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Category: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' sequel locks down star, lands director

June 16, 2011 |  6:01 pm

Percy
EXCLUSIVE: "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" was a reasonably sized hit when it came out in the winter of 2010: The mythology-infused film based on Rick Riordan's bestseller drew $89 million in U.S. box office and another $137 million around the world.

Now a sequel hopes to build on that fan base.

According to a source familiar with the production who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of discussions, studio Fox 2000 has exercised the option on star Logan Lerman, essentially meaning that the young actor is locked down to reprise his role as Percy Jackson in a new picture. The company has also hired a director in Thor Freudenthal, best known for helming the similarly boy-oriented "Diary of a Wimpy Kid;" he'll pick up where "Lightning Thief" director Chris Columbus left off. (Columbus will only produce this new movie.)

As we reported in March, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the well-regarded writers of "Ed Wood" and kid hit "Agent Cody Banks," have been brought on to write a script. The idea, the source said, is to move quickly with a new film and come out as early as 2012.

The first "Percy Jackson" film introduced the world to an ordinary boy who discovers that he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon. Riordan's second book, subtitled "The Sea of Monsters," follows Percy and his group of friends as they head to the titular sea to find the mythical Golden Fleece, as well as to free a friend who has been captured there. It's expected, though, that the sequel will draw from other Percy Jackson titles as well as "Sea of Monsters."

It's easy to understand a studio's interest in the Percy Jackson property: In addition to the five books Riordan wrote in the series, he's penned numerous spinoffs, including the popular "The Demigod Files."

Any new Percy Jackson movie would need to contend with the age question: Lerman is already 19 in real life (the first film aged the character up from 12 to 17) while the property's core fan base can see their tastes change pretty quickly.

Then again, there is this tantalizing fact: After this summer there will presumably still be audiences hungering for movies about boys on fantastical adventures, but no "Harry Potter" to sate them.

RELATED:

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twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Logan Lerman in "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief." Credit: Fox 2000


'Percy Jackson' sequel could be on its way

March 1, 2011 |  6:58 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Fans waiting for a sequel to "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" may not have to wait that much longer.

Fox 2000, the 20th Century Fox label behind the adventure franchise, is putting a follow-up project to the 2010 young-adult film in active development and could shoot it as early as this summer, according to a person who has been briefed on the project's status but was not authorized to speak publicly about it. The movie would be subtitled "The Sea of Monsters" and derive from the second book in Rick Riordan's five-book series.Monst

The studio has hired Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski -- who wrote "Ed Wood" and "Agent Cody Banks" -- to write a script for the new film, which they are currently doing. But the person cautioned that the project is still very much at the development phase; the movie, for instance, does not yet have a director.

Chris Columbus, who helmed the first installment, is not expected to return, although he will produce the picture, as will "Breaking Dawn" producer Karen Rosenfelt, who also produced "Lightning Thief."

The lead cast members, headed by Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson, will come back, according to the person who was briefed.

A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment.

The first film introduced the world to  an ordinary boy who discovers that he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon, and that many elements from ancient Greek mythology still exist today. (The film aged up the character from 12, which he was in the novel, to 17.) Riordan's second book follows Percy and his group of friends as they head to the titular sea to find the mythical Golden Fleece and to free a friend who has been captured there.

A "Percy Jackson" sequel had been a question mark since the original came out a little over a year ago. Riordan's books are hugely popular, with the series spending more than three years on the New York Times bestseller list. The original film was a modest hit, fueled by its performance overseas: It grossed a decent $89 million in the U.S. but pulled in an additional $137 million around the world.

Young-adult movies tend to spawn sequels relatively quickly, as studios worry that both a cast and an audience can grow out of a franchise. But one person familiar with the project said that Fox believes that the ongoing popularity of the books is more than sufficient to overcome a potential two-year lag between films.

RELATED:

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--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Book jacket from "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea Monsters." Credit: Hyperion Books


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