Meet The Greek Gods Of Fantasy Film ‘Percy Jackson’

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percy jackson heading Meet The Greek Gods Of Fantasy Film Percy Jackson

Think Harry Potter is the only series of young adult-centric fantasy books prime for a movie franchise? Think again. The series of books Percy & The Olympians is set to be turned into a movie (with the presumed title simply as Percy Jackson), with the adapted screenplay already written by Chris Columbus and Craig Titley based on the first book in the series called The Lightning Thief.

The film, which is to be directed by Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, and the first two Harry Potter films), is based on the Greek mythology-based books that tells the story of Poseidon’s half-human son, Percy, who sets out on a quest across modern America to prevent a war among the gods.

Speaking of which, most of those who will play the Greek gods have already been cast, they are: Pierce Brosnan as Chiron, Uma Thurman as Madusa, Sean Bean as Zeus, Kevin McKidd as Poseidon and Melina Kanakaredes as Athena. The gods Aries, Hades and Persephone have not yet been cast.

The three main teenage characters have already been cast: Logan Lerman (3:10 To Yuma), Alexandra Daddario (All My Children) and Brandon T. Jackson (Alpa Chino from Tropic Thunder).

Since it’s based specifically on the first book in the series, here’s a bit more of an in-depth plot that will most likely be used in the film (courtesy of Wikipedia):

The Lightning Thief is the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, it is the story of twelve year old Percy Jackson, a boy with ADHD and Dyslexia. Percy has been going to many different schools, many of them boarding schools, due to the fact that he keeps getting kicked out. His entire life he has had no idea where his father is. But one day during a school field trip, Percy is approached by a mystical creature and defeats it with a sword named Riptide(disguised as a pen) given to him by a teacher. Later that day, Percy and his mom go on a trip to a beach when attacked by a storm. Percy’s friend Grover from school suddenly appears saving Percy, but ultimately failing to save his mom. Grover exposes himself as a Satyr and that Percy has been taken to Camp Half Blood. Percy discovers that he is a demigod and during a Capture the Flag game that his father is Poseidon, the god of the sea. A while later, Chiron, his old teacher and the camp director tells him that his father and uncle Zeus are warring over Zeus’s lost Master Bolt. Now, Percy must journey to find the Zeus’ missing bolt to restore peace in Olympus with Annabeth Chase and Grover the Satyr.

percy jackson the lightning thief book cover Meet The Greek Gods Of Fantasy Film Percy Jackson

What immediately struck me about this whole idea is how it mixes the Greek god mythology with modern day life. It has the high potential to look extremely cheesy on-screen, and so I remain pensive as to whether or not they can pull this off. However, Columbus has proven himself competent in bringing a fantasy story to life with the first two Harry Potter films which on paper also had the potential to not work on-screen. Luckily, Columbus and subsequent directors such as Alfonso Cuaron found a way to make it work very well.

The term used to describe how the story functions is that they “take some creative license.” Wouldn’t they have to for it to work?…

As far as the casting of the gods goes, it’s kind of a mixed bag. Thurman and McKidd I think are suited to the roles, with the latter being pretty kick ass in any role he takes. But Brosnan, Bean and Kanakeredes are another story - all three are fine performers in their own right, but it seems in this case they have just been chosen for how they look more than the performance they have to give.

An interesting thing to note about the titular teenage boy – the character is written as having both Dyslexia and ADHD. It’s great to see there being a character in such a fantasy series who has real life issues, as opposed to “the perfect young hero.” I just hope they keep that part of the movie version… something tells me they won’t.

As I hinted at in the opening paragraph, the plan is to make this into a full franchise of fantasy films (much like what Harry Potter is now) – each installment based on one of the five original books by Rick Riordan. These books in order are: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian.

We’ll just see if the first film does well at the box office before they can move on to more films. I don’t think the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series has had the success and mainstream name recognition as Harry Potter did (and obviously still does), but you never know, this could catch on and become very successful.

So is there any fans of the source material out there? Do you think this will make a successful movie franchise?

Percy Jackson is set to start shooting sometime this year, and is aimed for a February 2010 release.

Source: Variety

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  1. Pierce Brosnan as a centaur? Really?

    I can actually get behind Bean as Zeus, though. But I’ve never heard of the source material, so they better make Zeus true to the mythology, and not just some benevolent father figure.

  2. Not a huge fan of Pierce Brosnan’s acting, but he’s ok. Not at all a fan of Uma Thurman, Sean Bean? Hell yes, and Kevin McKidd? Woot! And Melina Kanawackawho???

  3. “fine performers in their own right, but it seems in this case they have just been chosen for how they look more than the performance they have to give” Come on, fess up…you’ve been living on a desert island haven’t you? Have you EVER seen anything Sean Bean has done besides Hollyweird blockbusters?

  4. Yes I have, I’m actually a big fan of Bean. I didn’t say he couldn’t act, or he was a bad actor, or anything like that. If you read what I was saying properly you would notice I was simply saying for THIS MOVIE he seems to have been chosen more for his look than anything else.

  5. Hopefully McKidd finishes with this film quickly so he can be Lucious Vorenus in the upcoming Rome movie if that comes true. :-)

  6. Is it just me, or does story this sound ridiculously stupid??

  7. Well, the book does look really cheesy, but then you ready it and it’s really not. It very good actually, though for some reason they’re completely changing it for the movie. In the story Percy and Annabeth are 12 years old, and apparently in the movie they’re 18. The books revolve around a prophecy that talks about what will happen when Percy turns 16, so obviously there’s already a big change right there. So far it seems the story in the movie will be completely different.

  8. Best BOOK EVER ALL OF YOU SHOULD READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1.lIGHTNING THEIF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Thats ironoc.I started reading that book last week.

  10. I LOVE THE BOOK SERIES! I can’t wait for the movie. But…I think they were wayyy better when they were 12. Now, they just….ruined the propechy!

  11. I think Heath Ledger would make a good Ares.

  12. I don’t like the cast for Annabeth. Alexandra Daddrarrio(spelling?) is too old and looks nothing like Annabeth.

  13. WHAT THE HELL?
    I’ve read all the books so far and they’re great…
    But making them 18 instead of 12 is ridiculous.
    Would Harry Potter have been such a success if Harry began the story 18 years old?
    (Probably lol)
    But would it have been as good?

  14. probably not. there should actually be a guy from the movie(just somebody) to have a lookatthe suggestions from the internet and then contrast that with what they have in mind. Having the audience know that the actors are a good age for their characters is pretty important. they now have to try really hard to make the actors look like their characters(age,hair,eyes etc). It would be a miracle if they can now pull it off.

  15. OMG, I love the series and definitely cant wait to see the movie

  16. I just hope it is at least three quarters as good as the book.

  17. The books were wonderful, I just finished reading Last Olympian. The movie I’m not so sure about, the people they have to play Annanbeth and Athena are totally wrong in my opinion, and I really doubt that I will ever go see the movies because it will just ruin the books for me. It’s hard fo me to see this book series as a movie, some books weren’t meant to be made into movies and this is one of them.

  18. I cannot get the last olympian cause it isn’t out here yet. what happen?

  19. The books are great! Though the series hasn’t received as much recognition as HP, it can compete with the ‘Boy who lived’ on so many levels. The pacing is certainly faster than HP, which could potentially work well for a film adaptation. The kink, however, is this reported change of a key element in the book, which is the age of the leads. This can probably be the ‘game-breaker’ for the film release. I hope they re-think this decision and be a little more faithful to their source material.

    The Last Olympian is a terrific whirlwind conclusion to the five-book saga!

  20. awww, I wished I knew what happened.=(

  21. I think this cast is not right. Uma Thurman is good but the other characters arent right. Poseidon, Chiron, and Zeus should all have older characters. After all. they are gods and a centaur. Find somebody who could play off the old wise, white haired, look that Zeus has.

  22. I was thinking the opposite, that Uma Thurman is the worst one in the cast. I mean, could they have possibly hired an actress that knew how to act? Unless she was itentionally unwatchable in the Kill Bill movies…

  23. That is by far the best book around. i have the whole series.

  24. in class we are reading the lighting theif and it’s a great book there is so much action in it and i love greek myhtology so i am looking forward to seeing the movie and seeing how it’s different.

  25. i can not waite 4 the movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I LUV U PERCEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. I loved the series!
    They seem to be changing a lot of the story for the movie, which my friends and and I already upset about. They should try to stick with the story at least a little bit… I mean making the characters so much older is already going to cause problems. I disagree with a lot of the casting choices as well.

  27. No to all the characters. except that kid who plays luke.
    Just, stick with the book, okay? they’re 12, not 18.
    And isnt kevin mckidd, i dunno a litlle to young to play poseidon? and Sean Bean SUCKS

  28. Okay, if those are the charactors playing Percy, Annabeth ect… YOU GUYS S*CK! HOW COULD YOU MAKE THEM LOOK THAT OLD?!?! THEY ARE NOT 45! They’re like 12 in the first book! Arrg! I hate how movies ruin everything… WOW, please don’t make the movie anymore if you’re going to use these actors. I’m at the beginning of the Battle For Labyrinth right now, and I also really hope Percy & Annabeth get together! They would be an awesome couple. I mean really, I think Annabeth likes Percy, didn’t you see how she acted when he came running into her when he ditched Goode. I really think she likes him. I’ll just have to keep reading!

  29. I hope the the guys in the picture are the gods and not the children cause im sure the film won’t sell!!!