EXCLUSIVE: ‘Shadowhunters’ EPs Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer on what to expect from the finale
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) spoke with ‘Shadowhunters’ executive producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer for the inside scoop on their feelings on the sudden cancellation and more
‘Shadowhunters’ fans are both thrilled and saddened to behold the final installment of the series, which will premiere this coming Monday, February 25 on Freeform. MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) had the honor of sitting down with the two men behind the show, executive producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer, who came onto the show after its first season.
The duo replaced season one EP Ed Dector, and at first fans were weary of the change. That said, it didn’t take long for the duo to get fans on to their side, taking on a darker but more interesting way of telling the story. Slavkin expanded on this and spoke about his initial worries after killing off one of the most important characters in the series, Clary’s mother Jocelyn.
“We were fearful that when we killed Clary’s mom there was going to be a complete riot in the streets, but we felt that things shouldn’t be so easy for Clary. She had such a support system and we wanted to shake it up. It was a weird time because it could have gone either way, but it felt like the fans understood us fairly early on and by the time we got Malec on that first date, we were feeling the groove,” Slavkin said.
Speaking of Malec, it seemed as though the relationship really took off after Slavkin and Swimmer took over as executive producers. That said, they both found it important to put some real roadblocks in their way, just like any other relationship on the show. Swimmer explained the logic behind building that relationship and how they grounded it, while also letting it flourish into the ship that fans all know and love.
“I think the groundwork was laid out for us in a really big way with Malec, but one thing we felt going into it was that the couple was a bit ahead of itself. They really didn’t know each other, especially from what the audience had seen on screen as they were getting to know each other, so it was an interesting dynamic to come into. It happens a lot where two people in a relationship get ahead of themselves and have this whirlwind romance, then next thing you know, here they are committed to each other in some way, but they still have to get to know one another," Swimmer pointed.
Slavkin adding to this sentiment, spoke about the darker side of Magnus that they felt they absolutely needed to explore. He said: “If you have lived six or seven hundred years like Magnus, there would be so much pain there. We wanted to show that he wasn’t always smiling drinking vodka martinis, that there was more depth that would bring in a guy like Alec. Once we tapped into that, it opened up so much backstory for us, that was super intriguing.”
Even though ‘Shadowhunters’ was and still is loved by many, as we all know, sadly that was not enough to save the show and keep it on the network. The news of its cancellation came as big a surprise to Slavkin and Swimmer as it did to the rest of the cast and the fans. While it was devastating news, the fans reaction to the cancellation and valiant attempts to save the show ignited something in both men that they had never felt before. Slavkin opened up about his feelings on the cancellation and how the news broke as they were writing the finale.
“We were surprised and shocked, it really came out of the blue for us and the cast and crew as well. When it was announced, we were in our office and there was a plane flying over Netflix that said Save Shadowhunters…it ignited us. It was so incredible and inspiring we couldn’t believe it and this was happening while we were writing the finale. The finale was always going to be a love letter to the fans because we’re fans too,” Slavkin shared.
Sadly, the fans' attempts to save the show didn’t seem to pan out, but they still have hope that this isn’t the end and the good news is, Slavkin and Swimmer are on the same page. While the duo wrote a fantastic ending and send off to the series, they made sure they left open the possibility of the show coming back in some capacity, which Slavkin expanded on.
“This is a closing to the show, but there is an opening. When we say closing, believe me we left it open because we know in the world of TV and media, you just never know. So, we certainly didn’t tighten the bow so much that you couldn’t open the present inside, you can unwrap the paper and it’s glorious and the show could potentially live on for years. And if it doesn’t get picked up, it will live on in the minds of these amazing fans, fan fiction writers, artists and those creative souls in the fandom,” he added.
As far as what to expect from the final 12 episodes, Swimmer gave us some solace in knowing that the death of Clary isn’t permanent, but there will be massive consequences and the fight is far from over. "We won’t be dealing with the death of Clary for too long, it’s a little bit of time. We don’t want to spoil it but we also want to give people that excitement level of knowing that she will be back. But things have changed with Clary, she has gone through a lot and Jonathan is in the picture and her return isn’t all celebratory, the mark is still on her.”
As for the other beloved characters and some of the die-hard ships we have yet to see, that were a big part of the books, Slavkin assured us the fans are going to be very happy with what is in store for the remainder of the episodes.
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“Sizzy fans will rejoice, they are going to be really happy. The Clace ship is explored deeply, it’s beautiful, romantic and loving. Obviously, it will be heartbreaking because it is ‘Shadowhunters’, but Clace fans will be over the moon excited. The Malec fans are in for such a treat…this season has never been better. We are so proud of the show and where we are right now, the performances and the stories are all really exciting.”
Just like the cast of ‘Shadowhunters’, both Slavkin and Swimmer are eternally grateful to the show’s fans. ‘Shadowhunters’ isn’t just a television series, it has truly been a saving grace for thousands of people all around the world who ever felt like they didn’t belong. Slavkin expanded on their unique experience on the show and how it truly became much more than just a job for them.
“Writing TV is really great, we are so blessed and have been doing it for a while, but to really have this impact is amazing. I mean fans write us on Twitter these really heartfelt and deep letters and messages, parents will say they saw our show and now look at their kid differently. The show gives off this notion of acceptance and embracing people that are different, it’s so special. When getting involved in entertainment you don’t expect to really do that, but when it happens, it’s really satisfying in such a profound way.”
‘Shadowhunters’ will return to Freeform February 25 for its final 12 episodes, and from what we hear, it’s a must see!