You’ve got to hand it to Constantin Film for failing to give up on its attempts to turn the property into something salvageable, and it was a minor miracle that Shadowhunters managed to squeeze out a three-season run on Freeform before being canceled, even though it was afforded the luxury of two extra episodes with which to round out its story.
The series premiered less than three years after feature-length original The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones landed with a thud among both critics and paying customers, taking an absolute pounding on its way to losing money at the box office. It had already been announced that sequel City of Ashes was due to begin filming just over a month after the first installment of the would-be franchise landed on the big screen – with Sigourney Weaver announced for the cast – only for an embarrassing comedown to unfold.
Being a reasonably popular fantasy with a small-but-dedicated following, there’s always going to be revival talks bubbling away more in hope than expectation, but as star Alisha Wainwright admitted to ScreenRant, it’s not going to happen because the rights remain tangled up in a messy web of legal and contractual small print.
“I forget who owns the rights to it. It’s all very interesting when you get into the math of who has the right to distribute. But I do know that a lot of the cast members do these conventions, if you want to see them. No one’s approached me about any sort of reunion, but it’s way more complicated than you would think in order to get it going again.
But obviously, Shadowhunters has a very special place in my heart. I learned so much about acting and the craft, and it just would be really cool to get everyone back together. It breaks my heart when I see it trending on Twitter! You guys don’t understand; you have to make literally so many bigwigs sign off on the same thing. I just don’t think it’s gonna happen, you know?”
Of course, there’s nowhere that says it can’t be rebooted once again, but that’s unlikely to happen seeing as it’s not exactly been lauded as an IP that fully deserves to be given unlimited chances to succeed.