Lily Collins, Cassie Clare Weigh In On Casting Jace In 'Mortal Instruments'

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that casting for the role of Jace Wayland in the big-screen adaptation of Cassandra Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series was down to a handful of actors: Jamie Campbell Bower ("Breaking Dawn"), Ed Speleers ("Eragon") and newcomer Leebo Freeman. (No word on fan favorites Max Irons and Alex Pettyfer, though Alex's schedule continues to fill up...)

Following the news, Hollywood Crush readers passionately expressed their opinions on who should play the snarky Shadowhunter (as of this writing, Ed and Leebo are leading our "Who should play Jace?" poll). And with so much growing anticipation, we thought it high time we checked in with some of the experts, namely Cassie, star Lily Collins and our friends at "Mortal Instruments" fansites Mundie Moms and "The Mortal Instruments" Examiner.

Of course, it's no surprise both Lily and Cassie were loathe to drop specific names, though they both told us what they could about the ongoing casting process.

"It's been a long process, and in the process of casting something like this where the characters are so pivotal and people are so enthusiastic and have so many opinions, we don't want to do it wrong," Lily said. "Because there's one way of rushing it and people aren't as happy, or you take the time to really seek out the right person to play the role. I totally understand everyone wanting to know right away. I do too. I'm as excited as everyone else."

"The search continues for Jace," Cassie echoed. "They are auditioning like crazy, which I think is good. To me, it's kind of funny, this sort of old-fashioned search for the right face. So they're seeing a whole lot of different people."

Experts also keeping tabs on the casting process seem to have differing opinions about who would make the superior Jace.

"Of course, a lot of people are in favor of an unknown," said "The Mortal Instruments" Examiner Natalie C. Markey. "I think it would be fun to see an unknown named, but I want to see someone who can act. Jace is more than this hot guy who can fight well. He's got a vulnerable side to him, a compassionate side to him. So he's got a lot of complexities."

For her part, Mundie Moms' Katie Bartow is still rooting for Alex Pettyfer. "I have pictured Alex Pettyfer; how he is in 'I Am Number Four,' is how I picture Jace," she said.

No matter whom Screen Gems picks, I think we can all agree that we want them to pick someone soon. Like, yesterday.

How much longer do you think we'll have to wait for Jace casting news?