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The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

BRINGING BACK MEMORIES: ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ rekindles childhood dreams for actors

Image used with permission from Disney+
Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”) holds his mythical sword, “Riptide,” while hiding behind a box before fighting Medusa in the third episode of the Disney+ series that premiered in December.


That’s how many times 15-year-old actor Walker Scobell (“The Adam Project”) said he’s read Rick Riordan’s five-book, fantasy series Percy Jackson & the Olympians.

“I’ve been reading these books since third grade, and it’s been really great to be able to experience filming the books I’ve read,” said Scobell, who plays Percy Jackson.

The first two episodes adapting Riordan’s work for streaming were released on Wednesday, Dec. 20, on Disney+, and more than two weeks before that, the House of Mickey held a Zoom news conference on Monday, Dec. 4, with student journalists to discuss the upcoming series and answer their questions.

Since the publication of the first book The Lighting Thief  in 2005, young adult readers both then and now have fallen in love with the series.

This show will be the third live-action series of the Percy Jackson franchise, although separate from the previous two movies “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” in 2010 and its sequel, “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” in 2013. 

The teaser video for the series that was released on Tuesday, Sept. 19, received over nine million views and the official trailer released on Thursday, Nov. 16, received over seven million.

Some fans had doubts about casting choices, specifically the casting of the Black actor Leah Jeffries as a character who is blonde in the books, which Riordan opened up about in a blog post in May 2022.

Main protagonist Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell, “The Adam Project”) stands on the beach with satyr Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri, “Spin”) and Athena’s daughter Annabeth Chase (Leah Jeffries, “Beast”), on a quest to prove his innocence and return Zeus’ stolen weapon, the “Master Bolt.” (Image used with permission from Disney+)

“I have been clear, as the author, that I was looking for the best actors to inhabit and bring to life the personalities of these characters, and that physical appearance was secondary for me,” the author said.

Despite some worries about the casting, the collaboration between the original author and Disney+ reeled in 13.3 million viewers within the first six days that the series launched on the platform, according to Variety.

In the new adaption, the main protagonist Jackson goes on a journey to restore order to Olympus with satyr Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri, “Spin”) and Athena’s daughter Annabeth Chase (Leah Jeffries, “Beast”) after being accused of stealing Zeus’s master weapon.

When asked if his previous roles acting with Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool 2”) on “The Adam Project” and Owen Wilson (“Loki”) for “Secret Headquarters” helped him with his main role in the new series, Scobell said they were useful.

“I think I learned a lot of valuable lessons from them that I used while filming Percy Jackson,” he said.

Simhadri said he also read the series in school and he looks up to Underwood.

“For Grover, one of my favorite things when reading his character in the books is how connected he is to everyone he cares about, which is a trait that I really admire in him,” he said. “It’s something I really want to try and take from [his] character and put it into this story as much as I can.”

The main cast also said it felt shocked when they came on set and saw the backgrounds and props prepared.

Jeffries said that, as a fan of the series, arriving on the set of “Camp Half-Blood” was surreal.

“I’ve never seen people bring something that was a story that was written out to life so good,” she said. “When I went there, I walked out like I really lived in that book.”

Co-executive producer Dan Shotz, along with co-executive producer Jon Steinberg, who worked with Shotz on producing “The Old Man,” said he felt a sense of amazement when filming.

“We got to do some pretty amazing creature design in this show — things that I think have never been seen like this ever,” he said. 

After receiving a question about a favorite scene audiences can look forward to, Scobell said to anticipate a special duel with a Greek Olympian god, with the others present during the interview agreeing.

“The Ares fight, I don’t even think there needs to be an explanation,” the actor said.

The cast and directors agreed that the fight is a key highlight and was one of the most exciting scenes to shoot.

Steinberg also praised the main cast’s acting and professionalism during filming.

“It’s a story about what it’s like to hurt people you love, what it’s like to be in a complicated relationship with a parent, and I think the more they were able to pull that off it was easier to forget that everyone was 16 and 13 and 12 [years old],” the producer said.

Steinberg also said working with Riordan was an invaluable experience and aided largely in the making of the film.

“It’s a constant balancing act between a real sense of reverence for the reference material and a willingness to try stuff, and I think having Rick and Becky on board makes that process possible,” he said. “I think the ability to pitch something new and then getting to look at their faces to see if it’s working is invaluable.”

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Irene Park, Copy Editor
After spending her freshman year in the Journalism 1 class, sophomore Irene Park takes on the role of one of the copy editors of The Accolade. Park looks forward to contributing to the publication by enhancing reporters' stories. As a cub reporter, she received a Best of SNO award for her story about the unique ways some teachers commemorate Memorial Day. Park plans to strengthen her writing abilities and balance her growing workload while fostering new friendships. Outside of The Accolade, she is the sophomore president of the Korean Culture Club and actively participates in other clubs. In her free time, she watches anime and plays the cello.
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