‘Mortal Instruments’ Director Took Inspiration From ‘The Exorcist’

Few directorial declarations soothe a lit-lover’s soul quite like these four little words: “I am a fan.” After all, seeing one’s favorite book make the leap from page to screen can be anxiety-inducing, and it’s always a relief to know the characters you adore are in good hands. So fans of Cassandra Clare’s “Mortal Instruments” series should be pleased to hear that helmer Harald Zwart considers himself part of the Shadowhunter army.

“I, myself, am a fan,” Harald said when asked how he approached the thorny process of adapting a beloved book series. “When I started getting involved in it, I started spending time on my own with the book and visuals and ideas and other movies.”

And Harald’s on-screen inspiration may (or may not) leave your head spinning: “I looked at movies like ’The Exorcist,’ and I thought, ’Oh, that’s sort of where we should be—really scary, believable stuff,'” he explained. “That’s what I loved about the movie. It’s a really believable type movie. It’s very grounded.”

Even better? You (yes, you!) may have also helped craft the director’s vision. “I just started there, and then I slowly started looking at fan art and had a long conversation with Cassandra,” he said. “And I guess I just looked at what I really loved about the movie and just made sure that some choices—it’s good to just check if it’s in line. I never really compromised my own instincts.”

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” starring Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower and Robert Sheehan, opens Wednesday.

Are you buoyed by the fact that Harald is a fan? Do you plan to see the movie on release day? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!