Last Saturday, I made the mistake of watching Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. As a fan of the books, I was looking forward to the adaptation, but I made the mistake of not checking the reviews online that warned against the movie since it’s absolutely nothing like the source material. I was so furious while watching it that I was almost grateful for the franchise to be discontinued after the sequel. Almost. It got me to thinking of other adaptations/franchises whose first films weren’t so successful that they decided not to continue with the property anymore. Here are the top three that I feel deserve a second chance on the big screen:
1. Percy Jackson & The Olympians
Poor Percy, he had a lot of problems that weren’t necessarily his fault, particularly timing and the right screenwriter. The first movie came out the same year as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The whole world was hooked on Harry and the comparisons between the two raven-haired heroes didn’t help Percy at all since he came after. Sure there are some similarities, like the fact that both discover they’re special and are part of a prophecy then try to save the world with their best friends, however as someone who’s read them both, trust me when I say that they are very different. Now that the Harry Potter film series is over, the time for Percy Jackson to be either rebooted completely or revamped starting with the third film has come. The Sea of Monsters was not as bad as the first one, but it still needed work, which is why I think a full reboot would be better. Percy’s story is too good to be left on the wayside. I mean come on, Greek mythology becoming reality, gods and goddesses re-imagined for a modern audience, a cast of characters you’ll fall in love with, what more can Hollywood ask for? I’m confident that with a screenwriter that actually respects and sticks to the source material, the franchise will not only survive but thrive.
2. His Dark Materials
As someone who gravitates more towards His Dark Materials than Chronicles of Narnia, although I enjoy them both, I was super bummed when the sequels to The Golden Compass were scrapped. There were probably many reason for this decision. I mean the first movie had its share of problems but it wasn’t as bad as other franchises’ first films. Pullman’s novels are granted more complex than other Young Adult properties but I feel like with the success of Game of Thrones, which also has a ton of characters and a lot to follow, we’re ready to be challenged. Plus the new pope probably won’t call for its boycott this time around.
3. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Alright, The Last Airbender was horrible, yes. Let’s not rehash the gory details. We can hold screenings solely to make fun of it, but it’s time to move on. After four years, there has been enough reviews and analysis that pinpoint exactly what went wrong so it shouldn’t be too difficult to reboot the series into something that stays true to the cartoon. There is a lot of interest to put it lightly, especially since its sequel The Legend of Korra blew up.
One can only hope that Hollywood already has these ideas in motion. I know I’m not alone in wishing to see better versions of these properties reincarnated on the big screen. A little something to think about for throwback Thursday!