Chris Columbus Talks Harry Potter Comparisons to "Percy Jackson" Film in New Interview
February 09, 2010, 05:01 PM
Chris Columbus, director of the first two Harry Potter films, has given an interview to ScreenStar
in which he discusses the comparisons between the Harry Potter films and his newest fantasy venture, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
. The interview, which can be read in its entirety here, poses the question if Mr. Columbus had any reservations taking on this project so soon after directing Harry Potter. Quoteage:
You probably had to think long and hard about doing Percy Jackson since it at least echoed your prior work on the Potter films. So why this? Why direct another epic adventure-fantasy film?
"I had to be really intrigued by the story, and I was. When I read it ("it" being the first of the Percy Jackson books by author Rick Riordan), I'd never seen anything like it. You've got the creatures and the stories of Greek mythology all intertwined with modern American society. I thought, "Wow, that's a cool idea for a movie." So I felt that I'd be willing to throw two years of my life into the project. It was also an opportunity to introduce the world of Greek mythology to kids in a way that doesn't feel like a history lesson. It's a very, very fun concept."
How often did you catch yourself on the Percy Jackson set saying, "Nope, did that on Potter. Can't do it again."?
"Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. To a certain extent, if I felt there were any similarities -- because people always ask the question -- I really, really tried hard to remove them from the film. I didn't really want the comparisons, but the comparisons, when you're doing anything in the fantasy genre, are inevitable. Every time I saw a bit of a pitfall we'd move away from it."The interview continues with discussion about the advances in special effects since directing the Harry Potter films, as well as what it has been like seeing the young actors grow. He says: "Every time I see a Potter film it's always bittersweet for me. I'm seeing them here in America, knowing that they're being done in England, and I'm seeing these kids I know (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, all of whom he helped cast) grow up and turn into really wonderful actors. So it's an odd thing. I was so close to them, with the cast and the crew. I saw the last Potter film right here, at this theater, and I felt like a distant parent who hasn't seen his kids in a while."
Oh I can’t wait to watch the movie! It sounds so cool. I saw the trailer and it was like watching Harry Potter again. Well I have say………
In this movie everyone will be older than the Harry Potter cast though, so we won’t actually see the characters grow up.
I still can’t wait!
I am not sure whether I will see the Percy Jackson films, but I must thank him for building the foundations from which this franchise flourished. He did a superb job in constructing the universe and giving it to the directors that followed him to enrich.