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Shadowhunters Stays True to Spirit of The Mortal Instruments

But get ready for changes

Megan Vick

After the 2013 film version of Cassandra Clare's bestselling fantasy series The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, starring Lily Collins, failed to find an audience, Freeform is hoping that its TV adaptation, Shadowhunters, will be able to bring the series to life in a serialized fashion.

Katherine McNamara (Happyland) stars as Clary Fray, an aspiring art student who finds out on her 18th birthday that she's actually the heir of a long line of demon hunters. Dominic Sherwood (Vampire Acadaemy) plays Jace Wayland, her demon-hunting mentor and love interest.

Shadowhunters promises to be faithful to the spirit of Clare's novels, but the cast and crew made no secret that the series would depart from its source material. "Book 1, The City of Bones, is the skeleton for our first season. We still get from Point A to Point B, but the way in which we do that is really different and our very own interpretation," McNamara said at the Television Critic's Association winter previews on Saturday.

Katherine McNamara says Shadowhunters is "Darker" than Mortal Instruments series

Clare was in fact very involved in the creation of the TV show. "Every single casting decision we made we ran by Cassandra," said executive producer Ed Decter. "The amazing thing was that Cassie and the fans were really almost like an approval meter while we were doing casting. I've never experienced it in my career."

"Everything that the fans want, we hope there's at least an element of it," Sherwood said. "Whether or not it happens in its entirety, or it's alluded to -- it's all there in some shape or form."

Shadowhunters premieres Jan. 12 at 9/8c on Freeform.