Percy Jackson creator explains why show makes changes to the books

2 January 2024, 12:14

Rick Riordan reveals why Percy Jackson series is different to the books

By Sam Prance

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is, for the most part, a loyal retelling of the books but there are several notable changes.

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There's no denying that Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+ is a slay of epic proportions. The script? Hilarious. The set-pieces? Incredible. Walker Scobell and the rest of the cast? Perfect. The TV series brings the books to life in a way that's fresh and modern while also staying true to the source material and fans all around the world are loving it.

Nevertheless, there are several notable differences between the series and the books. For example, Percy thinks his dad is dead in the books but in the series he knows that he's alive. Elsewhere, it's clear that Annabeth has romantic feelings for Luke in the books, and Medusa is a much more three dimensional villain in the series.

Now, executive producer Jon Steinberg and creator Rick Riordan have explained why they made "a million changes".

Percy Jackson creator explains why show makes changes to the books
Percy Jackson creator explains why show makes changes to the books. Picture: Disney+

Speaking to The Direct, Jon Steinberg said: "A million changes and you hope that almost all of them are invisible. These are very different mediums and I think they tell stories differently. And so I think you have to embrace the idea that everything in the book is going to have to find a different form to inhabit in order to be something I'd want to watch on screen."

He added: "So sometimes it's sequencing, it's causation, it's the way set pieces play out is a little different, but it made it work better. Some of it is bigger, some of them, frankly, are things that I think Rick [Riordan] was excited about getting a second go at it. He wrote that book 20 some odd years ago, and you don't get a second draft..."

Jon ended by positing: "Who would do everything the same 20 years later? No one. Neither would Rick. I think some changes in the way some of these relationships work and was something that we were all really excited about."

The cast of Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The cast of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Picture: Disney+ via Alamy

Discussing the changes in a behind-the-scenes video for Disney+, Rick said: "In terms of updating the story, it was important that I looked at it again with fresh eyes and made sure that the story was speaking to all kids, and that everyone could look at this series and see themselves. After all, that's why I wrote the series in the first place."

What do you think? Are you happy with the differences?

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