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The 5 W'S Of... Percy Jackson And The Olympians

Percy Jackson And The Olympians

The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief
The Sea of Monsters
The Sea of Monsters
The Titan's Curse
The Titan's Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian
The Last Olympian

In the same way that Harry Potter took familiar tales of magic and witchcraft and transplanted them to a recognisable world, Percy Jackson takes Greek myths and legends and relocates them to the modern-day USA. So the gods are still going around and knocking up mortals; monsters are still tussling with the demi-gods who result, and the whole world around us only masks an older, darker one beneath.

Percy (full name: Perseus) has been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia as a result of his inability to pay attention at the many schools he has attended. But he doesn't start to suspect that anything else in his life might be wrong until he somehow causes water from a nearby fountain to soak a bully who's attacking Percy's friend Grover. His maths teacher Mrs Dodds (Maria Olsen), a Snape-like figure in her willingness to believe ill of Percy, summons him back inside the museum they're visiting - and turns into a Fury. Percy's favourite teacher, Mr Brunner, throws his pen to Percy as she attacks; it transforms into a bronze sword and he's able to fight the algebra-loving harridan off.

Mr Brunner denies that anything happened - but it's the beginning of an adventure that sees Percy set off on a cross-country trek in search of Zeus' missing lightning bolt, dodging gods and monsters all the way as he fights to stop a war breaking out among the gods. Just for the record, fact-fans, the last time that happened the results were the Siege of Troy and the death of hundreds of thousands, and in those days they didn't even have AK-47s.

In short, think Neil Gaiman's American Gods but for kids. The books read like Potter - same easily accessible style, same racing speed to the plot - but they're narrated in the first person by Percy himself. The Lightning Thief is the first of five books published to date.

Percy Jackson

Are you kidding? It's a wildly popular kid's franchise very much in the Potter mould that's just dying to be turned into an equally successful film franchise. And the filmmakers have followed the Potter model in casting too: relative unknowns as the kids who do most of the heavy lifting in terms of screentime; a cast of established names to round things out and add gravitas to the background roles. And what roles they are: the Greek gods are superhuman but still giving to bickering, fighting, cheating and generally misbehaving.

Given that Columbus previously launched the Potter franchise, the hope has got to be that this will follow the same pattern: as with Potter, the stakes get higher and the stories get darker as the books progress, and the stories are rollicking good stuff. Assuming the kids are up to it, and the scripts, we have high hopes for this one.

Sean Bean
Sean Bean will play head god, Zeus
Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan is to play God of the Underworld, Hades
Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson will play Persephone

The series of books about Percy Jackson and the Olympians (five and counting) were written by Rick Riordan, a Texas-based former schoolteacher who's also been working on mammoth children's book series The 39 Clues. The film's directed by Chris Columbus, who of course established the world of Harry Potter in the first two films of that series. Alongside Logan Lerman (3.10 To Yuma) who landed the leading role of Percy Jackson himself, and his friends demi-god Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and satyr Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) the film has an all star cast. The Olympians include:

Zeus - (Sean Bean) The head god is peeved because his trademark Lightning Bolt has been stolen, and since Percy's a suspect, he's going to need to tread carefully. Capricious, moody and unpredictable, Zeus is someone to tiptoe around generally for that matter.

Poseidon - (Kevin McKidd) God of the Sea, Zeus's brother and another of the "Big Three" most powerful members of the pantheon. He kinda seems like he might be on Percy's side, but as with all the Gods, it's hard to say.

Hades - (Steve Coogan) God of the Underworld, another brother and last of the Big Three. He's generally distrusted by his fellow gods, who suspect that he's behind the theft. But that's probably just because he tricked

Persephone - (Rosario Dawson), Goddess of Spring, into marrying him. She spends most of her time in the Underworld, but when she comes up top to visit her mother Demeter (Stefanie von Pfetten) spring comes to Earth.

Luke Camilleri - (Dionysus), God of Wine. Only at the moment he's not allowed to drink for 100 years as a punishment from Zeus, and is condemned to run "Camp Half- Blood" (keep reading) as part of his punishment.

Ares (Ray Winstone) - God of War, he's secretly carrying on an affair with Aphrodite, Goddess of Love (Serinda Swan) despite the fact that she's married to Hephaestus (who doesn't appear in the first story).

Athena (Melina Kanakaredes) - Goddess of War and Wisdom. Mother to Percy's friend Annabeth (the Hermione of the series, if you will).

Apollo (Dimitri Lekkos) - God of the Sun, Music and Poetry. Probably the coolest of the Olympians.

Hera (Erica Cerra) - Goddess of Marriage (among other things). Zeus's long-suffering wife. Prone to fits of bad temper.

Also with important roles to play are:

Sally Jackson (Catherine Keener) - Percy's mother, who had an affair with one of the gods years before (but which one?) and gave birth to her demi-god son.

Gabe Ugliano (Joe Pantoliano) - Percy's odious stepfather, who scrounges from his stepson and is mean to Sally.

Mr Brunner / Chiron (Pierce Brosnan) - Percy's wheelchair-bound schoolteacher, who is in fact a centaur who's been training heroes for millennia.

Luke Castellan (Jake Abel) - An older student at Camp Half-Blood who acts as something of a mentor to Percy when he first arrives there.

Medusa - (Uma Thurman) - Ancient monster with a bad habit of turning visitors into stone when they look at her directly in her Gorgon form. See also: Clash of the Titans.


The film was shot in Vancouver and around British Columbia for the most part, with some scenes taking place at Nashville's full-scale replica of Athens' Parthenon.

However, the film is set all over the US. The first section's centred around New York City and New York State, but when Percy begins his quest to search for the Lightning Thief he heads off across country, looking for the Gates to the Underworld in a recording studio in Hollywood.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is out on February 12, 2010 in the US and UK, and February 11, 2010 in Australia.



Have Your Say
Are you a fan of Percy Jackson? DO you think the films will be as successful as the Harry Potter franchise? Register or login now to have your say.

Your Comments
Posted on Friday March 2, 2012, 17:18 by nKutzler
Whoever decided to put Sherlock Holmes on, just stop that sh*t right now. Read More

2 You're so wrong
Posted on Wednesday April 21, 2010, 11:58 by rubbish monkey
Not having True Romance in the list is just pants on the head retarded. It’s the ultimate love story between a comic book geek (who just happens to look like a young Jack Nicholson) and the world’s sweetest hooker. Throw in a young Tony Soprano, Brad Pitt’s best ever performance, Gary Oldman as a crazed Rasta pimp and the coolest ever face off between two of cinema’s top weirdoes – and tell me. Am I lying? Read More

3 The Sure Thing
Posted on Wednesday April 21, 2010, 11:22 by Timon
That is all. Read More

4 What about
Posted on Friday January 29, 2010, 14:15 by JNoble
Nick Love's OUTLAW? That said, I can understand people forgetting about it. Wish I could Read More

5 There still hasn't been an outright good game-to-film adaptation
Posted on Friday January 29, 2010, 14:13 by mentat72
I beg to differ, I think 'War Games' did a magnificent job of 'bigging-up' noughts and crosses. Read More

Posted on Thursday September 24, 2009, 21:57 by BabsyBuck
Logan Lerman = YUMMY! Read More

7 old article
Posted on Thursday February 19, 2009, 12:37 by f1r3starter
Reposting old Empire Magazine articles? News is slow these days! Read More

8 Freddy vs Jason
Posted on Friday February 13, 2009, 13:58 by davrosink
What was wrong with Freddy vs Jason, yeah the teenagers were canon fodder & you don't care about them but it did what it said in the tin FREDDY VS JASON. At last we got to see two of the biggest baddest going head to head in a entertaining fight unlike other VERSUS franchise *ahem A vs P* It's also first & only time you see Jason getting a jumbo size can of whoop ass opened up on him (did you notice him crawling away when Freddy was slicing into his back) Isn't it "ki, ki, ki, Ma, Ma, Ma" meant to symbolise the disembodied voice of Jason urging hos mother to kill Read More

9 Freddy vs Jason
Posted on Friday February 13, 2009, 13:47 by davrosink
What was wrong with Freddy vs Jason, yeah the teenagers were canon fodder & you don't care about them but it did what it said in the tin FREDDY VS JASON. At last we got to see two of the biggest baddest going head to head in a entertaining fight unlike other VERSUS franchise *ahem A vs P* It's also first & only time you see Jason getting a jumbo size can of whoop ass opened up on him (did you notice him crawling away when Freddy was slicing into his back) Isn't it "ki, ki, ki, Ma, Ma, Ma" meant to symbolise the disembodied voice of Jason urging hos mother to kill Read More

10 Vandemonium
Posted on Friday January 30, 2009, 14:09 by Stephen Done
It has to be the explanaton for his dopey name in Hard Target. When Yancy Butlers character asks why he is called 'Chance' he replies: "Because my momma, she took one...". What a film. Altogether now..."Whats it like to be hunted?" Read More

11 Worlds Greatest Dad
Posted on Monday January 19, 2009, 15:02 by discodave101
That has to be the funniest Synopsis I've ever read about a film. Wish I could've seen him pitching that one to the sponsors! Read More

12 Moon
Posted on Saturday January 17, 2009, 00:31 by gallus
Starring Sam Rockwell with Sam Rockwell co-starring? Weird... Read More

13 The Warriors #1???
Posted on Saturday January 17, 2009, 00:24 by gallus
No way! No remake deserves the number 1 spot for anything. Besides, it's only been announced and it's set for 2010, not 2009. Read More

14 Errrr...
Posted on Friday January 16, 2009, 15:59 by pete_traynor
What! Unless my eyes deceive me (apologies if they have) the Warriors seem to be absent from this run down. Shouldn’t they be number 1? Read More

Posted on Thursday January 15, 2009, 13:46 by bojangles1971
Who is Damon Wise anyway? Read More

16 RE:
Posted on Wednesday January 14, 2009, 11:45 by rayhiggins
L: Hingway Films For me the best thing was the Ooh rating system. Goodbye five stars. sp; I'll admit to a chuckle or two on seeing those too, although that may have had something to do with his expression. Read More

Posted on Monday January 12, 2009, 10:57 by Hingway Films
For me the best thing was the Ooh rating system. Goodbye five stars. Read More

18 Main Man Black Dynamite!
Posted on Sunday January 11, 2009, 20:24 by Jimjams
I'm very surprised there hasn't been more coverage of Black Dynamite on this site. It's creating a lot of buzz elsewhere. Just to get things going, check out the trailer: Be warned, NSFW, but with a trailer this good, you can stick it to the Man! Read More

19 Shorts...
Posted on Sunday January 11, 2009, 02:56 by Keeves
There's a short playing called 'James' which has won a couple of awards on other festival circuits. The guy who did this short this was his dissertation piece for the MA programme at Queens University last year-no one imagined that it would get this much attention! It's a lovely short about a young kid whose trying to come to terms with his sexuality and is unable to get any help or support. For the time and effort the director put into it it deserves some amount of recognition. Read More

20 RE:
Posted on Saturday January 10, 2009, 22:48 by nutteronabus
Nice to finally see In the Loop getting some attention - it's my most anticipated film of 2009, and has been for quite some time! Thanks for that lovely new still, Empire! Read More

Posted on Saturday January 10, 2009, 16:46 by Doctor Batman
Although I'm not going, I anticipate Dead Snow, I Love You Phillip Morris, World’s Greatest Dad, Moon, An Education, In The Loop, Brooklyn’s Finest and Mary and Max when they are released generally. Kepp us informed, Damo! Read More

22 500 Days Of Summer
Posted on Saturday January 10, 2009, 16:10 by darjeelingmike
Is the one for me although well over half of those films sound amazing! I always love learning of new under the radar films and Sundance surprises and amazes me every year and I will be sure to see all of these films before the year is out. But the No 1 for me is 500 Days Of Summer. I absolutely love Zooey Deschanel, she is incredible and Gordon Levitt is really coming into his own now with the brilliance if Brick and The Lookout and I have been excited about this film since I heard about it halfway through last year. I think 2009 is gonna be an amazing year for film! I wish I was going to Sundance but I don't know where to get tickets or how much they cost :( Read More

23 New York I Love You
Posted on Saturday January 10, 2009, 12:58 by BabsyBuck
Need I say anymore, just some of the stars that are in it! Shia Labeouf Robin Wright Penn Kevin Bacon Orlando Bloom Blake Lively Ethan Hawke Maggie Q Rachel Bilson Al Pacino Hayden Christensen James Caan.. Read More

24 RE:
Posted on Saturday January 10, 2009, 11:50 by richCie
i thought this was getting massively boycotted? cos of the anit-gay rights bill being passedor sumin. i can't remember the specifics but there were alot of calls for it to be moved elsewhere. ahe here we go: -to-face-boycott/ you Phillip Moriss e good,s Greatest Dad nuts, and after watching Insomnia last night i;m interested at the inclusion of Robin Williams, ormers good (i ahev the book; perhaps i should read it...), Moon i'm really excited about (Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey? YES MATE) een excited about for AGES, Loopeat potential,although i ahvent watched a whole lot of In The Thick Of IT it is hilarious, es of Heaven d potential, but i'm worried with the cast, and strangely enough d Maxues me but i wonder at how it'd work as a feature (looks and sounds like it could be a short) thats my personal selection Read More

Posted on Saturday January 10, 2009, 09:53 by hellboy22
I thought Wesley Snipes was in Prison? Read More

26 RE: Ooh, Ooh, Ooh!
Posted on Saturday January 10, 2009, 05:54 by Pigeon Army
All those films, and yet not one mention of Paul Giamatti's superb-looking ulshame. Still, nothing beats ynamite Read More

27 Ooh, Ooh, Ooh!
Posted on Saturday January 10, 2009, 04:23 by Acho
I ] I was going to Sundance! I didn't think ynamiteing anywhere other than straight to DVD, but I guess an awesome trailer does wonders! I look forward to hearing about the films that we'll be hearing about over the next year. And what's with the title of this thread? aking John Carter of Mars Trilogy L: kumar there are a couple of good lookers in there, but what is the sundance ffetival, where is it and how much is it? ance is a film festival which focuses on independent films, although it's a very big festival in its own right. It was founded by Robert Redford (hence the name) and its known for lots of 'indie' films being discovered there, which go on to great things. It's on in Utah, in western America. It tends to be very cold and snowy up there, so lots of relaxed-looking photo shoots with cast in coats and scarves! I've no idea of costs, I've never been, but I'd imagine that like any festival, it's as expensive as you make it - mo' films, mo' money! Read More

Posted on Friday January 9, 2009, 21:46 by kumar
zombie nazi soldiers. sold. there are a couple of good lookers in there, but what is the sundance ffetival, where is it and how much is it? Read More

29 Some gems in there
Posted on Friday January 9, 2009, 19:05 by Ethanial
Seriously looking forward to Adventureland and Black Dynamite, but there's some I completely forgot about after years of development, glad to see fruition does happen, will definitely be watching some of these when they finally come out direct to DVD in four years time... Read More

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