-Rick Riordan even spoke out against the studio! Check out his emails!
Us bookworms have been hurt by inaccurate big screen adaptations before, but the awful Percy Jackson and the Olympians movies probably crushed our hearts the most. Here was a series countless people grew up reading, finally being adapted by a major movie studio with Chris Columbus attached, who directed the first two Harry Potter movies! They were going to set up a major new franchise that we would get to watch and enjoy for years to come, right? WRONG! What we got instead was a hot mess of a movie that even the author himself despised. But why were these two movies in the abrupt movie franchise so universally reviled? Below are the biggest reasons that this feature completely flopped:
*Why were the characters so much older?! *
So the first book begins with an eleven year old Percy discovering an entire world of Greek Mythology and his own demigod abilities. Over the course of the first five book series, Percy and his friends grow in age and abilities, with a lot of heartfelt moments along the way. The first movie decides to age up the protagonists well into adolescence, and they get even older actors to portray them. Alexandra Daddario, who portrayed Percy's close friend Annabeth, was twenty-two when the first film was being made! Brandon Jackson, who portrayed the goofy satyr Grover, was 24! It was very weird seeing these actors trying their best to seem like teenagers, through no fault of their own. Maybe the studio didn't want to deal with child actors or the time it would take for them to get older? But it worked for Harry Potter, so why not here also?
That climax was a rushed mess!
I don't wan't to be too much of a book snob, but the climax in the first book sets up a much larger conflict that the movie completely ignored. Kronos was set up as an Emperor Palpatine-esque bad guy, who used the antagonistic camper Luke to carry out his evil deeds over the rest of the series. The movie decided to make Luke the only major villain instead, who was totally defeated by Percy in a triumphant climax. But wait, what about the other sequels? The movie didn't seem to care about setting up future plotlines, which made whoever directed the sequel's job that much harder. Marvel has been setting up their future movies for how long now? It shouldn't be impossible to invest in a long-term plan for a movie series, especially one with a built-in fanbase!
Don't worry, the sequel was even messier!
The first movie did well enough at the box office to warrant a sequel, but whoever wrote the screenplay thought it would be good to SKIP TO THE FINAL BOOK AND USE THAT CLIMAX INSTEAD! Um, what?! Imagine the Harry Potter movies if there was only two and skipped ahead to the big fight with Voldemort without any of the context or emotional stakes. Maybe they figured there wouldn't be a third Percy Jackson movie, but why rush through a whole bunch of plotline and have to spend way too much time explaining everything?! The filmmakers made it really tough for themselves with this sequel!
Seriously, Rick Riordan hated it!
The author of the beloved book series is one of us! A little while ago, he finally revealed on a blog post some emails he sent to film executives after he read the script. he was clearly appalled, and it's weirdly satisfying to see an author share our exact opinions about these movies. And he let these executives know exactly what he thought of this (terrible) script. He even offered to rewrite the script for them! Unfortunately, Riordan didn't have any real influence over the final product, and the filmmakers basically ignored his issues with the movie. But seriously, if they were out to try and make lots of money, then investing in a long term franchise would have gotten them way more than what two negatively reviewed films did!
All Hope Isn't Lost
Percy Jackson is getting another adaptation, but this time with author Rick Riordan much more heavily involved, and it will be a television series with Disney+! Riordan is writing scripts and working very closely on the storyline, and it seems like the studio is very dedicated to making a much more authentic depiction for younger audiences. Seriously, I think this has the potential to be an all-ages fantasy epic with a Game of Throne amount of popularity and devotion. I cannot wait for this, and hopefully these two terrible films can be forgotten soon! Did you see the movies in theaters? What are your feelings about them? What scenes do you wish the movies would have covered? Let us know in the comments!