Percy Jackson and the Olympians

May 11, 2010 | 4:04 p.m.

‘Percy Jackson’ author Rick Riordan finds new magic with ‘The Red Pyramid’

LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW Susan Carpenter recently reviewed Rick Riordan’s latest book for the Los Angeles Times, here’s an excerpt… In “The Red Pyramid,” the first book in “The Kane Chronicles,” Rick Riordan’s new series for middle readers, a child has godlike powers but doesn’t know it until strange things begin to unfold. A parent disappears, prompting introductions to ancient characters and travels to otherworldly places. There are battles with evil forces and a looming deadline by which the child must complete a mission, lest society descend into chaos. If this sounds like “Percy Jackson & the Olympians,” the author’s five-book, New York Times bestseller fantasy series — and source of the film “The Lightning Thief“ — that’s no coincidence. Why mess with a successful formula, especially if you can use it to make your new story just as […]
Feb. 14, 2010 | 2:18 a.m.

Kevin McKidd hopes lightning strikes for ‘Percy Jackson’

This is a longer version of my story on the cover of today’s Los Angeles Times Calendar section. If you want to know what it’s like to be a television star, walk down a Los Angeles sidewalk with Kevin McKidd, who “Grey’s Anatomy” fans instantly recognize as the tortured trauma surgeon Owen Hunt. If you want to know what it’s like to be a movie star, listen to McKidd describe a solitary stroll he took on a New York street during the filming of “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lighting Thief.” “There’s a shot where I arrive in the city and walk up out of the ocean,” says McKidd, who portrays Poseidon in the modern-day adventure with gods of Greek myth. “It was one of those moments as an actor where you say, ‘Wow, I am making a big movie.’ There […]
Feb. 09, 2010 | 1:29 a.m.

Will ‘Percy Jackson’ fans embrace Hollywood’s older version of the boy hero?

Rachel Abramowitz stirred an avalanche of reader comments last week with her post on “The Last Airbender“ and she may do the same with this update on the Hollywood treatment of a certain half-god. It’s a question, in a way, for the ages: What happens when Hollywood makes a bookshelf boy hero into a young man? To the devoted fans of the “Percy Jackson” books, the bestselling series is largely defined by the fact that it is a 12-year-old peer at the center of the sword-swinging adventure — so how will they feel by the decision to “age up” the title character in the Hollywood adaptation that arrives in theaters on Friday? Logan Lerman, 18, is the star of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” and don’t think that a lot of a thought didn’t go into the decision to pick an actor in the shaving-cream consumer demographic. […]
Feb. 03, 2010 | 10:33 p.m.

Uma Thurman and her hissing hair

Here’s a look at Uma Thurman in the role of Medusa in “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” which hits theaters Feb. 12 with aspirations of knocking “Avatar” out of that top spot at the box office. And yes, that’s an iPhone Thurman’s got, and since Percy (Logan Lerman) is about to swing his sword at her neck, I’m guessing this scene might have a one-liner about “a killer app.” Our Rachel Abramowitz previously talked to “Percy” director Chris Columbus about Thurman, her slithering scalp and her alluring appeal, you can read that story right here.  – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED ‘Percy’ director: Uma Thurman is a ‘seductive’ Medusa Great Hera, ‘Percy’ has Erica Cerra of ‘Eureka’ ‘Percy’ and ‘Clash’ use same myths but with epic differences Chris Columbus feels pride watching his old ‘Potter’ stars from afar Is Percy’s myth too close […]
Jan. 30, 2010 | 3:00 p.m.

‘Percy Jackson’s’ Erica Cerra is a goddess, and a deputy

Erica Cerra is billed as the hottest woman on Syfy — Deputy Jo Lupo on the series “Eureka” — and now she’ll be playing an actual goddess (Hera) in the movie “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” We caught up with the actress, who also has a movie coming out soon called “The Stranger” with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and asked her about acting up north, acting tough and acting among the gods. JP: So you’re one of the Vancouver-based actresses. With so much production, TV and film, is it tougher now than it’s ever been in ‘Hollywood North’ to get a role? EC: It’s funny, I started up here when I was 5 or 6, and when I did it  I was with the first agency in Vancouver when we had “21 Jump Street,” or about that time. There was such […]
Jan. 12, 2010 | 12:55 a.m.

‘Percy Jackson’ director: Uma Thurman will be a ‘seductive’ Medusa

  How alluring is Uma Thurman? “She’s someone who’s so sensual and seductive,” filmmaker Chris Columbus says, “that you’ll look into her eyes and forget that she has 75 snakes on her head.” Columbus should know since, as the director of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” he chose the statuesque actress for the role of Medusa, the cursed mythological creature with serpent tresses. The memorable Medusa is coming back in a big way with Thurman’s performance in “Percy,” which hits U.S. theaters on Feb. 12, and the character’s prominent appearances in “Clash of the Titans,” which opens domestically on March 26. Columbus, who directed the first two “Harry Potter” films as well as “Home Alone,” said the sinister appeal of Medusa was one of the key reasons he took on the “Percy” project, which is based on the bestselling Rick Riordan […]
Dec. 11, 2009 | 6:04 p.m.

‘Percy Jackson’ and ‘Clash of the Titans’ draw on same Greek myths but with epic differences

This is a longer version of my cover story in this upcoming Sunday Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times. — G.B. There were inscriptions written above the entrance of the Temple of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi, and the two most famous ones were cautionary words of wisdom: “Know thyself” and “Nothing too much.” Those bits of ancient advice are worth considering as two Hollywood studios hope to launch film franchises that use Greek mythology as the unlikely premise for popcorn entertainment. “These are the stories that began storytelling in many ways,” director Louis Leterrier said a few months ago on the London set of his “Clash of the Titans,” the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures epic that arrives in theaters in March with Sam Worthington as Perseus, Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades. “These are […]
Nov. 18, 2009 | 5:49 p.m.

Is Percy Jackson’s mythology too close to Harry Potter’s magic?

Here at the Hero Complex, we’ve circled “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” as a project to watch next year, so we’ll be bringing you lots of coverage of its odyssey as a Hollywood venture. Today, Rachel Abramowitz has a report on the similarities between two magical youngsters, one named Percy and the other named Harry.  — Geoff Boucher In February, moviegoers will get a chance to meet a character who is already a titan of the bookshelves: Percy Jackson, the rebellious 12-year-old hero of Rick Riordan’s bestselling novels, who discovers that he is the demigod son of the Greek sea god Poseidon. But will newcomers to the saga find themselves thinking of a certain boy wizard who discovered his own supernatural heritage within the walls of Hogwarts? The first Riordan novel, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” was published four years […]
Nov. 16, 2009 | 9:16 p.m.

Chris Columbus is ‘like a proud parent’ watching ‘Harry Potter’ stars from afar

  It’s been a long time since director Chris Columbus was the cinematic headmaster at Hogwarts but he said it’s been a joy to watch Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint graduate to bigger and better things. “My biggest pride is seeing the pictures now, and watching the three of them from a distance, and seeing them do an entire scene in one shot,” said the director of the first two “Harry Potter” films, which were released in 2001 and 2002. “Seriously, I know that sounds funny, but in the old days — and, you know, the old days meaning eight years ago — and in that first picture in particular, it’s filled with cuts because they couldn’t really get beyond the first line without either looking into the camera, laughing or looking at the lights.” I was talking to Columbus recently about his […]
May 25, 2009 | 4:09 p.m.

Life after ‘Harry Potter': What will Hollywood do when the magic is gone?

The “Harry Potter” juggernaut is starting to wind down. As the franchise moves closer to its finish line, Hollywood executives are scrambling to find the Next Big Thing — a multiple movie property that appeals to youngsters, has an epic sweep and fantastic landscapes that suit modern CGI filmmaking. It also needs to lend itself to those all-important licensing deals. Rachel Abramowitz, who writes about the film industry for the Los Angeles Times (and authored the book “Is That a Gun in Your Pocket: The Truth About Female Power in Hollywood“), has some intriguing insights into the quest to replace the boy wizard of the box office. It was a seminar that top executives at Sony and Paramount couldn’t afford to miss. Forty-six of them — including Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton, co-Chairman Amy Pascal, Paramount Film Group President John Lesher and marketing teams from around the globe — crowded around a […]
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