As fans of the Percy Jackson series of novels will attest, the two film adaptations were awful. Not only did they fail to capture the spirit, heart, and cleverness of the books, but they turned Pierce Brosnan into a shirtless Centaur. As it turns out, fans aren’t alone in their disdain for the film — the author of the novels, Rick Riordan, isn’t fond of them either.
Riordan revealed as much via Twitter when responding to a fan bemoaning Disney+ censoring the casino sequence in the first film, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
“I don’t know [why Disney+ is censoring that scene], but clearly it’s a mistake,” the author wrote. “They should censor the entire thing. Just two hours of blank screen.”
When prompted further, Riordan didn’t mince words and also teased the upcoming Disney+ series adaptation.
“Well, to you guys, it’s a couple hours entertainment. To me, it’s my life’s work going through a meat grinder when I pleaded with them not to do it. So yeah. But it’s fine. All fine. We’re gonna fix it soon . . .” Riordan continued, “Finally, I still have not seen the movies, and don’t plan on ever doing so. I judge them from having read the scripts, because I care most about the story. I certainly have nothing against the very talented actors. Not their fault. I’m just sorry they got dragged into that mess.”
Hopefully, the move to Disney+ means we will finally see a faithful adaptation of the source material. There’s some truly great stuff in Riordan’s books and it was a shame when the film adaptations failed to provide the same magic.
The Percy Jackson novel franchise began in 2005 with The Lightning Thief, which proved to be a smash hit and spawned four sequels, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian, with five supplement books and graphic novel versions of each being released shortly after.
The first novel was adapted for the big screen in 2010 with Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) helming and Logan Lerman (Hunters) starring in the titular role. Though receiving generally mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike, with criticism aimed at the film’s unfaithfulness to its source material, it was a box office hit, grossing over $226 million on its $95 million budget, which led 20th Century Fox to order a sequel.
This came in 2013 with the adaptation of The Sea of Monsters, featuring the return of Lerman along with co-stars Alexandra Daddario (We Summon the Darkness) and Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder). Much like its predecessor, it received more mixed reviews from critics and audiences, with more criticism aimed at its unfaithfulness and melding of stories from the second and fifth novels, and was a box office hit, grossing $200 million on its $90 million budget. A third film in the series based on The Titan’s Curse was in development, but after languishing in development hell it appears to have been shut down.