Percy Jackson trailer review: I actually want to be a half-blood

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Photo by Izzy Fonfara Drewel

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is a five book series that’s now being adapted into a show by Disney+. Photo By: Mary Oates.

“Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.”

I’ve read the words on pages, I’ve heard them sung in a Broadway musical, but now it’s time for them to come to the screen.

The teaser for “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” dropped Sept. 10 during the D23 Expo, an annual convention where Disney flaunts behind-the-scenes information and sneak previews of upcoming content.

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is a five-book series written by Rick Riordan. Throughout the novels, we follow our protagonist, Percy Jackson, through death-defying battles and dangerous quests against some of Greek mythology’s most terrifying characters. Percy, a normal 12-year-old boy, is living a standard life in New York City when he finds out the Greek god of the ocean, Poseidon, is his father and his life is thrown into chaos.

These books are near and dear to my heart. I grew up reading all of them, the sequel series and all of Riordan’s other works. Needless to say, I’m a little excited about the show coming to Disney+. I totally didn’t almost cry at the teaser.  

Over the years, there have been several adaptations of these novels, including “The Lightning Thief musical” which follows the plot of the first book. There are two movies about the first and second books; both are horribly inaccurate and enrage me to no end. Seriously, don’t get me started, I will not stop. But this new Disney+ show holds a lot of promise.

Riordan has been heavily involved with the creation of the show, influencing everything from casting and writing to production and directing. Riordan assured his many fans that the show will be as accurate to the book as possible, unlike the movies where he had limited involvement. He (and I) want the show to follow the true nature of the book as closely as possible. 

The trailer opens with the iconic line, “Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.” This is the first line of the first book, the opening line of the musical, the line that starts this incredible journey. I’m so glad they kept it in and let Percy’s actor, Walker Scobell, narrate it. 

When the casting was announced, Riordan stated on his blog that Scobell has “the perfect mix of comedic timing, sweetness, rebelliousness, snark and heroism to embody our hero, Percy Jackson.” Scobell is a self-declared superfan of PJO, having read all the books and even repping the Camp Half-Blood merchandise. 

His dedication and love are apparent as he delivers the opening monologue, and outside of filming, Scobell and his castmates keep fans updated on Instagram with silly jokes, conversations and even celebrating Percy Jackson’s birthday.

The trailer shows panning shots of Camp Half-Blood, home for all of the demigods. I’ve watched the trailer a few times – probably close to 15 – but I’m already obsessed with the set design. In the movie, the camp looked fine, but it was missing that pizzazz , that spark. The films made it look like an ordinary summer camp, but the trailer showed it’s anything but that. 

The lighting was mysterious, fire adding an almost other-worldly feeling. Percy makes his way across camp, every camper’s eyes on him but he’s focused on the birds in the trees and the unsettling shimmer of the lake. He gingerly steps up to a cabin, and it becomes clear this structure was built to honor the gods. With large pillars and a gaping doorway, this grandiose house is a commemoration of his father, Poseidon. 

I’m in awe of the amount of detail they put into the trailer. The cabin alone is a wonder to behold, but they included the leather cords the campers receive as necklaces, the mix of Greek letters and English to symbolize the demigods’ dyslexia, the armor designs, everything is what I imagined. 

However, the only detail we are lacking is a release date for the show. Despite all the begging and speculating, Riordan refuses to share the information with us. But while I wait on pins and needles, I’ll continue to escape into the pages of Percy Jackson. 

This story was written by Izzy Fonfara Drewel. She can be reached at isabella.fonfaradrewel@marquette.edu.