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."
I’m really looking forward to the movie I’ve read all the books but something don’t match up (Annabeth’s hair isn’t brown and her eyes are supposed to be grey plus all the actors look like their in their late teens or early twenty’s but the characters are supposed to be just starting middle school!)
I can’t wait to see The Lightning Thief! It comes out this Friday which is also my birthday so I’ll have to wait until Saturday or Sunday to see it. I’m hoping that it does really well so that they will continue with the rest of the series. It looks like a great story. It would give me something to look forward to once the HP and Twilight films are all done.
I haven’t read Percy Jackson yet, but the Lightening Thief is already on my Kindle and waiting for me to read it as soon as I finish re-reading all my HP books. I’ve heard alot of great stuff about the series and people seem to really like it. Obviously there’s nothing better than HP, but I’m hoping this might fill part of the HP void for me.