Why Percy Jackson's Dyslexia Convinced Chris Columbus To Direct

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The 12-year-old Percy Jackson isn't just the Medusa-fighting son of Poseidon. He also struggles with dyslexia and ADHD. These character struggles were the main reason Potter director, Chris Columbus wanted to bring Percy to the big screen, he tells io9.

Why was it important to for you to direct Percy Jackson?

If I'm going to get to get involved with another big fantasy adventure movie, I wanted to make absolutely certain that the concept was something I hadn't seen before. The idea that the Greek Gods, and the creatures in Greek mythology, are living among us in modern contemporary American society, I'd never seen that before. I thought, "That's a fun film to make." So I threw myself into it.


Do you feel like you're on the religious cusp because there are a lot of angel movies and religious-type action movies in the works, and plenty of young=adult novels dealing with gods and angels coming out. Do you feel like you're helping to opening the door for those pictures?

I don't think so. I think that our film is unique in and of itself. And hopefully people will come and see the movie. The movie is an exciting, exciting thrill ride. For 12-year-olds and for 50-year-olds. I just think it was my opportunity to do the kind of movie I'd like to see when I was 12.


It's also very interesting because the main character, Percy Jackson, has dyslexia. Was it important to have a hero who struggles with a common issues, something that a lot of kids can relate to?

Well it's one of the essential reasons why I got involved. My daughter was listening to the books, because she has dyslexia, on CD. And she said to me, "Dad you have to read this book it's about a guy who's just like me." I read it, and I realized that she was feeling empowered by Percy's character. Because he suffers from dyslexia but it's actually a good thing, because his dyslexia is the ability to translate ancient Greek into English. And his ADHD, which he also suffers from, are his warrior battle skills. So kids who read that, even though they may not suffer from those particular things, they may think to themselves, "I feel empowered. Maybe I can turn it around and start to feel more positive about things."