Percy Jackson author defends Annabeth’s casting and says “everyone can be heroes”

Percy Jackson author defends Annabeth's casting and says "everyone can be heroes"

After Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – 49% and Percy Jackson and the Sea of ​​Monsters – 42% were a failure at the box office, Rick Riordan spent years trying to build a new version that was more attached to his original novels, a move widely accepted by fans who also wanted to see the saga in live action. It was confirmed some time ago that the project would be left in the hands of Disney Plus and when the original cast was revealed, the racist comments came quickly and strongly. Luckily, the writer remains firm in his decisions and ensures that the adaptation will do justice to his work, thus defending the casting of one of the protagonists because he supports the message that he has always wanted to send with this story. .

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Percy Jackson Film Adaptations Tried to Become Harry Potter

After the great success of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone – Percy Jackson author defends Annabeth's casting and says "everyone can be heroes"80% in the literary and cinematographic world, many production companies looked for similar options to create their own franchises with a youthful cast that would grow with each installment and generate a group of fans that would cross borders. Unfortunately, most of the options proved to be a mistake and the Riordan saga was one of those titles, but largely due to the changes that the company made to its text in its attempt to get closer to the world of the boy wizard.

Those who know the Percy Jackson saga praise the tone of the books and their way of approaching the growth and maturity of their protagonists, in addition to showing the main hero with virtues and attitudes different from those of other fantasy protagonists. All of these points made the books famous, but they were discarded in the adaptations to make them more youthful and accessible. Riordan spent years criticizing these films, a sentiment shared by readers who knew that the stories of these demigods had a lot of potential to create a magical world of their own.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians cast (Source: IMDb)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians cast (Source: IMDb)

In 2020, the author approached Disney Plus and sold them an idea to adapt the novels as a television series for their streaming platform, something that caught the production company’s attention enough to give the project the green light. This way, the writer could maintain creative control over the work and everyone involved in it, including casting. At the beginning of 2022, it was announced that Walker Scobell would play Percy Jackson, Leah Jeffries would play Annabeth Chase and Aryan Simhadri would play Grover.

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Those who know the original texts well know that the adventures of these heroes begin at an early age, so it was natural to look for younger actors for the adaptation. Although this seemed to indicate that the series would take the right path, some were quick to bring out the most racist side of it to complain about Jeffries by comparing her to Alexandra Daddario, who played the same character in the films. The producers, many connoisseurs of the saga and Riordan himself have already defended this casting on several occasions, but the creator always takes new opportunities to support his cast.

In interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rick Riordan He responded once again to these attacks full of ignorance and zero tolerance, and assured that the actress is perfect and diversity is valid in the series because it corresponds to the very origin that led him to create the books:

(My son) was struggling with dyslexia and ADHD, having a terrible time in school, but the only thing he loved was Greek mythology. As a teacher, I knew a lot about Greek mythology. I loved teaching him. So I started telling him stories from Greek myths, and when I ran out of the old stuff, I invented a new Greek hero: a modern boy named Percy Jackson who, like my son, has ADHD and dyslexia and finds that those are indicators of how well he is. you could be a demigod. My son had no trouble believing that.

Riordan continued:

20 years later, it was important to look at (the plot) again with fresh eyes and make sure that the story spoke to all children and that everyone could watch this series and see themselves. It’s inclusive enough that everyone can be a hero; after all, that’s why I wrote the book in the first place. My son, because of his learning difficulties, felt like an outsider and this was my way of telling him: “It’s okay. Difference is a strength. You will be okay. And you belong in this world.”

In his personal blog, the author defended the casting and said that it was absurd that the toxic fans did not recognize that he had decision-making power over the main cast and if those actors were there, it was for a good reason, because they did justice to his vision.

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