Percy Jackson and the Olympians is officially being adapted into a TV series at Disney+! Now this is not the first time the popular book series is getting the live action treatment, though many fans have tried to scrub the memory of the 2010 film and it’s 2013 sequel from their brains. Hopefully the second time around finally produces an adaptation that fans don’t actively try to deny the existence of. Going into it, here are my hopes (and fears) for the upcoming series.
Arguably one of the most jarring changes made in the film series was the decision to age up the characters. In the first book, Percy and friends were 12 years old, but the film decided to change course by casting 18-year-old Logan Lerman as the titular character. This choice frustrates me to no end, as it seems the studio was trying to sabotage themselves from the start. They could have had a Harry Potter-level franchise on their hands and give the audience the opportunity to grow up with these characters, but NOOO, they decided to cast much older actors who would quickly grow out of their roles.
The author of the series, Rick Riordan, who had little to no involvement with the film series, has actively expressed his disappointment. I’m hoping that won’t be the case this time around. Rick Riordan is involved in the Disney+ adaptation, and I hope he continues to have a hand in all aspects of production from casting to scripts and everything in between. Authors know their own work better than anyone, and should have a level of say in the adaptations to ensure the stay faithful to the source material. If studios don’t include the author, they run the risk of alienating fans when the resulting product bears little resemblance to the story the readers originally fell in love with.
While I can’t be too mad at the first film–as it made me want to the read the series in the first place–I can be angry with the second as it bore almost no resemblance to the story and the characters I fell in love with. My main hope is that the new TV series stays faithful to the books, instead of primarily consisting of events that don’t occur–like the use of Persephone’s pearls or, I don’t know, Kronos rising WAY TOO SOON and appearing as a giant fire-monster-thing. That doesn’t mean there won’t be necessary changes; film and print are two very different mediums, and not everything in a novel translates well to film. I accept there will be changes, but I can only hope those changes won’t be as gargantuan as the inclusion of a fire monster who enjoys eating grandsons.
Via GIPHYWe have a long way to go before the new Percy Jackson TV series hits our screens, but in the meantime feel free to relive the glory of the original book series while we hope and pray this series finally gets the adaptation it deserves.
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