Hollywood’s search for a new Harry Potter-alike has enjoyed few triumphs to date. With I am Number Four at least threatening to redirect the young-adult-fantasy genre from magic to outer-space, it looks as though Screen Gems has developed a case of cold feet – signing on to develop an adaptation of the Mortal Instruments series.

Comingsoon are reporting that Jessica Postigo’s script, which is based on the first installment of Cassandra Clare’s best-selling book series – City of Bones, incorporates the usual assortment of demons, eccentric warlocks and werewolf packed into a contemporary New York setting.

When ordinary teenager with extraordinary name Clary Fray’s mother disappears, she must embrace her calling as a Shadow Hunter in order to save the day. Snap.

With four books in the series – including City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass and the imminent City of Fallen Angels – Screen Gems will have to develop something pretty exceptional to break the first instalment curse that has so far plagued The Golden Compass, The Dark is Rising, Stormbreaker, The Spiderwich Chronicles, Cirque-du-Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – to name but a few.

Scott Stewart will direct, this being his third collaboration with Screen Gems after Priest and his directorial début Legion. With those two projects notable for them both starring Paul Bettany, it will be interesting to see whether the actor/director team goes for the hat-trick.

Cue another ridiculously long title.