When it comes to Shadowhunters fans – the book fans and the show fans – you can count on one thing, they are vocal. The fans have very strong opinion about the show, the character portrayals, and the books themselves. But at the end of the day we all want the same thing – for the show to just be good.
The problem is that to each set of fans that means very different things. But when it comes down to it – we need to listen to the words of the show runners, because ultimately they have the final word.
Now we have never made a secret that we had and will always believe that Ed Decter was not the right man for that job. The lack of respect for the fans, the characters and the world were too painful to watch. And yes, that may not be the world’s opinion, but it’s ours.
We’ve been excited for the new show runners. Look, we know that this isn’t going to be a literal translation, that things will change, and after the cluster fuck that was the first season – we welcome it. Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer are experienced having worked on shows such as Smallville, Melrose Place, No Ordinary Family, Alphas, and Guilt. It’s not to say that all of those are perfect – but Smallville gives us hope.
How they plan to raise the bar on Shadowhunters: From a writing standpoint, we felt like there could be more depth in the show. We felt like the characters could have more depth and there could be a more resonant emotionality in the show. In season one, we felt like things moved along very, very quickly, and the show was a little bit more plot-driven as opposed to being character-driven.
In terms of the show visually, a producer/director named Matt Hastings joined Shadowhunters season two, and we worked with Matt on Alphas. He comes from The Originals. We felt like the show visually could be stronger. It could be less colorful and less bright and darker, and the action could be more powerful and more visceral.
The impression of Season 1: In general, the show felt a little young. Some of that was the beginning of the story, but also the way that it was shot and the way that the actors portrayed their characters. In the books, they are young, in fact. They’re all teenagers, and now you have Matt Daddario, you have Dom Sherwood, you have Harry Shum, Jr. These guys that are in their mid to late 20s, and so some of that tone needed to be made a little bit more adult.
On Malec: We loved the Malec stuff. Thought it was so exciting, so rich, such an interesting relationship, but we realized in season two we needed to start from the beginning, because they have this kiss at a wedding … It’s almost like The Graduate. Now it’s, like, “Well, now what?” That’s a really fun challenge to show the evolution of that relationship in season two. I think people will be really excited.
On speaking to Cassie and fans of the books: I immediately wanted to get on the phone with Cassie Clare, and I wanted to talk through her mindset. The books really were inspiring to us and it was interesting, because so much of it’s tone. She’s very cool with letting the material evolve, understanding that a television show is different than a series of novels or movie, and understanding the medium. What she was so pleased about was maintaining the tone from the books. If you’re a fan of the books, you’re going to watch the show with a smile on your face and you’re going to get it, even though the things that are happening might not be exactly what happened in the book.
Shadowhunters returns to Freeform January 2nd.