Alexandra Daddario is weighing in on some drama surrounding the upcoming live-action series remake of the highly anticipated book series, Percy Jackson. Having portrayed the character Annabeth Chase back in 2010 and 2013 in the films, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, respectively, Daddario’s time as the character has now passed and a new actress has taken up the torch. The actress in question is Leah Jeffries, an African-American who fans are claiming doesn’t fit the character’s description from the books.
An ongoing very heated and multi-layered discussion broke out across Twitter with even the book’s author Rick Riordan weighing in and calling fans of the series racist if they disagreed with the casting announcement. Alexandra Daddario hoped to quell some of the backlash the series was facing when she tweeted her enthusiastic support backing Jeffries’ casting. In a post that called the Jeffries “incredible,” the actress drew a line in the sand as to where she stood on the casting call. The pushback only better demonstrates the darker side of a wide array of fandoms and the resistance to inclusion everywhere.
Doubling down on his decision, Riordan told those who were complaining that the choice was made solely on the fact that Jeffries was the best person for the part. They were looking for someone to embody Annabeth Chase in the best way possible, and that’s exactly what they did by moving forward with Jeffries. This is also something the casting directors behind the Percy Jackson films did when they brought Alexandra Daddario onboard over a decade ago.
With Jeffries as Annabeth Chase, the rest of the main cast will be made up of Walker Scobell as Percy Jackson and Aryan Simhadri as Grover Underwood. The series will follow the three teens (two demigods and a satyr, respectively) attempting to get their powers under control. The original films starred the aforementioned Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth Chase, Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson, and Brandon T. Jackson as Grover Underwood. The first film was directed by Chris Columbus with the second helmed by Thor Freudenthal. Both found fine success at the box office but left fans with an unsavory taste in their mouths.
This was due to the way the movies deviated from the books and blended different parts of various stories together in order to weave a plot. The three main actors – Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, and Alexandra Daddario – all received positive reviews for their acting in the projects. It is interesting that Riordan would want to move forward with a series after his experience with the films, which was mediocre at best. He told fans that he didn’t have much of a say in the original films and got into several pushback arguments with the production team. Maybe, with this background in mind, the nay-sayers can better understand why Riordan is so protective of Jeffries. Not only is she an extremely talented up-and-coming actress, but she’s a child and she was Riordan’s top pick. This time, he won’t be swayed in his choices no matter who’s trying to bully him. On our end, we can’t wait to see the new levels Jeffries will bring to the character of Annabeth Chase in the upcoming Disney+ series.