Filming Percy Jackson

Rick Riordan’s beloved characters hit the big screen again in the action-packed sequel, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Aug 06, 2013 | By Kelli Plasket
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Percy Jackson (played by Logan Lerman) prepares to battle with a fierce creature at Camp Half-Blood in a scene from Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

Clarisse (Leven Rambin) and Percy (Logan Lerman) battle enemies at Circeland, a closed amusement park.
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Clarisse (Leven Rambin) and Percy (Logan Lerman) battle enemies at Circeland, a closed amusement park.

Author Rick Riordan’s hit Percy Jackson and the Olympians series brings Greek mythology into the modern age with the story of a young demigod named Percy Jackson, son of the god Poseidon. In 2010, the first book, The Lightning Thief, was adapted into a feature film by 20th Century Fox. This summer’s 3-D follow-up, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (in theaters August 7), sends Percy, played by actor Logan Lerman, and his friends on an action-packed journey to find the magical Golden Fleece, which will help save their home at Camp Half-Blood.

Sea of Monsters also introduces a foe at Camp Half-Blood for Percy in Clarisse, who book fans know as the daughter of the god of war.  She competes with Percy to be the strongest demigod. Actress Leven Rambin plays the tough teen. “Clarisse highlights Percy’s weaknesses,” Rambin told TFK. “She learns a lot about teamwork and accepting help from others.” Director Thor Freudenthal, who spoke to reporters at a recent press conference in New York City, says Clarisse “makes our hero feel like he’s got shortcomings and can’t live up to expectations. It’s a great little nudge he gets—or elbow jam.”

A Spooky Film Set

Actor Logan Lerman talks with director Thor Freudenthal (right) on the set of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
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Actor Logan Lerman talks with director Thor Freudenthal (right) on the set of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

Percy Jackson book series fans will be unfamiliar with one big location featured in the new film: the fictional Circeland, a run-down amusement park built by the goddess Circe and destroyed by the cyclops Polyphemus. For some spooky nighttime scenes, the filmmakers used an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans, Louisiana, that was flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “It’s almost a production designer’s wish fulfillment because everywhere you turn, you have something to look at,” Thor said.  

But first, the film crew had to pump out water, bring in additional rides, and rid the park of alligators and other wildlife. “It was basically a swamp at that point,” Lerman told TFK. Filming in the Louisiana humidity, he added, “was pretty grueling, but at the same time it was fun. [We filmed] epic battle scenes, so we had a good time with it.”

Actress Alexandra Daddario, who plays demigod Annabeth, says the final scenes will look amazing onscreen. “It’s really cinematic,” she told TFK. “It was just a really interesting experience to be able to shoot there.”