Toronto Diary
2 min

Is Mortal Instruments’ gay protagonist in danger of being de-gayed?

Presumably after seeing how well teen fantasy novels like Twilight and The Hunger Games have done at the box office, Sony decided to try to milk the cash cow that is the 16 to 24 demographic by adapting the Mortal Instruments series to the big screen, starting with the first book, City of Bones.

There’s just one teensy little asterisk on this: Alec Lightwood. Alec (set to be played by Kevin Zegers in the movie) is one of the protagonists in the series, and his homosexuality is a pretty big plot line in the overall narrative. The problem here is that, judging by Zeger’s interview with io9, his character might be getting de-gayed in the transition from paper to celluloid.

"You know, it’s not something that’s really addressed totally. There’s kind of the subtext of people assuming that [Alec] is. But it’s not something that we really focused on in the first movie, just because there’s so many traits that he has. It wasn’t a focus, really."

But he says that they still “played around” with the idea that Alec has feelings for Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), and that there’s a hint of a love triangle between Alec, Jace and Clary (Lily Collins). “It’s definitely in there,” says Zegers. “We didn’t hit anything straight on the nose. It doesn’t have to be. But there’s a lot of subtle things that go on between the three of us, that the audience can make up their own mind about."

As for whether we’ll get to see Alec get a love interest of his own if there are sequels, Zegers says: “Of course. It’s a huge part of the progression of the character. So I hope so. It’s what the fans seem to love about the character, is his love story.” So if they actually make more movies, he definitely hopes they explore that aspect. 

So basically, they’re just going to keep the gay thing under wraps, unless it makes enough to warrant continuation of the series, at which point it’s a firm “maybe.” Do not wuss out on this one, Sony. If the books are popular enough to warrant an adaptation, don’t you think that means that enough people are willing to get behind a strong gay protagonist so you don’t have to keep him in the closet?

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