Rick Riordan and Turning a Book into a Movie

percy jackson If are more then a casual fan of this blog then you know that I am a huge Rick Riordan fan.  I know he writes for kids but I find his writing to be so clever and charming.  He has introduced to stories and myths that I didn’t know before or had forgotten.  He has widen his universe to be the most inclusive in children’s literature.  He uses his voice and privilege to ally and uplift other voices that don’t always get the spotlight.  To put it simply.  Rick is a good egg.  He is also been one of the biggest critics of the movies of his own books.  While the way he trolls them is amusing it does highlight the difference between the two mediums and how as much as we think Authors have a say in the movies based on their work, they don’t.  We all have a favorite book that was completely ruined by it’s movie.  For fans of Percy Jackson the movie is just terrible and almost unrecognizable to the books.  The choices that the filmmakers chose made it almost impossible to make it a franchise.  I think they realized it with the second movie and tried to fix it but it was already too late.  A problem that Rick foresaw when the filmmaker’s asked for his opinion.  Today, Rick posted a blog post where he details the email conversations with the filmmaker’s and how little power he had in the process.  It’s an interesting read and I suggest taking a few minutes to read.

First, it kills any possibility of a movie franchise. I don’t know if you or your staff have had the chance to read farther than The Lightning Thief in the Percy Jackson series, but there are four other volumes. The series is grounded on the premise that Percy must progress from age twelve to age sixteen, when according to a prophecy he must make a decision that saves or destroys the world. I assume that XXXX would at least like to keep open the option of sequels assuming the first movie does well. Starting Percy at seventeen makes this undoable. I’m also sure that XXXXX (for) the first Harry Potter movie, some in the studio argued for making the characters older to appeal to a teen audience. Fortunately, they took the long view and stayed true to the source material, which allowed them to grow a lucrative franchise. This would’ve been impossible if they’d started Harry at seventeen. The same principle applies here.

Memories from my TV/Movie Experience

What would you like to see?

Featured imageCassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series has already been made into a movie.  You may have forgotten it existed since it came out and was gone just as quickly in 2013.  I’ll admit, I have a copy of it, given to me by a friend and I still haven’t seen it.  From what I hear it wasn’t good.  Well, it looks like Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle and Magnus will have another chance to live off the page but this time on TV.   ABC Family has ordered the series Shadowhunters to premiere sometime next year.  Honestly, I think it will be better TV show then movie.  It has so many subplots and characters, that a more serialized form would be a better fit to get all of it in.  And for me at least, the casting is more in line with how the characters are in my head then the movie.  Though, that is not the case for everyone.  Some fans have express their “concerns” over the fact that some of the actors are not the ethnicity as the characters in the book.  For instance, the actress cast as Isabelle, Emeraude Toubia, is hispanic.  I don’t see this as a problem because a) She’s beautiful, tall with long dark hair like Isabelle and b) we are never really given her nationality beyond the fact she is a Shadowhunter because in the shadowhunter world, that comes first, nationality comes a distant second.  Props to the producers and ABC Family for casting based on who they thought was the best fit for the role.  I hope it’s good.  I do have some reservations about this series but I really did enjoy reading them as a whole and I will see the movie eventually.  It got me thinking though.  What other book that has already been made into a movie would I like to see made into a TV Show?  I have two on the top of my head.

First, hands down, Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  The first two books were made into a movies and well they were bad.  OK, they were fine but anyone who read the book, knew they were lacking.  Percy, Annabeth and Grover were too old and the prophecy that was the center of the whole series was left out!  It was just a mess.  With 10 books, if you include the Heroes of Olympus there are plenty of material to work with for several seasons.

Second, Harry Potter may seem like a strange one because the movies were really good.  As far as adaptations go, they were faithful to the source material but also have their own identity but think of all that was left out?  The beauty of TV shows is that you more time to tell the story depending on how many episodes.  Movies are about 2 to 2 1/2 hours long.  Shows are 30 minutes to an hour long from anywhere to 12 episodes to 24.  That’s a lot more time!  Maybe then we would get to see more of Dobby and the house elves.  More of Neville’s back story and well more of the other characters in general.  Just think of the possibilities!

Those are two I can think of right now?  What other movies based on books would you like to see go the TV route?  Sound off in the comments below.