Exclusive Interview with Shadowhunters’ Showrunners Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer

In August of 2016, Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer were named executive producers and showrunners of Freeform’s Shadowhunters. Now, as the fan-favorite show heads into its final episodes, the dynamic duo who first wrote an episode of Silk Stalkings together in ’93, are prepping their fans for a goodbye no one is quite ready for, themselves included from the sound of it. Here, for your reading pleasure, they answer Talk Nerdy With Us’s questions, as well as a number of queries from devoted fans.

We know Magnus has lost his magic and immortality. We’ve also seen little hints that he may get his magic back and then, consequences to that. What can you say about his journey?

Todd: Well, whoever [asked that], that’s good knowledge. The journey is complicated. It’s fraught with a lot of emotion. It is a struggle all along the way. The good news is, Alec has got his back every step, and the relationship between them is strong, but Magnus’ journey definitely will have its effect.

Now fans have been waiting three seasons for Simon and Izzy to make some moves and the trailer reveals quite a bit. What can you tease about the growing relationship between the two of them?

Todd: I guess I could say that you can’t keep two people apart that are destined to be together.

I love that! The number one question we got repeatedly, involves Clace. The way this fan put it made me laugh, “Tell us something about Clace and the finale. We’re going scary over here.” @clacesstele

Todd: Did they say they’re going “scary over here?”

Yes, they did.

Todd: Okay, I would say, “No need to go scary, just relax. Take a deep breath, everything’s going to be okay.”

Good. Yeah, everybody was asking, “Are they going to get a happily ever after? Is it going to be a happy ending?” That was the number one question we got a number of times. @gagnon_susanna, @heronchilld,@serena7862, @sammibat

Todd: Good, good.

Darren: Let’s just say, though, the path is not… It wouldn’t be Shadowhunters if it was just simple and there wasn’t obstacles along the way, but at the end of the day….

Absolutely. Obstacles by the tons. Another fan says, “We can’t get enough of the snippet of Malec dancing. Where did the idea for this scene originate, and are we going to die from swooning?” @cbwentworth

Darren:  People will definitely… from swooning, did you say?

Todd: Swooning, yeah, yeah, yeah.

From swooning, yeah.

Darren: There will, of course, be a lot of swooning around the world. Having the two of them dance together, was something we’ve wanted to do–

Todd: For a long time–

Darren: … For a long time. A particular situation came up in story that was perfect for it, and so we went for it.

Todd: It’s great.

Darren: Not to give away the context of that.

Todd: I think that’s great.

That’s awesome. Why did you have this desire for so long to want them to dance together?

Todd: Well, we’ve used Harry dancing with Dot, if you remember in episode 213, and obviously we knew about Harry’s dance background. Alec has this awkwardness about him, even though he’s this badass warrior, and he’s great with his bow and arrow, there’s always been this awkwardness, this physicality. He’s tall and lanky… And the opposite with Magnus, and we just thought the two of them, it would be so interesting to watch them dance. It came out great. We couldn’t be happier.

How many tissues are we going to need this season? @AngelKat991

Darren: An endless supply.

Todd: But to be clear, because I said this earlier, but it’s really true, is that some of these tissues, it’s not just about sadness. You know the show, it’s… sometimes the feels are so strong, and it’s deeply moving, and it’s deeply emotional, not necessarily like someone’s dying or anything like that. It’s just… I think many of these moments in the show are really going to move people. The finale will be… you really should back up a truck, because–

Darren: I’m going to buy Kleenex stock.

Shadowhunters fans are incredibly passionate, giving, and vocal. They’ve talked about the profound importance the show has played in their lives in many respects. What does being part of that impact mean to you? What do you hope fans take with them when the final credits roll?

Darren: It’s an incredible honor. Moving, beyond words, the amount of involvement and support that the fans have shown the show. One thing I think that we’ll take away from this is just being a part of a family that stretches around the world with people we’ve never met before.

Darren: Todd, do you want to add anything to that?

Todd: Well, I think the great thing about this medium, too, is there is 52 episodes. Excuse me, 55. 42 that Darren and I have been a part of. And that doesn’t go away. The great thing is, we do think the show lives on and with all of those creative talents, and their art and their fan fiction, and all of that stuff, it feels like it’s… It will continue in other people’s minds or re-watched on screen.

Absolutely. What do you wish you had been able to film from the books that you were unable to? @LexioftheDSC@mpazperalta

Todd: The bummer is, we have big plans for book 6, and the idea of the LA Institute, and the idea of the Blackthorn family and leaning into that, and getting to see… We have big, big plans. I think we achieve some of it in the short time, and I don’t think the fans will feel it’s rushed. I think our writing team have done like this really elegant way of encapsulating a lot of material in a short amount of time in terms of the finale, but I do think like that’s the… And the Helen-Aline, we have huge plans of that. And we knew the community and the fandom would really dig that relationship, too.

It was interesting, so it’s a bummer, and we were sad, and we didn’t get to do everything we wanted, but we got to do a lot. And in terms of production value of the books, that would be too much to say, because some of the stuff that Cassie wrote was spectacular, and we wished we could film it as it happened, we just couldn’t afford to do like the cave stuff. I can think of a lot of cool stuff that we just couldn’t do.

Darren: But sometimes the creativity of trying to do it for the budget that we would do a TV show for, leads to different versions of the story that are unexpected and fun and we wouldn’t do any other way looking back at it.

Todd: The Church of Talto, you’re right. Like all that stuff, yeah. Kind of the Shadowhunters TV spin.

What do you feel the lasting legacy of Shadowhunters will be and what will it be most remembered for?

Todd:  Hopefully, the lasting legacy will be inclusion and will be this sense of community and that while we’re all different, and we’re all kind of weirdos and freaks in our own way, all of us, every human being in the world, that we will accept them, we won’t judge them, and will embrace them and celebrate their uniqueness.

Perfect. Darren, do you have anything to add to that?

Darren: I think that says it in such an eloquent way.

Todd: Jeeze, how nice of him. Wow.

Darren: I mean that, serious.

Todd: Cool. Thank you for all or your support. We really, really appreciate it and enjoy the season ahead.

Season 3b of Shadowhunters premieres tomorrow, February 25th on Freeform. 

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