If Harry Potter and Twilight have taught us anything, it's that there are millions of young people out there ready to burn through their savings at the box office. There's a problem, however: both franchises are now on their last book, the final Harry Potter movie being released this summer and Twilight being released in two parts, the last of which arrives in late 2012. As a result, studios are scrambling to find the next big franchise, and Screen Gems believes that they have found their money maker in The Mortal Instruments and Alex Pettyfer.

Vulture reports that the Sony subsidiary has offered the young British actor the lead role in the adaptation of the Cassandra Clare series, but there's a catch. Apparently studio chief Clint Culpepper is so insistent about getting Pettyfer as his lead that should he turn it down, the project will be canceled. The young actor is on the verge of breaking out this year with two movies, I Am Number Four and Beastly, set to be released in the next few months. In the series, a young girl becomes involved with a group known as the "Shadowhunters" who find and kill demons on the streets of New York City.

Is it just me or is that a lot of pressure to put on an unproven actor? I could understand this move if Pettyfer's upcoming projects were proven successes, but we won't know that for a couple months and Pettyfer's previous work consists of three other movies, none of which have made any money in theaters. To be honest, this sounds like a bluff on the part of the studio to try and get Pettyfer for the role. Should he turn it down, don't expect them to abandon the project entirely.

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