The Percy Jackson movies were hated by fans for their needless changes from the books. The Disney+ series can fix the movies’ biggest mistakes.
- The Percy Jackson film series made mistakes by aging up the main characters, casting older actors, and rushing the romance between Percy and Annabeth.
- The films mishandled the character of Kronos and skimmed over important world-building elements like Camp Half-Blood.
- The series also left out significant characters like Ares and Clarrise and portrayed Persephone’s presence in the Underworld inaccurately.
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The Percy Jackson book series is beloved, and many fans hope the Disney show can fix the mistakes of the previous film adaptations and deliver a more faithful series. In the 2000s, with the Harry Potter films being some of the most marketable titles in the industry, it made sense for Hollywood to pursue another renowned series of YA books. The Percy Jackson novels by Rick Riordan offered a similar taste of young characters venturing into a fantastical world, telling a story that could appeal to all ages.
However, 2010’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief was met with poor reviews and an angered response from book fans. Author RickRiordan described being turned off from Hollywood for a long time, but Disney+ is now giving the iconic fantasy novels another chance at live action with a new series, releasing December 20, 2023, which will hopefully right some of the film series’ wrongs.
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10 The Main Characters Are Too Old
The trio were aged-up from 12 to 16.
The Percy Jackson film’s first mistake was casting older actors to play the parts of the main characters. Rather than Percy and Annabeth being 12 at the start of the series like in the books, the film aged them up to be 16, though actors Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario were 18 and 23, respectively, at the time of the film’s release. In an effort to attract a teen crowd, the movie rids the main characters of significant, youthful development. The Percy Jackson show cast consisting of younger actors is an assuring sign that they’ll respect the source material and the characters’ long-term arcs.
9 Kronos Was Handled Terribly
He was defeated in the second movie.
The Titan Kronos is the main antagonist of the Percy Jackson book series, and the film adaptations handled the character awfully. Kronos spends most of the book series manipulating events from the grave until he’s finally able to return in book four. His presence is always integral, as his plans initiate the series’ events. However, the first Percy Jackson film doesn’t include him at all. In response to that criticism, the second film introduces Kronos, but he returns to living form by the end of the movie to be defeated by Percy. The show should ease into Kronos’ introduction, just like the novels.
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8 The Movies Skimmed Over Camp Half-Blood
The movies missed out on important world-building.
Like Hogwarts in the Harry Potter world, the magical community of Camp Half-Blood is a vital aspect of world-building in Percy Jackson. To progress forward to the adventure, the film skims over life at Camp Half-Blood, with the first film missing characters like Clarrise and Dionysus. Not to mention, they missed out on the orange shirts! The Camp experience helps build the book series’ ensemble cast and is essential to the story’s pacing. Given the show’s eight-episode season length, the Disney+ series should have more time to explore the world and its characters.
7 Percy And Annabeth’s Romance Came Too Quickly
The movies see them form immediate romantic feelings.
Part of the reason for having older characters in the films was likely to explore Percy and Annabeth’s romance earlier on. In the books, the two develop affection for each other over the years, as at age 12, they commonly find each other annoying and difficult. Their relationship begins with a beautiful friendship, though the films see them developing immediate romantic chemistry.
6 Ares Was Removed From The Movies
The Lightning Thief movie was missing an antagonist.
Disney has already corrected leaving Ares out of the Percy Jackson films, as he’s appeared in trailers for the series. The Greek god of war, a secondary antagonist in The Lightning Thief that contributes to Kronos’ return, was left out of the film adaptation. The decision was likely to emphasize Luke as the antagonist, though it seems too important to leave out the idea of a god wanting to start a war among gods. The series will amend this mistake.
5 The Movies Skimmed Over Luke’s Character
Luke was robbed of depth.
Luke’s transition to being a traitor is one of the most captivating aspects of the novel, as Percy has more complex feelings about having to stop his old friend. The film version of Luke oversimplified the character, removing his bonds with the protagonists and turning him into a simple god-hater. His age gap from the books allows Luke to be a mentor for Percy to look up to, with his life experiences contributing to the believability of his distaste for the gods. The Percy Jackson show is already fixing the Luke mistake by casting an older actor in the role.
4 The Lightning Thief Skipped Over Clarrise
The movies skipped an important book character.
Another important character the movies failed to do justice to was Clarrise La Rue, who doesn’t even appear in the first film. Clarrise is a bully who instantly takes to messing with Percy at Camp Half-Blood, and her character is essential for the dynamics between cabins. Seeing as the first film skipped over a lot from the camps, it’s not surprising she was omitted. The TV series has cast the character and will include her.
3 Persephone Is In The Underworld During Summer
In Greek mythology, Persephone is never in the Underworld during Summer.
The portrayal of Hades in The Lightning Thief film felt more like the Disney Hercules version of the character rather than the solitary, reserved version in Riordan’s books. But the more grieving aspect of this storyline is that Persephone is even in the Underworld, as it directly contradicts Greek mythology. The film crams the Persephone pearl idea to extend the length of the main quest, with the central concept being her captivity. However, the whole plot is made null by the fact that Persephone is only in the Underworld for half the year. The TV series should adapt the book’s use of the pearls to avoid this issue.
2 The Details Of Riptide Are Skimmed Over
The films never mention Percy’s sword name.
Riptide is Percy Jackson’s faithful sword, which appears as a click pen. The film made a point of using the pen aspect as a joke but skipped over the details of the sword’s name and lore. With more time to spend on details and world-building, the Disney+ series can examine the weapon more closely, as a named weapon serves a purpose in a hero’s identity.
1 The Movies Have The Characters Use Modern Tech
Percy used an iPod to slay Medusa in The Lightning Thief.
In Rick Riordan’s novels, a fundamental rule about monsters is that they’re attracted to electronics. However, the film adaptation saw the characters using technology, including Percy using an iPod’s reflection to help slay Medusa. The cheesy use of modern technology to make the films feel more relatable needlessly betrayed an aspect of the book’s world-building. The Percy Jackson TV series should be allowed its changes, as any adaptation is, but those changes should have a meaningful purpose to the narrative.
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians Release Date: 2023-12-20 Cast: Walker Scobell, Leah Sava Jeffries, Aryan Simhadri, Jason Mantzoukas, Megan Mullally, Glynn Turman, Adam Copeland, Virginia Kull, Lance Reddick Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Rating: TV-PG Seasons: 1 Story By: Rick Riordan Writers: Rick Riordan, Jonathan E. Steinberg Streaming Service: Disney Plus Franchise(s): Percy Jackson & The Olympians Directors: James Bobin, Anders Engström Showrunner: Jonathan E. Steinberg, Dan Shotz