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You can see the first Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief teaser trailer embedded after the break. There isn’t any wonder that it features title cards announcing that it is from Chris Columbus, director of Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone/Chamber of Secrets. The entire enterprise is standing on the shoulders of Potter, irrespective of any help it might or might not actually need from the boy wizard, or indeed the relative quality of the books and films.

The premise in the Percy Jackson series is not entirely dissimilar to that of the Potter saga either, with a troubled schoolchild finding out his secret magical heritage and, eventually, stepping into a more wondrous life. Whereas Potter went off to Hogwarts, Jackson can be seen in this very trailer taking an elevator to Mount Olympus. Wizards, gods… all the same mumbo jumbo, right? Of course, this paradigm was nesting grandma spider long before the Potter books became so inexplicably successful.

This trailer will introduce you to Percy Jackson, but it looks like we’ll have to wait a while longer to get a glimpse of any Olympians.

Conspicuosly missing in action, then, are Rosario Dawson as Persephone, Steve Coogan as Hades, Uma Thurman as Medusa, Pierce Brosnan as Chiron, Ray Winstone as Ares, Kevin McKidd as Poseidon and Sean Bean as Zeus, as well as the more mortal Catherine Keener as Percy’s mom. Star studded, for sure, but in a suspiciously Night at the Museum fashion.

I remain utterly unconvinced by the trailer, but it will be fun seeing all of those movie stars chew the expensive production design a while.

Columbus’ current cinematic misdemeanor is I Love You Beth Cooper, one of the biggest flops of the summer. Can this really be the man who scripted Gremlins? Well, technically it is, if you don’t count the bits he didn’t write. Just like Paul McCartney was the guy in The Beatles.

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