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Gods and Heroes Reborn: The New Percy Jackson Series

By Annabelle Chai

Since its debut in 2005, the Percy Jackson series has captured the imagination of readers worldwide, igniting a desire for a screen adaptation true to the books. The initial attempts by Chris Columbus with "Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief" fell short of fan expectations, criticized for changes that did not align with the characters' ages and descriptions.

“The first movie did not include a lot of what happened in ‘The Lightning Thief,’” seventh grader Allison Lam said. “For example, the book mentioned Ares, but the movie never even showed a scene with Ares. For both of the movies, the casting choices were terrible. Percy Jackson was supposed to be 12, but the actor was 17. Annabeth was also supposed to have blonde hair, but the directors didn't even care about that. In both movies, the directors changed some of the story line and almost made it into a completely different story, not ‘Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief.’ It was a complete waste of time for the whole cast, crew and people watching, and most importantly, a complete waste of money.” 


Acknowledging the disappointment of fans, a new effort led to the creation of a Percy Jackson TV series on Disney+. The show aimed to offer a better interpretation of Riordan's work, with Riordan himself taking an active role in the production of the show.


The new show has been met with enthusiasm for its casting of age-appropriate actors for the roles. Walker Scobell, Aryan Simhadri and Leah Jeffries bring to life the central characters of Percy, Grover and Annabeth, respectively, embodying the spirit of Riordan's world.

Source by Isabella Chu

The show features Walker Scobell, Leah Sava Jeffries, and Aryan Simhadri as the main three actors.

"I think both are really good, but the new series is more closely related to the books, so it’s better in that way,” English teacher Ms. Kaczmarczyk said.

However, the casting of Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase sparked controversy due to her racial background differing from the book's description. Riordan and others in the community have defended the choice, emphasizing talent over physical resemblance.


“The Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ series was definitely better than the original movies,” Lam said. “The series had more scenes from the book than the movies, and they cast a boy who looked 12 years old. The series did change some things, but it just made the story better most of the time.” 

As the series awaits confirmation for a second season, the show displays the power of collaborative adaptation, with Riordan's involvement being a key factor in its success. The Percy Jackson TV series has brought back excitement and anticipation for what is next in the demigod's televised adventures.


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