Percy Jackson fans, we finally have our Golden Trio! Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood have both finally been cast, Disney+ announced. Leah Jeffries and Aryan Simhadri are set to star beside Walter Scobell for this upcoming series.
After years of waiting for a good live-action Percy Jackson adaptation, fans hope that this one will be it. Hopefully, Riordan’s very active involvement will mean that the television series will be successful and honor the legacy of the original books. It could also hopefully see a revival of other forgotten franchises from Fox. People are beyond excited, so here are some of the funniest and most heartwarming reactions to the casting announcements.
Hooray! They Finally Cast Teenagers To Play Teenagers
Hollywood has always had a problem with casting older actors to play significantly younger characters. Almost every teen movie features actors who are sometimes as much as 10 years older than their characters, and it is, quite frankly, strange. 30-year-olds shouldn’t play high schoolers, it’s not convincing. Fans were understandably excited when 13-year-old Walker Scobell, 12-year-old Leah Jeffries, and 15-year-old Aryan Simhadri as the three main characters of the upcoming Percy Jackson and the Olympians Disney+ television series.
Reddit user DiceCubed1460 wrote, “Wow. They’re ACTUAL teens and not 26-30-year-olds in clothes from ‘the gap.’ Surprising.” Fans everywhere are very excited to see Percy, Annabeth, and Grover’s stories unfold, and the fact that their ages will, for the first time, be portrayed accurately is a huge step up.
Bring On The Diversity!
Diversity, equity, and inclusion in movies and television shows are very important. Representation matters much more than people tend to think, and the fact that Rick Riordan chose to cast two young people of color as Annabeth and Grover has certainly made a lot of fans very, very happy and excited.
Reddit user shea_eina, said, “Personally, I love that he cast different people than in the books because there’s more representation!” It’s great that young kids will grow up watching this television series and getting to see the lead characters look like them.
Annabeth Being Black Is Perfect
Even though the Heroes Of Olympus book series introduces a handful of racially and culturally diverse characters, the Percy Jackson series isn’t quite as diverse. When it was announced that Leah Jeffries was cast as Annabeth Chase, fans were quick to hop on Reddit to both gush and complain about this casting.
In the books, Annabeth is described to be blonde, and often not taken seriously due to the “dumb blonde” stereotype. While some people are needlessly hung up on the fact that Annabeth will not be blonde in the live-action series adaptation, Redditor capo-johnson was quick to point out that Jeffries is perfect for the role, explaining that “having her played by a black girl is perfect, especially in today’s social climate. Young black girls need representation like this, black people (women/girls especially) are stereotyped as less intelligent especially in academia/STEM. It’s an ‘updated’ take on Annabeth’s character arc and I’ m all for it.”
It Doesn’t Matter What The Characters Look Like
The Percy Jackson casting for the three main characters was announced mere days ago, and it has already generated a fair amount of online criticism. Even though a majority of fans are very excited and supportive, the main qualm that some people have with the casting decision is that Leah Sava Jeffries, who has been cast as Annabeth Chase, and Aryan Simhadri, who has been cast as Grover, look nothing like how they are described in the books, otherwise translated as, “They’re not white.”
Reddit user EquivalentInflation is particularly annoyed with people who have this complaint, arguing that “Rick Riordan made it clear that they wanted to prioritize acting skill and personality over exact looks…These characters aren’t popular because of their hair color, they’ re popular because a lot of people could report to their personalities and their lives. Take a wild guess what people connected with more: dealing with family struggles, having ADHD and dyslexia, feeling unloved… or having blonde f—ing hair .”
Rick Riordan Looks So Happy
The two Percy Jackson movies are famous for being horrible, and Rick Riordan is known for being one of the biggest critics of those movies, especially since he was not involved in the adaptation process whatsoever. Riordan has been overwhelmingly excited to begin the process of creating a Percy Jackson television series with his vision at the forefront, and throughout the months, his excitement from him to bring his books to life on the screen has become more and more evident.
Redditor -GregTheGreat- noted how ecstatic Riordan looks in his photo with Jeffries, Scobell, and Simhadri, writing, “Yeah, I trust in Rick’s vision. The man is passionate and truly cares about his work.”
Walker Scobell’s Personality Is Perfect For Percy
Percy Jackson has been a beloved character ever since Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief first came out in 2005. Since then, fans across the world have fallen in love with Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and the rest of their friends. When Walker Scobell was cast in early April, fans were mostly elated, especially since Scobell has recently gained attention and acclaim for playing a young version of Ryan Reynolds in The Adam Project.
Redditor Vishion-8 gushed about Scobell, saying that he was “great in the Adam Project for a kid actor. He captured young Ryan Reynolds really well. I think he can work really well for Percy as well.” Scobell did indeed do a great job capturing Reynolds’s unique sense of humor and quirkiness, and that will certainly translate over into his performance of everyone’s favorite “Seaweed Brain,” Percy Jackson.
South Asian Representation
While representation in movies and television shows is getting better, there is always room for improvement. The Percy Jackson series isn’t too diverse, but Rick Riordan seems to be making a conscious effort to improve upon that. Aryan Simhadri has been cast as Grover, Percy’s best friend. Simhadri is of South Asian heritage, which might have come as a surprise for some fans.
Reddit user TidyUpJim rejoiced at the South Asian representation in the upcoming Disney+ show. They wrote, “Rare to see positive male [South Asian] rep in Hollywood.” Seeing Simhadri, as a South Asian boy, as a lead in a television series will be great for young children.
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