Much is riding on the Disney+ TV series, which is based on the well-known fantasy novels by Rick Riordan.
Finally available on Disney+, Rick Riordan’s highly anticipated young adult series Percy Jackson and the Olympians is now available on television. Since the first book in the beloved Greek mythology-inspired series, which centers on a 12-year-old boy who discovers he is the forbidden demigod son of Poseidon and finds himself in the middle of a protracted dispute among the Greek pantheon, fans have been waiting for a deserving screen adaptation. They endured two films that were deemed cursed and did not live up to the financial or popular expectations. Fans are now optimistic they’ll finally get the faithful series they deserve, because author Rick Riordan battled tooth & nail to be included in the second adaptation attempt. Allow me to ease everyone’s anxieties.the people who are Percyheads: We’ve been waiting for the Percy Jackson we see in the new show.
Let’s start with some historical background: Although it is unrealistic to expect a novel’s screen adaptation to perfectly capture the original work, fans of the series are not exaggerating when they claim that the first two films were a complete mess. Riordan has also agreed: The author summarized his negative experience serving as a consultant on the first film’s production in a statement that was released in 2018. He even revealed purported emails he sent to the film’s producers in 2009, which criticized the script and advised against aging up the cast. The performers’ ages serve as the strongest indication that none of his suggestions was followed: When he filmed Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Logan Lerman, who played Percy, was 17 years old. When he filmed its sequel, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the sequel. When she starred in the first movie, Alexandra Daddario, who played Percy’s love interest, Annabeth, was 22 years old. Nearly ten years older than Lerman was Brandon T. Jackson, who portrayed Grover, the satyr and Percy’s closest friend and sworn guardian. Naturally, growing older led to a darker interpretation of the tale, a reduction in the humor, and the use of language that was not so kid-friendly—all of which turned off the main readership of the novels.
Fortunately, Disney (which acquired 20th Century Fox in 2019) has learned from its blunders. Our Percy, Walker Scobell, is finally here, with love to Lerman, who did the best he could with the material he was given. Leah Sava Jeffries, 14, and Aryan Simhadri, 17, who portray Grover and Annabeth, respectively, accompany 14-year-old Scobell. The ensemble is more diverse than what is shown in the books, and the actors are the appropriate ages for their parts. (And to all the fans who were upset that a Black female playing the traditionally blonde Annabeth, I have to say: These are demigod characters. Their parents are in fact celestial beings! Above all, they genuinely describe the personalities of the primary trio: Grover is the endearing mediator between the three, Annabeth is fiercely devoted and stubborn, and Percy is sardonically funny. The rest of the cast is excellent as well; Charlie Bushnell’s character Luke, in particular, has a lot more room to grow than he does in the movies, which is appropriate considering his path in the books.
The remarkably intact plot will also please fans, based on the four episodes that have been made available to the media. Thus far, the television adaptation closely echoes the events in the first book. There are scenes and plots that were cut from the movie, perhaps to save time, however they also curiously created a whole new side quest regarding the goddess Persephone’s pearls. The complex tale of Riordan’s books, which is told over the course of six installments, is ideal for television because the medium lends itself naturally to slower, more in-depth storytelling.
All of this is not to argue that an adaptation cannot enhance or modify the original work, but in the instance of Percy Jackson, it makes sense to fulfill the fans’ long-standing demand. The entire series takes place between the ages of 12 and 16, which are some of the most difficult years of a person’s life. Puberty is a natural part of growing up, and Percy must deal with it while making a choice that will either save or end the planet. His youth is significant because it emphasizes how dangerous it is that these kids are being drawn into what turns out to be a real supernatural conflict. Percy Jackson is undoubtedly a whimsical and enjoyable story, but it also explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and adulthood. and morals, as the best tales of coming of age always do.
Not only were the expectations of the fans extremely high, but Disney’s next major franchise wager also rested heavily on this adaptation. Although the new series is far from flawless, it manages to dispel the ghost of the previous movies. In a heartfelt gesture, Lerman himself sent Scobell a message of encouragement and support, from one Percy to another, as Scobell embarks on the difficult task of playing a character that is so adored by (loud, opinionated) fans. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which is set to release in 2023, above all promises to remain faithful, and from a longstanding member of the Riordan hive, it’s the finest thing that can be said.