getting a new girlfriend, right from the beginning. I’m just curious – have you read the books? Have you noticed that it’s Simon being alone and the evolution of his character moving on from Clary that makes him able to be as strong as he is at certain points through out the series? Have you not seen that it’s his relationship with Mia that is important? Simon doesn’t need a girlfriend, he needs to have the angst with Clary – not only for his growth but hers.

Rumor #2 – You have decided to age up the characters. I get that. I can to a certain point. BUT – if you have read the books, part of what drives them is their youth. So let me be frank with this – you can age up to a certain point, but at a certain point you need to actually pay attention to the books. Because it is Clary being young and her disdain, but LOVE for her mother that drives her to be more.

Rumor #3 – Shadowhunters are more like a division of the CIA. Ohhh… this is not Alias – and I get being a fan of the show – I would want it back too. But, Shadowhunters are not a secret government agency. Not even close.

Rumor #4 – You are moving the location to Los Angeles or San Francisco, versus it being set in NYC. Do we really need to discuss this? Because if we have to – I wonder why you would be running this show anyways.

Rumor #5 – The show is to be sexed up and made darker. First of all, these are kids – kids who are fighting to understand themselves. I get that sex happens, but every single sexual moment in the TMI series is carefully though out and calculated – so, please don’t make it something that it’s not. Darker? I can see this to a certain point, but I can also see how this won’t work. Make sure you remember this isn’t Game of Thrones – it’s The Mortal Instruments.

Rumor #6 – The title will be Shadowhunters. This, is the only positive thing so far.

There are quite a few more, but I will stop there. I understand that you have experience and you know a lot more than I do about a lot. But I will say it – I know a lot more about fandoms than most – and I FOR THE LIFE OF ME – can not understand what it is that makes Hollywood think that the road map that they are handed is something that they need not follow.

A book is a roadmap. It’s popular for a reason. IT’S ALL LAID OUT FOR YOU.

Shadowhunters meets the CIA set in another city, with Jace being creepy (WHEN HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE THE ASSHOLE WHO IS THE HERO), the adults not playing the role that they were meant to, and don’t even get me started on the rumors about the institute.

Look, I know that you have a vision. And for all I know the rumors may not be true, but right now – they are all we know.

So you may not know me – hell you may not like me and the stuff that I put out here every week, but I am fine with that. I am not here to be anything but an advocate for this fandom. And I pray that you start listening. Cause right now, if all the rumors are true – I really don’t like your leadership on this project.

I have stuck with this fandom – regardless of the how the movie did. While other fansites were shutting down, we were ramping up. I know this series, and right now – from what I hear you’ve only gotten one thing right – THE NAME.

All the best,

Fangirlish

Erin

Head Bitch In Charge

I work a lot. Fangirlish is my baby. I work in social media professionally and I love it – which is probably why I don’t keep up on my own. I don’t sleep enough and I obsess too much over my favorite things. I need to work on combing my hair more. Or at elast I need to stop dying it different colors.

  • alison gunn

    You’ve GOT to be joking!! Is there some sort of petition I can sign?? This is the most disheartening thing I have heard in AGES!! Just the few rumours you addressed are proof that they really don’t know the _first thing_ about the story!! Okay- officially angry this morning.

    • Danielem Oliveira

      Hey, let’s do it, dude! You know how to create a petition? Unfortunately, I don’t know how to do it, but if I knew… Man, this showrunner would be in trouble right now. :3

  • Amber (@tmi_institute)

    Holy shit…. holy shit…. holy shit… girl, that’s all I can say

  • 123

    Yikes. This is not good! Can I ask where you found this information? Makes you wonder if they learned anything at all from the movie.

  • 123

    Ah, I’m going to post this on Tumblr, if you don’t mind. So more can read this.

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  • jennifer gonzalez

    Did they not learn anything from TMI movie? The first time I heard about TMI was when the DVD came out after that I got and read all the book and fell in love. I was a little heartbroken when I found out that COA got pulled but then talk about the show come to light and I along with I’m sure many other fans were so happy to hear of this news but now I read this and all I can think is why. Why would anyone want to change a great story with wonderful characters? The idea of TMI as a show was genius. With a movie you only have about 2hrs or so to get so much into it but as a show we can get to know these characters, fall in love with them and grow with them but when a fan hears that you want to change the very thing that drew us to these books, to these characters I just think its silly and history will repeat itself. Unlike the movie the books have a huge fandom and did great in sales so I fell if something is not broke don’t fit it. So please for fandoms everywhere don’t change something that is already perfection.

    • Damon Casale

      Saw the movie one night when I was bored. Was intrigued but could tell that it wasn’t what it could’ve been. Read online reviews and discovered they’d changed a lot from the books…then got the first ebook. Couldn’t stop until I’d read the whole series, then devoured The Infernal Devices as well. (I tend to be a bit obsessive when it comes to reading.)

      I hadn’t watched much TV until just a few months ago when I checked out some of the new comics-based TV series and found them better than I expected, especially Arrow. Now I’m avidly following those, and even though they deviate from the source material, it’s not the same thing. There’s a LOT of potential source material to draw on and it’s not going to anger fans as much if you change minor things here and there to make things work on TV.

      Several years ago when I seriously considered learning screenwriting and writing a spec script, I bought The Screenwriter’s Bible by Dave Trottier, Story by Robert McKee, etc., etc., and devoured them all. Writing a good screenplay isn’t that hard, if one knows how to communicate story effectively (and like Cassandra Clare, I got started writing fanfiction many years ago, myself).

      My big concern is if Ed Decter might be caught between dictates from how Constantin wants things done (e.g., a dictate that Thou Shalt Create an Ongoing Cash Cow) and the fans. If that *is* his situation, I don’t envy him, but Constantin is setting him up to fail because the fans won’t buy it and the source material will lose what makes it meaningful and poignant — the journey of the various characters as they change and grow.

      One thing that did strike me last night as I was thinking about it is that as the book series is written, Ed Decter would already have a fairly serious constraint to work with. Even filming one “book” a season, the actors will age five years in the span of time that it takes the book series to cover about a year and a half at most. In the first book, we learn that the Mortal Cup *only works on children* to make them into Shadowhunters. Mild spoiler alert, but by the end of the book series we have a mundane character becoming a Shadowhunter. There can’t be too big of a disconnect between the on-screen age of the characters and the requirement that the Mortal Cup only works on children…although they might push the age limit a bit or pick an actor who *looks* sixteen but is really older anyway.

      Here’s hoping that Constantin and Ed Decter decide to open up a bit more and hear what TMI fans really want, as opposed to what Hollywood thinks will work.

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  • They are going to lose the fandom :( If this is how i’s going to be, I’ll stick with the books and imagine them in living color :) Thats the great thing about watching City of Bones.. Jamie & Lily were my absolute vision of Clary & Jace…. Simon & Magnus were spot on..as were most of the characters .

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  • Damon Casale

    If the rumors are true, it seems like this would be being done to allow the TV series to take on a life of its own, so it doesn’t have to end at a particular point. But just like Game of Thrones was adapted from a book series that technically hasn’t even ended yet, and they’re eventually going to run out of material to adapt, THAT’S OKAY FOR TMI, TOO. Adapting one book per season seems like it would make the most sense, anyway.

    Anyone up for doing their own screenplay for the first TV episode of TMI, just to prove it can be done right? Maybe send it to Mr. Decter with a note begging him not to alter the original source material so drastically? I’d even be willing to do this myself in my spare time (or if someone wants to collaborate, that’d be cool too).

    • Danielem Oliveira

      Dude, I’m kinda trying to up one – or more – hastag about the TV series to express our rage about the unloyalty to Cassandra’s books. We should create a petition about it and send letters, e-mails, Tweets, owls, Iris’s messages… Anything that possibly will get into Decter’s hands expressing clearly our disappointment about it all and our intentions of don’t watch an unloyal TV series.

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  • Danielem Oliveira

    Well, this is awful! We MUST act while we still have the chance! The TMI fandom should be united and show them that we have the power to decide too. As Fangirlish said, “fans are like the CIA”. I hope so we can do this: up a hastag at Twitter about it, send them letters and e-mails and then do whatever we are able to do! The TMI TV series shall not fail!

    [It can’t fail like it seems to happen if we doesn’t act as soon as possible!]

  • Kelsea Hughes

    honestly I agree with everything. if Dector stuffs it up I will have some words with him, and most of them aren’t gonna be PG

    • Damon Casale

      Yeah, well, for better or for worse, he’s the one in charge. Life isn’t over if he “stuffs it up.” IMHO, then we break out a crowd-funded campaign to buy the rights from Constantin and do a pilot ourselves. It’s been done before — just google “kickstarter star trek pilot” and you’ll see a good example of a crowdfunded campaign for a pilot episode.

      I’ve seen on exactly one site that production isn’t due to start for several months — and that’s a rumor that I hope is true. That would mean that there’s time to convince him to go with something closer to the spirit of the books.

      The reality is that things HAVE to change in order to adapt the books into a TV series. They had to trim a lot of material out of the first book in order to fit it into the movie, but if there will be somewhere between 10-13 45 minute long episodes (after commercials are accounted for), then that means that they will need to ADD quite a bit. And not just excerpts from other series like The Infernal Devices or The Bane Chronicles. Maybe flashbacks to what happened when Valentine was leader of the Circle. Maybe even flashbacks to when the Shadowhunters first began — which I personally would move to 1099 and make it begin with the Crusades. Cassandra wrote in the books that more and more demons have been coming into the mortal world lately, so the TV series could explain that by having them be attracted by wars and violence.

      Whatever the TV series adds likely won’t be “canon”. Which means we’ll have to decide whether it’s good on its own merits, apart from whether it graced the pen of Cassandra Clare. :p

      But no, hopefully that won’t be a different girlfriend for Simon…

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  • Amber

    I have to say, a lot of this doesn’t bother me. I’ve always been a fan of aging up for Television, so long as they find ways to come to the same ends, then I’m fine with it. What do I mean? Well the fact that Simon can’t drink from the cup if he is too old, does that really matter? Just don’t put the age restriction on the cup, the end. NOT that big of a deal.
    What bothers me is the Shadowhunters being like CIA thing, BUT here is what I think that means… I don’t think it means that The Shadowhunters of our story work with the United States government, but rather that they are LIKE / similar to a CIA type of entity. If you were describing this show to someone who hasn’t read the books, I think it’s a good analogy. They have their own system, they work behind the scenes, and in a sense are their own type of government. I have a feeling that is what was meant with that comparison, that they are cohesively like the CIA, not that they are part of the CIA.

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