It’s no secret that we’re in the era of remakes, reboots and franchises — much to the public’s disdain.

While some have seen success (like 2022’s “Top Gun: Maverick”), most have been deemed unnecessary by audiences and critics alike (this year’s “Mean Girls” remake being the most recent offender).

Despite the backlash, it looks like remakes won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Last year, Warner Bros. announced that a new “Harry Potter” series was in the works. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that a “Twilight” series was also in pre-production.

Fans of both franchises immediately took to X, the site formerly called Twitter, to air out their grievances. As one user pointed out, “Harry Potter” fans are skeptical of a TV show “because no one asked for it. The novels and movies are still so young, & there are other stories that could have been adapted. It’s just unnecessary.”

While most remakes or reboots — especially of beloved, young adult book series — aren’t welcomed by fans, there’s one that’s been received well by fans: Disney+’s new series, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”

The show, based off a book series of the same name by Rick Riordan, follows the titular Percy Jackson. After he learns he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon, Percy is sent to Camp Half-Blood, a haven for other demi-gods, and navigates the world of Greek gods and goddesses.

Related
Disney releases new ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ series trailer — Here’s what you need to know
5 foods to make for your ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ watch party

Fresh off the heels of its explosive season finale, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” has raked in favorable ratings — getting a score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes — and seems to be beloved by fans of the books.

At a time when new “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” TV series are unwanted, why has “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” done so well?

The first adaptation was met with disdain

In order for a remake to be successful, everyone should agree that we need one in the first place. That might sound obvious, but think of all the unwanted remakes and reboots out there (2017’s “The Mummy,” starring Tom Cruise, comes to mind).

There can be a lot of reasons why the public demands a new remake: maybe the original film had major inaccuracies from its source material or perhaps the characters were woefully miscast. Maybe it just wasn’t good.

In the case of “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” it checked all three boxes. The movie was unfaithful to its source material, as meticulously reported by fans; the actors cast as the main characters — Percy, Annabeth and Grover — looked way older than the characters in the book (12); and no one really liked the films.

The first in the series only received a score of 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. At the time, Adam Markovitz wrote for Entertainment Weekly, the film “has all the CGI sorcery of a Harry Potter pic, but none of the magic.”

The writer of the source material dislikes the screen adaptation — vocally

Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson books, famously disliked the first two “Percy Jackson & The Olympians” films. In 2020, per Variety, Riordan responded to a tweet complaining about the first two films that said, “It’s refreshing that Uncle Rick hates the PJo movies even more than we do.”

He replied, “Well, to you guys, it’s a couple hours’ entertainment. To me, it’s my life’s work going through a meat grinder when I pleaded with them not to do it.”

“After the movie experience, I basically wrote off Hollywood for a long, long time,” Riordan told Variety in 2023. “I really didn’t want to have anything to do with the film industry. There were many years of me saying, ‘I don’t want to engage. I don’t want to think about other adaptations. I’m done.’”

The new remake adds something fresh to the story

A good remake shouldn’t just rehash the first adaptation while slapping on sparkly new effects or grandiose stunts. It should add something fresh and new to the story — without straying too far from its source material.

It’s a fine line to walk, but “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” from Disney+ does it well, especially with its cast.

Instead of casting model-esque teens as its main characters, the show opted for a diverse, age-appropriate cast. Each actor who plays a main character is under 17, and it’s refreshing to see actual youths play kids on screen, especially in an industry that tends to cast fully developed 20-somethings as teenagers.

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” has another thing going for it: It’s a TV series, and each episode is under 40 minutes long. Stretching a book into a TV show, rather than a movie, allows the audience to be fully immersed in world building, especially in a fantasy series.

And by keeping each episode under 40 minutes, the creators kept the show tight, allowing it to better hold the audience’s attention.

This formula doesn’t always work — as Erik Kain pointed out in his review for Forbes, some episodes feel a little too packed. But as he wrote, “The story is pretty light and breezy and more than a little predictable, but it’s still charming and fun and filled with magic and great action and special effects.”

There is a loud demand for a new remake from its fanbase

Perhaps most importantly, for a new remake to succeed there must be a public demand for it from a large, dedicated fanbase.

Riordan wasn’t the only one who hated the “Percy Jackson & the Olympians” films. They were loathed by fans, prompting headlines like “Percy Jackson: Everything That Went Wrong With The Movies” and “What Went Wrong With The Percy Jackson Movies?” as well as Reddit and Quora threads discussing, as one Reddit user asked, “Why did the Percy Jackson movies fail to live up to fan expectations where as the Harry Potter movies exceeded fan expectations?”

This disdain was a serious blow to the “Percy Jackson” franchise. The “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” fanbase is large and very dedicated: according to WordsRated, “Over 180 million copies of the complete Percy Jackson book series have been sold.”

And in comparison to the movies, the books were much more successful. Per WordsRated, “Riordan revealed that his books generated more revenue in the USA alone than both Percy Jackson movies grossed worldwide, which is over $426.3 million.”

Needless to say, “Percy Jackson” fans were eagerly awaiting a new adaptation. And when Disney+ rose to the occasion, fans (both old and new) embraced the new series.

According to Variety, in its first week, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” accumulated “572 million minutes watched.”

And then “during the Dec. 25-31 window, its first full week of availability, the Disney+ series was watched for 700 million minutes,” Variety reported.

While not all faithful “Percy Jackson” fans are thrilled with the series, if X is any indication, fans on TikTok seem to have wholeheartedly embraced the new adaptation. There are countless fan edits, analyzations, book to TV series comparisons and more.

While most fans (and critics) agree that “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is not a perfect show, the consensus is that it’s much better than the movie.

Nadira Goffe, writing for Slate, summarized the excitement — and pressure — of the new adaptation. “A lot was riding on this adaptation — not just fans’ sky-high expectations, but also Disney’s next big bet on a franchise. The new series certainly isn’t perfect, but it succeeds in shaking off the specter of the earlier films.”