Percy Jackson and the Olympians: 5 Failed Franchises That Deserve a Second Chance at Revival

As Percy Jackson and the Olympians gears up to premier this December, here are some other failed film franchises that would kill it as a streaming show.

percy jackson and the olympians: 5 failed franchises that deserve a second chance at revival

SUMMARY

  • There are quite a few film franchises that could use the Percy Jackson and the Olympians treatment
  • There are grand epics like Eragon and science fiction adventures like Ender's Game to root for
  • All based on YA novels, these franchises, if revived, could nurture a more confident fanbase for their respective genres
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Percy Jackson and the Olympians comes from a long line of young adult properties that have received a second chance as an episodic series after failing as film franchises. HBO adapted His Dark Materials from scratch after receiving a film adaptation that was critically planned. CW picked up the Mortal Instruments series under the moniker of Shadowhunters after the film series failed to kick-start a film franchise because of its critical and commercial failures.

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A still from Percy Jackson and the Olympians
A still from Percy Jackson and the Olympians

There have been plenty of adaptations of YA Novels following the end of the Harry Potter franchise in 2013, trying to catch the attention of the teen audience like the boy wizard and his friends did. This led to many mediocre and sometimes downright insulting adaptations of many young adult properties, that tried its hardest to launch the next cinematic franchise. Here are 5 properties that would benefit from the His Dark Materials and Percy Jackson treatment of its material.

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5. Eragon

Eragon (2006)
Eragon (2006)

Eragon was the film adapted from Christopher Piloni’s Inheritance Cycle, following the titular protagonist in a high fantasy setting with dragons. The books had a very PG 13 Game of Thrones-meets-How To Train Your Dragon vibe going on for them, a wonder that failed to translate to the 2006 offering by director Stefen Fangmeier, who went on to direct VFX for Game of Thrones Season 8. Eragon takes place in a sprawling world with plenty of characters and elements for a good streaming show. With the right budget and behind-the-scenes talent, this property could have a more fruitful second life, which can finally bring closure to its fans.

4. Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl (2020)
Artemis Fowl (2020)

On paper, it was as if Artemis Fowl was primed to take over the YA space in cinema. With its focus on the magical world, it was very much a property that seemed like it was Spy Kids by way of Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy. However, Disney+’s 2020 rendition of the property was not only lacking in material from the story but also managed to botch the entire narrative with great mishandling. What the property needs is someone who understands fairytales and creatures well, but can also craft a compelling PG-13 crime drama. This would not only yield a great streaming program but could potentially rival the success of His Dark Materials‘s HBO adaptation, which did the property justice.

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3. Divergent

Divergent
Divergent (2014)

The quintessential replacement for The Hunger Games, this dystopian YA franchise had the markings of the next cultural phenomenon that takes over the tween and teens. It had factions, it had everything that Hunger Games did and more. It even had a decent start as a franchise. However, by the time of the third film, things had gotten so bad, that the fourth film, which was supposed to pick up from a cliffhanger, was canceled, putting the franchise in its grave. A streaming series would have more time to cast fresh talent and take the time to develop the characters, while also being free to explore parts of the book that were left untouched.

2. The Maze Runner

Maze Runner (2014)
Maze Runner (2014)

The Maze Runner as a franchise changed the source material drastically, taking the story in a completely separate direction, that yielded a product that was altogether unimpressive compared to the books. The Maze Runner is still an ongoing series, which means a faithful streaming adaptation would have plenty of material to last it for a good while. A streaming show more true to the author’s vision, similar to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, will yield a more enthusiastic fanbase that would be keen on growing the franchise.

1. Ender’s Game

Ender's Game (2013)
Ender’s Game (2013)

With shows like Apple TV’s The Foundation, Paramount’s Halo, and films like Netflix’s Rebel Moon and WB’s Dune, it seems that Hollywood might be uniquely positioned to see a space opera boom in the next few years. What better time is there to develop Orson Scott Card’s epic space opera Ender’s Game for a streaming service, after the film fell horribly short of the grand story that the narrative wishes to tell? With multiple modern science fiction operas inspired by it, such as Pierce Brown’s Red Rising, the show, if downright, could bring in a lot of new fans to the genre, and open the gates for more stories like it, if done well.

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Written by Anuraag Chatterjee

Articles Published: 513

Anuraag Chatterjee, Web Content Writer
With a passion for writing fiction and non fiction content, Anuraag is a Media Science graduate with 2 year's experience with Marketing and Content, with 3 published poetry anthologies. Anuraag holds a Bacherlor's degree in Arts with a focus on Communication and Media Studies.