HomeOur Obsessions#FreeShadowhunters: What we need to do to save ‘Shadowhunters’

#FreeShadowhunters: What we need to do to save ‘Shadowhunters’

Since the final episode of 'Shadowhunters' aired, there’s a giant block getting in the way of our mission to save the show: Constantin Film.

#FreeShadowhunters: What we need to do to save ‘Shadowhunters’

We’ve been fighting the good fight to #SaveShadowhunters for well over a year now. Since the final episode aired back in May, one thing has become abundantly clear: there’s a giant block getting in the way of our mission to save the show, and we believe it’s time that blocked was cleared. Yes, Shadowfam: we’re talking about Constantin Film.

You’ll remember that Constantin Film, the production company that owns the rights to Shadowhunters, has spent millions on the project and invested many years of staff time. Constantin, fresh off the success of Resident Evil, likely snagged the rights for Cassandra Clare’s hit book series The Mortal Instruments hoping they’d be able to create a Twilight-esque new movie franchise based on it. 

What happened instead? The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was a critical & financial flop. The movie made $90 million at the box office with only a $60 million production budget – but $60 million was spent on marketing. Ouch. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones gained a meager 13% on Rotten Tomatoes and was universally panned by critics.

Based on sunk costs, we’re guessing Constantin Film then dedicated time & energy into trying to find another way to make up for that loss. They probably started pitching an episodic TV show – Shadowhunters – back in 2014.

Figuring they had one last-ditch attempt to squeeze some juice out of the lemon they’d bought (the rights to The Mortal Instruments), they made a partnership with Freeform (for all the reasons listed above), but neither company wanted to pony up the cash actually to produce the show. 

At that point, Netflix was handing out money to anyone with even the smallest producer credit, so they agreed to pay upfront costs in exchange for the international streaming rights. Then something amazing happened.

Freeform and Constantin Film managed to assemble a team to do what the movie version of The Mortal Instruments couldn’t: they created a TV show with such a rich universe that a dedicated fandom was born, one that traversed countries to offer each other support, raise tens of thousands of dollars for charities, and stick by the show despite its being buried by their network.

When Constantin and Netflix got into a disagreement about episode orders, Constantin & Freeform walked away from their deal, leaving our fandom bereft back in 2018. Despite all our efforts – the excellent viewing figures, the many tweets, the billboards, the charity projects and the conventions – we haven’t been able to get our show saved yet. The reason? Shadowhunters is being held hostage.

Our only hope to #SaveShadowhunters is first to free the show from this blockage. If we want it to be saved, we’ve got to make it super easy for Constantin Film – because it seems like they’ve washed their hands of the project.

We’re guessing Constantin Film is not interested in selling the rights outright (or their asking price is so high it would be impossible to make a profit), so we have to do these two things:

  1. Show Constantin Film how much money they can make by making another partnership with an alternative distributor.
  2. Find a new home for Shadowhunters.

It’s not going to be easy. In fact, it’s probably our hardest battle yet. This is why we’re devising weekly missions for the Shadowfam to help raise awareness of the show in a structured way and make it abundantly clear how much money Constantin Film stands to earn from the Shadowhunters property.

From where we’re sitting, there have been many lucrative opportunities that Constantin hasn’t explored. We’ll be revealing the economics of merchandise, conventions, tie-ins, experimental events, spinoffs, and more to make the decision-making process that much easier for them. We’ve set up this handy facebook group to keep track of our missions. Let’s get this show back on our screens now!

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Daisy Franklin is an adventuress, rabblerouser, and all-around snarky bon viveur. She worked in the music business for ten years and it made her absolutely miserable. Now she works as a freelance writer and is working on her first book, 'Live to Fail Another Day'.

daisy@filmdaily.co

Comments
  • Shadowhunters should be saved because it’s such an incredible show talking about very important issues such as LGBTQ, addictions and so much more. It also has many POC characters. There’s so much diversity and it’s beautiful but also rare nowadays. We need more representation on screen and Shadowhunters has it all, truly!!! It didn’t deserved to be cancelled, they made a huge mistake by doing this. #SaveShadowhunters #FreeShadowhunters !

    February 13, 2020
  • Shadowhunters needs to be saved because 1. There’s just so much more to the story that they could tell for at least 2-3 more seasons and 2. Because the storylines are very relatable in today’s world and has such a diverse cast that you don’t see in many tv shows today

    February 13, 2020
  • Seeing Shadowhunters actually be saved would mean the world to me. Not only has this show meant a great deal to me on a personal level, it has also been a fantastic source of inspiration for my teen daughter and her friends. Aside from seeing sexuality displayed in a long it’s various forms in a healthy way, they get to see men share emotions, women be kind and supportive, not to mention strong and smart. I can’t think of another show with more to offer.

    February 13, 2020
  • Shadowhunters has such a diverse cast of characters, and does an amazing job of representing marginalized communities. The show is so important to me and people like me. The cast members are all incredibly talented and such wonderful people!

    February 13, 2020
  • Until now I can’t wrap my head around the fact that a little disagreement led to cancelling a show that unlike many other shows has gotten better and better with each season, a show that has one of the most popular, meaningful and influential ships and represents a diversity other shows can only dream of. Considering the fact that Shadowhunters was Freeforms biggest show at the time it’s really no surprise to see this company going downhill. On top of that Freeform handled the cancellation in the worst way possible by not giving a statement and then having the nerve to even mock fans. Constantin Film on the other hand was more verbal about Shadowhunters but nonetheless just as useless with their mixed signals. There is so much money to be made with this show and it takes a good company to see its potential. Other streaming services did show interest but with CF still keeping it hostage, there was no way for them to become the new home this show so desperately needs. There are still so many stories we didn’t get to finish and new stories to be told and I as well as many other Shadowhunters fans as paying customers would be willing to switch to other streaming services to see its continuation on our screens. This fandom is so huge and profitable that no company should miss out on this opportunity.

    February 13, 2020
  • The question isn´t “Why Shadowhunters deserves to be saved”. The question is “Why the hell they are not saved yet?!?!”

    This show connects people from all around the world. It makes connections between most unexpected people and creates one big Shadowhunters Family. This show is about minorities, about understanding, about fighting for the place in this world. About accepting who we are. It helps understand, that whoever you are, you have the right to be yourself. And that is the most important message it sends to us.

    That is, why this show deserves to be saved. Because there are so many people all around the world, who need to get the courage to fight for who they are – because every person on the planet is unique and nice and deserves to be seen by those eyes, no matter what.

    February 14, 2020
  • @filmdaily
    The show must be save because there is su much to tell.
    The first thing is we have to know what is happening with clace ? That was my favourite ship of the show and the end was sooooooo frustrating !!
    I really want to see the time jump that we didn’t see on the last episode , one year is big what happened during that time with Jace ? How did he cope ? How izzzy became the head of the institut and Alex the inquisitor ?
    What about aline Helen ? So much stories to tell 😍

    February 14, 2020
  • I think Shadowhunters needs to be saved for so many reasons, but honestly the main reason is because there are so many stories left to tell and so many things I want to see for these characters. The fans, the cast, and the crew weren’t ready for the end and it’s not fair that it was taken from is so early because of petty network disagreements.

    February 14, 2020
  • I think Shadowhunters should be saved for so many reasons, but mainly because there are so many stories left to be told and so many things I wanted to see for these characters. The fans, the cast, and the crew were not ready to end this story and it’s unfair that it had to end early because of petty network disagreements.

    February 14, 2020
  • when I stumbled upon #shadowhunters I was at my lowest point ever in life…my partner looked me in the eye and then shot his brains out …so I given up on everything after that then seeing shadowhunters on tv sparked my interest and the main couple clace gave me hope I guess…plus there is so much more story to tell and the cast is awesome so with that being said #freeshadowhunters #saveshadowhunters

    February 14, 2020
  • The message of love created by shadowhunters revived my soul after dealing with some very difficult issues in my life. Each episode has a message on how we should be interacting with each other. The lost of this show is losing a moral teaching experience. Very few shows are able to so elegantly and effortlessly present the information without the forcing it onto people. They are friends and families I wish I could be part of.

    February 17, 2020
  • Fantastic article! Shadowhunters should be saved due to its increasing high demand, popularity, global conventions, and award winnings almost two years after cancelation! That speaks volumes. The storyline and characters are fantastic. I hope that the individuals who hold the rights do know how valuable Shadowhunters is.

    February 17, 2020
  • Shadowhunters should be saved. The story is fun, the characters are addictive, and it values love, friendship, and family. It was getting better and better and has so much growth and story left to tell. I miss the wonderful world.

    February 17, 2020
  • Shadowhunters should be saved because it is simply an incredible show with so much potential! Every season gets better and better, and the dedication and passion of the cast and crew in bringing this story to life is evident. The show deals with so many important social issues, the fight against systematic discrimination and racial prejudice comes to mind as particularly relevant and needed in today’s world. Shadowhunters is a show that celebrates diversity and takes viewers on a journey towards respect, compassion, and acceptance of people that are different from themselves. This show should have never been canceled, there is still so much for all of us to learn from these characters. Here’s hoping someone finally #SaveShadowhunters 🙏🏻➰❤️

    February 17, 2020
  • Without a doubt I can say that Shadowhunters was canceled during its golden time! There are episodes in season 3 that are so unbelievably good, that watching them still leaves me speechless! Imagine the power a 4th or even 5th season would have had!! We didn’t even get to properly finish all storylines and there was room for so much more. As a huge Magnus Bane fan I was so disappointed to only see a glimpse of Dark!Magnus. This alone would be great material for another season. There is so much more to discover in the shadowworld and we deserve to see it and learn from it!

    February 18, 2020
  • Reposting this for another chance to win!!: Shadowhunters should be saved because it is simply an incredible show with so much potential! Every season gets better and better, and the dedication and passion of the cast and crew in bringing this story to life is evident. The show deals with so many important social issues, the fight against systematic discrimination and racial prejudice comes to mind as particularly relevant and needed in today’s world. Shadowhunters is a show that celebrates diversity and takes viewers on a journey towards respect, compassion, and acceptance of people that are different from themselves. This show should have never been canceled, there is still so much for all of us to learn from these characters. Here’s hoping someone save’s Shadowhunters!!!!! #SaveShadowhunters #Shadowhunterslegacy

    February 24, 2020
  • Every time I read this article, I am impressed by how perfectly you understand the situation. Shadowhunters more than any other show deserved to be saved. It is a Sci-Fi Fantasy show like no other and covers one of the most popular Fantasy book series of all time. Not only did it attract book fans, but also other people from all over the world as well, who haven’t even known about those stories before and still fell in love with them. It’s so beautiful to see how many people are still discovering Shadowhunters and instantly become a part of the fandom. At the very least CF should consider making a spin-off: A Downworlder or a Malec Spin-off. I lost count of how many times I read about people having started watching Shadowhunters simply for Malec’s love story. There is so much potential, so much money to make and wonderful stories to tell and this is exactly why it deserves to be saved!!!

    February 25, 2020
  • Shadowhunters should be saved because there is so much more to the story. There is so much fan support and the show should continue. It was amazing to watch and felt incomplete with only 3 seasons

    February 29, 2020

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