The Student Newspaper of Oxford Academy

The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

Upcoming “Percy Jackson” live-action series promises to be godly

Gia Nguyen

Highly anticipated by casual fans and veteran Tumblr users alike, Rick Riordan’s renowned modern mythology book series, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” will air as a live-action show adaptation Dec. 20 on Disney+, welcoming Riordan himself to the creative directing team.

Since the first two live-action “Percy Jackson” movies in the 2010s disappointed fans for blatantly diverging from the novels due to creative decisions independent of Riordan, the show’s involvement with the author promises an adaptation that is just as electrifying as the original books.

The fantasy series follows twelve-year-old demigod Percy Jackson as he and his friends fend off gods and mythical enemies. Its contemporary take on Greek mythology, combined with witty writing and lovable characters, established the franchise as today’s most iconic fictional universes. 

However, the original films diverged so heavily from the source material that the movies had lost the books’ juvenile charm and relatability, which hallmarked the series. The films also did not seek approval from Riordan for their screenplays, explaining their contrast from the novels. When adapting any book series into live-action, it’s equally as important to capture the source material’s essence as it is to take creative liberties. 

Riordan’s choice to go against his canon descriptions of the protagonists with diverse casting stirred controversy in particular. The role of Annabeth, who is depicted as white in the books, received backlash online when it was confirmed she would be played by Leah Jeffries, a Black actress. 

While Percy and Grover’s choice of actors were also questioned for not resembling their book counterparts, Annabeth’s portrayal was criticized heavily as Jeffries didn’t fit the white and blonde stereotype that identified the character.

In defense of Jeffries, Riordan wrote on his website, “‘Percy Jackson’ has always been [about] ‘difference is strength.’ You should never judge someone by how well they fit your preconceived notions.” 

Annabeth’s physical appearance undoubtedly is one of but at the end of the day, it factors little into her actual character. Especially because Riordan hand-picked the cast, fans must realize that a character’s adaptation is about their true nature rather than their looks and trust both in Riordan’s choice and Jeffries’s portrayal.

Though only one teaser has been released for the show, Riordan’s presence on the production team guarantees an exhilarating watch true to the beloved books. Despite superficial differences in casting, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is sure to be an authentic retelling with all the original charm of the novels.

About the Contributors
Haley Nguyen, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Haley Nguyen is a M.I.D. (majestic, intelligent, and delicious) junior and is going into her third year of Gamut. For this 2023-2024 school year, she will be Gamut’s A&E editor as “it’s more interesting than the other sections” and is looking forward to getting to know the new additions to the Gamut family. Haley is also involved in Key Club and VSA (Vietnamese Student Association), which she danced for at the annual International Show. Aside from school, she is super big on typology such as MBTI and is an ENFP, a Word Hunt Fiend, and a chronic afterschool napper. Her prized possession is her light blue HydroFlask, which you might see her carrying around. Although it’s dented, can’t stand up straight, has a hole at the bottom, and more, she treasures it as it’s been with her through thick and thin since seventh grade.
Gia Nguyen, Assistant Art/Layout/Web Content Editor

Serving his second year, meet Gia Nguyen, the beloved assistant layout editor of The Gamut. Gia’s story with the newspaper began when he decided the structured format of OA’s art program wasn’t for him. Instead, he prefers the freedom that journalism offered him, allowing him to experiment with his art style, and incorporate art with an academic field. Outside of diligently working on Gamut’s art and layout, you can find Gia bopping to the Spider Verse movie soundtrack, tearing up to emotional movies, taking refreshing walks, and cooking and baking (he makes a mean chicken fettuccine alfredo). Despite having a patient demeanor, Gia has a few dislikes: going through the motions, math and science, and wet and mushy foods (wet spinach irks him). With a passionate personality, Gia is excited for this year in Gamut, personally aiming to have a strong work ethic and improve the quality of his Gamut drafts.