A few weeks ago, writer Rick Riordan revealed that a new Percy Jackson TV show, based on his fantasy book series of the same name, was in development for Disney+. Until now, the only screen adaptation of the franchise had been two disappointingly flat movies, the last of which came in 2013. No one was more disappointed by them than Riordan though, and no one is more relieved that another attempt has been green lit.
Speaking to fans on social media, he gave no quarter, reiterating his disdain for the films, whilst promising that the new show will “fix” the legacy of their failure.
“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. 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…”
Writers wrestling with Hollywood’s treatment of their work is nothing new. Watchmen creator Alan Moore famously disowned Zack Snyder’s big screen adaptation of his graphic novel and perhaps the most famous of all such feuds was Stephen King’s deep dislike of Stanley Kubrick’s take on The Shining – a film widely regarded as a classic of cinema. Not in the eyes of the man behind the source material, though.
Which brings me to the guy behind Percy Jackson‘s source material. When I said no one was more relieved than Riordan to see a new adaptation get green lit, I really meant it. You can feel the emotion coming in waves from his comments above.
The films didn’t get things right, but he has a second chance to fix that now and hopefully for him and for viewers, the series is a step up from the previous adaptations. Particularly for viewers, as nobody wants more flimsy teeny-weeny fantasy drama clogging up their content libraries. Harry Potter has a great deal to answer for with regards to that. Anyway, here’s to a quality show.
Excited for Percy Jackson on Disney+? Leave a comment with your own thoughts below.