If you want to know what it's like to be a television star, walk down a Los Angeles sidewalk with Kevin McKidd, who "Grey's Anatomy" fans instantly recognize as the tortured trauma surgeon Owen Hunt. If you want to know what it's like to be a movie star, listen to McKidd describe a solitary stroll he took on a New York street during the filming of "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lighting Thief."
"There's a shot where I arrive in the city and walk up out of the ocean," says McKidd, who portrays Poseidon in the modern-day adventure with gods of Greek myth. "It was one of those moments as an actor where you say, 'Wow, I am making a big movie.' There was a huge crane for this one big, long shot of me and the city skyline as I'm walking toward the Empire State building. The preliminary work was, like, two or three weeks getting the lighting just right on all of these buildings."
McKidd, with a wink and a sly smile, said it's a day at the office he won't soon forget. "I felt pretty special after that shot."
The 36-year-old McKidd has high hopes that "Percy Jackson," which opened Friday, might become a franchise just like the bestselling bookshelf series of the same name by author Rick Riordan. The film chronicles the adventures of a young boy who might remind some moviegoers of Harry Potter -- both are young outsiders who discover they have a supernatural heritage and then get an education at a magical sanctuary while battling mysterious forces with the help of young friends.
Instead of a boy-wizard, young Percy (played by teen heartthrob Logan Lerman) is a demi-god, the son of mortal woman (Catherine Keener) and Poseidon, the god of the seas. If the movie does click and becomes a trilogy as hoped, it would mark another new chapter in McKidd's peripatetic career, which began with a memorable turn as a member of the hard-luck junkie crew in "Trainspotting" and reached its zenith, as least in the eyes of critics, with his lead performance as Lucius Vorenus on the HBO series "Rome."
The Scotsman said he has a sort of compartmentalized celebrity now. Women know him from "Grey's," men for "Rome" and youngsters, he suspects, will soon be referring to him as "Percy's father." With two children of his own, ages 7 and 9, he's finding that the tour of duty holding the trident has a lot of traction with the elementary- and middle-school crowd.
"My son has read all of the books and he is immersed in it, like a lot of kids," McKidd said. "It's going to be interesting to see how the film does.the hope it will be a trilogy."
Poseidon is an absentee father to Jackson in the film and that strained relationship is the defining theme in the movie, which finds Percy and his friends caught in the middle of impending war between the gods, who never left earth even though they keep a far lower profile. McKidd said that young Lerman, who was also in "3:10 to Yuma," is a star in making -- the elder actor was impressed that the teenager spoke up about a pivotal scene where his character and Poseidon were supposed to embrace for the first time.
"It's this 'Kramer vs. Kramer' moment and Logan said, 'I don't think at this point my character would do that, I think he would just go as far a shaking hands, this is the start of their relationship' and I was impressed that someone of his age would recognize that and not just go along with what on the script page," McKidd said. "At that age, I would have said, 'The script says hug, let's hug.' His instincts for his age are amazing. I was so uncomfortable at that age in front of a camera. He's very grown up in his choices."
Director Chris Columbus, who also directed the first two "Potter" films, said that McKidd brought a "quiet power" to the role fo the sea god and that his experience in historical roles gave him the gravity needed to be a Greek statue come to life. Still, Mckidd said he Sean Bean, who plays Zeus, had a rough time during one scene keeping a straight face despite their years of experience.
"There's a scene where we meet and we glare each other and the music is going and the lightning and I walk up and say, 'Zeus,' and he greets me, 'Poseidon,' and and after a couple of takes we started chatting just about how silly it all is," McKidd said. "Now Sean is a real giggler. Once he starts he can't stop. He's this intense actor, right, but when he starts giggling...and that happens and this not a cheap scene, this is expensive. And there we are laughing..."
McKidd moved stateside almost three years ago to take on the lead role in "Journeyman," the short-lived NBC time-travel series. That opportunity sprung from his acclaimed work in "Rome," but it was "Grey's," where he plays a former battlefield doctor, that he connected with his largest audience. His character is dealing with post-traumatic stress and relationship challenges with his girlfriend, Cristina Yang, played by, Sandra Oh. McKidd arrived on the show in 2008 and has found it a life-changing role.
"I'm really just like acting I'm not always aware of what is hip and what is popular and what is zeitgeist," McKidd said. "But 'Grey's' is just a machine. I wasn't really prepared for the epic nature of how popular the show is. I've never been involved in anything with that kind of reach. It's worldwide now.It's weird."
In person, McKidd has a strong accent from his native Elgin, a city on the River Lossie, and he modulates it for his different roles. It's a bit of a challenge for any actor playing a role of antiquity to pick a voice to speak in, but instead of obsessing about it, he said, the most successful approach is to "keep the regional sound in each actor's voice" but add a certain formality in the cadence.
Trainspotting"You don't want to sound like some posh British guy but you do want this heightened, slightly classical form," McKidd said, who was also in sword-swinging territory with his roles in "The Last Legion" and Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven." "You can't just walk around acting like you're in 'Trainspotting.' It's about tone and tonality but if the actors hold on to some of their own regional background it sounds more natural to the audience over the course the movie."
McKidd left drama school in 1994 and, right away, found himself in the vile and sublime heroin epic "Trainspotting," based on the Irvine Welsh novel, which was directed by Danny Boyle and featured an Oscar-nominated script by John Hodge. Mckidd played Tommy, a jock who goes into a needle spiral after his girlfriend ditches him for losing a sex tape.
"It was an amazing thing to be part of," McKidd said. "It was so low-budget, nobody knew it would be that big, not even Danny Boyle. It was a great early gig for an actor... I saw Danny the night he won the Oscar for 'Slumdog Millionaire ' and we had a good laugh and I told him, 'Do you remember, we had no money at all?' I was so happy for him. He's one of the best directors. He was offered a lot of the big franchises but he turned them down so he could do what he wants to do."
Walking the career line between commercial success and critical satisfaction is an interesting topic.
The early reviews for "Percy" have not been especially kind and there has been a backlash for major plot changes and eliminated characters. "It's not just that it's a lot less funny than the book," Michael O' Sullivan wrote in the Washington Post, "It's also a lot less fun." Kenneth Turan, in the Los Angeles Times, dismissed the film as "generic filmmaking at its most banal."
McKidd (who was interviewed before the film was screened) said his personal goal is to put together a career that keeps him energized by its surprises. That's clear with his next big screen appearance: McKidd is also part of the cast of Guy Moshe's "Bunraku," a film that melds live-action and animation for a surreal noir tale. The $30 million movie, to be released later this year, takes its name from a Japanese form of puppetry. The cast includes Josh Harnett, Woody Harrelson, Ron Perlman and Demi Moore.
Rome"It's a very, very strange film," McKidd said. "It's a hybrid of a western and a martial arts film. It was also shot in Bucharest on green-screen stages. The world it's set in is almost circus-like in the feel of it, and it's all origami. The whole universe is constantly folding paper to create a cityscape or interiors of rooms or the sunrise.... I play a very effeminate master killer who's almost like a Fred Astaire tap-dancing his way through the movie. It's so different than anything I've done."
More than anything, McKidd aspires to return to his "Rome" character. The series, which lasted only 22 episodes, was created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. MacDonald and set in the roiling days when Rome was transitioning from a republic to an empire. Heller, the architect behind the CBS hit "The Mentalist," has a film project in mind that would carry on the tale of the noble, duty-bound solider Vorenus and his friend Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson), who has more of a pirate's soul.
"I spoke to Bruno a few days ago and it's looking good, but the problem is money's tight in the independent film world right now," McKidd said. "I hope it will happen, though. If things work, 'Percy Jackson' will do well, and then I can do a second one and the 'Rome' movie, too. If the gods are willing...."
Kevin McKidd wishes he were a Sexy Centaur
by Meredith Woerner February 10, 2010 Source: jog Article features a video clip.
We hit up Poseidon himself, Kevin McKidd, from the Percy Jackson and The Olympians film, and quizzed him about bringing the fantasy books to life. We also gave him a complex about the sexiest of the cloven-hoofed beasts: the centaurs.
In the film Percy Jackson a demi-god children live amongst secret mythical creatures that are their protectors, Pierce Brosnan is one of these creatures. He's in a wheelchair on Earth, but in the mythical realm he's really a leather-breasted, long-haired centaur. Thus reaffirming the stereotype that all centaurs have to be sexy beasts. We asked resident sea god and fantastic actor Kevin McKidd about this common four-legged occurrence, along with a few other Percy questions.
Why do you think you make a great Poseidon?
McKidd: You know, you'll have to ask Chris Columbus [the director] that. Maybe I look good wet? I don't know, maybe being British helps people believe that I'm a God. I know that the outfit that I wore, because I spent a lot of time in Roman gear [in the tv series Rome], I felt very at home in it.
What was the best part about being a God on set?
The feeling of immortality, you can't beat that.
Were you a fan of the book series?
My son's a big fan, he's read all five books twice. Which I think is a testament to how good these books are to young readers.
Do you think you'll start doing more urban fantasy because of this film?
I don't know. My only kind of plan in this business, so far, is to keep changing. Never get pinned down in one genre. So I'm committed to doing this as a series. If we do sequels. But I don't know if that means I'll end up doing [more] of this genre. I like to keep shifting the goal posts, you know what I mean?
Well I think it might be time for you to go back to science fiction. We've missed you since Journeyman.
Ya think? I leaned off the science fiction for a little while. It might be time for some more. But I love it...I enjoy scifi. I was the biggest Star Trek fan — the original — for years.
From what I can see, you look great on screen, but Pierce [Brosnan] is really churning it out with the centaur look. What is it about centaurs that are just so sexy?
I don't know I haven't seen the movie, so I'll let you know afterwards. But I don't know, it's that whole having-four-legs thing. Havin' the four legs and the hooves. The hooves help. I don't have hooves, so... So I can't, it's really no competition really. I'm hooveless. It would behoove me to have hooves.
All the centaurs we've seen are these rippling shirtless things riding through the jungle or the forrest. It's kind of like a stereotype almost, for other centaurs. You have to be really hot.
Maybe I should have been a centaur, wow. Now you're giving me a complex about being Poseidon.
source: NBC LX New York Interview is primarily Percy Jackson related. The last minute focuses on Kevin's role as Owen Hunt in Grey's Anatomy,
'Percy Jackson' and 'Clash of the Titans' draw on same Greek myths but with epic differences
December 11, 2009 | Los Angeles Times written by: Geoff Boucher ***** Clash of the Titans
There were inscriptions written above the entrance of the Temple of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi, and the two most famous ones were cautionary words of wisdom: “Know thyself” and “Nothing too much.” Those bits of ancient advice are worth considering as two Hollywood studios hope to launch film franchises that use Greek mythology as the unlikely premise for popcorn entertainment.
“These are the stories that began storytelling in many ways,” director Louis Leterrier said a few months ago on the London set of his “Clash of the Titans,” the Warner Bros. epic that arrives in theaters in March with Sam Worthington as Perseus, Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades. “These are tales of adventure that endure. These stories are who we are.”
True, which lives up to the “Know thyself” advice. But as for that second suggestion, the one calling for limits, well, Hollywood has never been known for moderation. “Clash of the Titans” arrives in theaters on the winged heels of “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” which also has mighty Zeus (Sean Bean), the nefarious Hades (Steve Coogan) and the other gods of grand Olympus, although it brings them to modern-day Manhattan where they meet the title character, one of the most popular heroes at the bookstores in recent years with the bestselling young-reader novels of Rick Riordan. No surprise, the makers of both films are eyeing each other with some anxiety.
“You can’t ignore it,” said “Percy Jackson” director Chris Columbus while taking a break from post-production work in San Francisco on the film that opens Feb. 12 and, for Fox, has been circled as a potential “Harry Potter”-style multiple-film property. “They are two completely different pictures. But I’d be a liar if I said that I’m not fascinated by everything they’re doing. In today’s version of Hollywood, you have to be aware of everything else that’s going on around you. It’s just kind of foolish to put yourself in a bubble and pretend it’s not there.”
It’s interesting that, after so many years of futuristic tales, Hollywood is once again looking back to Greece and the Roman Empire for adventure tales and, in the cases of “Clash” and “Percy,” special-effects fantasies. Just as “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” were pulled from the bookshelf for their potential in this digital-effects era, Columbus said the thunderbolts of Zeus and the pits of Tartarus are camera-ready for the 21st century. “The world of Greek myth really hasn’t been dealt with, on screen, in a long time, at least not in terms of a big blockbuster motion picture,” Columbus said. “It’s exciting to think about. At least it is for me.”
“Percy Jackson” stars 17-year-old Logan Lerman (“3:10 to Yuma”) as the title character, a troubled youngster who (like a certain boy-wizard) discovers he has a magical heritage and then teams with his young friends to fight the dark forces aligned against him. Columbus directed the first two “Potter” films and was brought in by Fox with hopes that magic lightning can strike twice. The choice of Lerman may not sit entirely well with devoted fans of the book series for the simple reason of age; in the books, Percy is 12 at the start of his adventure.
“Clash of the Titans” is a familiar brand name to fans from the 1981 movie of the same title and, like that film, this new model is more about an adrenaline adventure than meticulous scholarship. Leterrier (2008’s “The Incredible Hulk,” “Transporter 2”), for instance, was playing with the idea of presenting Pegasus as a black horse with webbed, bat-like wings instead of the iconic white steed with angelic feathers. He and his star, Worthington, have already discussed the possibilities of a sequel, and Warner Bros. has high hopes for the movie.
The films follow a surge in more traditional sword-and-sandal movies in recent years. The decade began with “Gladiator,” which won the Oscar for best picture, and it was followed in 2004 by both “Alexander” and “Troy.” It was the 2007 hit film “300,” though, that truly captured the attention of Hollywood executives with $456 million in worldwide box office off a $67-million budget.
The Zack Snyder film, the highest-grossing March release ever, was based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel about King Leonidas and his doomed army of Spartans; Miller is preparing a follow-up now titled “Xerxes,” which begins about 10 years before the events of “300,” and Snyder has expressed interest in it as a film property as well. “It’s the battle of Marathon through my lens,” Miller said Wednesday. “I’ve finished the plot and I’m getting started on the artwork.”
Miller said he is not surprised Greece is resurgent in Hollywood. “Every generation returns to ancient Greece because, well, the stories are so d**n good,” said the artist, who also directed last year’s “The Spirit.” Miller said that during his research trips to Greece he realized that the myth and history overlap begins to blur, which adds to the storytelling allure. “The fact and the myth are inseparable and, believe me, when you go sailing for a while in the Aegean Sea, you start believing in Poseidon.”
The success of “300” was a likely inspiration for the new series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” which premieres Jan. 22 on Starz (it even co-stars Peter Mensah, whose character died memorably in “300” when he was kicked into a pit by Leonidis). The empire was last seen on a regular series in “Rome,” the HBO series that won seven Emmys during its 22-episode run and is now, according to star Kevin McKidd, ramping up for a feature with creator Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist”) finishing the screenplay.
McKidd, known to “Grey’s Anatomy” fans as Dr. Owen Hunt, is taking his experience in “Rome” to “Percy Jackson,” where he plays Poseidon, the estranged father of Percy.
“It’s a tricky thing in this movie,” the Scottish actor said. “I do modern times right now on ‘Grey’s,’ and on ‘Rome’ I played a character from antiquity. With this film, you have these gods who scale themselves down to walk the streets of modern Manhattan. But you think you have to play it differently because you have these classical texts. So how do you strike the balance? Chris Columbus helped us define it. These gods can be contemporary and act in a contemporary way. It’s a great thing because you can hit the ground running with emotion instead of putting on this classical mask as you would on stage.”
Greek Street The classics of Greece never really left us, of course, when it comes to theater; just note the production of Euripides’ “Medea” with Annette Benning this year at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse. Other pop-culture ventures of the moment take the influence of Greece into unexpected directions. One of the most compelling comic books right now, for example, is Vertigo’s “Greek Street,” written by Peter Milligan, which transports Greek myths to contemporary London. The tales of Cassandra (called “Sandy” here) and Oedipus (now simply “Eddie”) play out in familiar rhythms but with a backdrop of Milligan’s gritty Soho.
Then there’s the acclaimed SyFy series “Battlestar Galactica,” which had plenty of references (there were characters called Apollo, Athena, Cassiopeia, etc.) and planets named after the Greek zodiac; the tales of the “Battlestar” universe continue on Jan. 22 with a spinoff series called “Caprica” and there are plans for a “Battlestar” feature film by Bryan Singer.
And Hollywood isn’t limiting its interests to the Greco-Roman gods. Marvel Studios and director Kenneth Branagh are just now getting underway with “Thor” (with Chris Hemsworth in the title role and Anthony Hopkins as the one-eyed Odin) based on the Norse god of thunder as imagined by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Walt Simonson and, more recently, J. Michael Straczynski in the pages of Marvel Comics. But are the old gods viable as entertainmnet to the young moviegoers who made the mecha-minded “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” the highest-grossing film of 2009?
On the set of “Clash,” star Worthington, still sweating from battle and picking at flecks of blood on his fingernails, dismissed the idea that ancient epics can’t be of-the-moment.
“Look at this world,” he said, nodding toward the set of the river Styx. “We’re not exactly going by the book. The armor we wear is very futuristic looking. It’s not dated to a period of time in a history book. This is a story with winged horses ... but what we’re doing, we have to have a modern take on it, to make it relevant to our audience. This isn’t like a Ridley Scott kind of thing, where every minute detail has to be an exact replica. We’re making a fun, kind of romp.”
The original “Clash” starred Harry Hamlin, Laurence Olivier and Burgess Meredith, but the most memorable performance was the stop-motion animation by effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen. Those effects look quaint now, but they captured the imagination of many youngsters, including an 8-year-old Leterrier in his native France. Leterrier was resistant to the idea of a remake, but he came around after considering the wide range of gods and creatures who were untapped in the first picture.
The new film, from the screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, follows the journey of Perseus, the son of Zeus and a human mother, as he becomes a reluctant volunteer in the building conflict between his father and Hades. The film, like the original, is an amalgam of different Greek myths, and, again, a centerpiece is the showdown with Medusa, the cursed creature with serpent-tresses.
This time Medusa’s lair has staircases and walls that run off in different directions, like an M.C. Escher madhouse, since she can slither up surfaces. “It’s amazing,” Leterrier bragged of the work by production designer Martin Laing. But will it be enough to set “Clash’s” Medusa apart from the one moviegoers will have already seen in “Percy Jackson”? Columbus smiled at the question.
“We’re a good, solid five weeks ahead of the release of ‘Clash,’ so we will have succeeded or failed at that point,” Columbus said. “I’m very, very confident about our characters, our performances and our creatures. And I’m telling you, when you see Uma Thurman as our Medusa — well, you’ve never seen anything like it. It’s pretty spectacular. It’s something you’ve never even dreamed of.”
Columbus said the competition — or, to use a more topical word, the clash — between Greek myth movies is both real and imagined. “In the end, each movie will be judged on what it puts up on the screen. There’s room for both to succeed.”
McKidd, who hopes to carry the trident in multiple “Percy Jackson” films, said that if both films do find glory there will be rejoicing in classrooms well beyond Hollywood. “The stories of Greek myth are very allegorical and, as a adult reading them, I see a lot of truth in them. They’re archetypal. But that’s not what I thought when I was young. Listen, I remember reading Greek myth and it was dry and arid. That was the class I always fell asleep in. Well, we’re keeping those kids from dozing off now.”
Another version of the second Percy Jackson Trailer. Credit: Cabin 3
Kevin, Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario lighting the Percy Jackson Billboard November 4, 2009 in Los Angeles, CA credit youtube user pierce4you
WORLD'S FIRST LIGHTNING BILLBOARD
Location: Hollywood, UNITED STATES (USA) Source: Newspusher
Hollywood, UNITED STATES (USA), Thu 29 Oct 2009, 09:04 GMT THE WORLD'S FIRST LIGHTNING BILLBOARD IS NOW IN HOLLYWOOD.
THE CAST OF THE NEW KID'S FLICK "PERCY JACKSON AND OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF" IGNITED THE SIGN ON THE SUNSET STRIP WEDNESDAY (10/29). THE BILLBOARD IS TO PROMOTE THEIR NEW FILM, A MODERN DAY TALE FROM GREEK MYTHOLOGY. WHEN PERCY, THE TEENAGE SON OF POSEIDON, IS SUSPECTED TO HAVE STOLEN ZEUS' LIGHTNING BOLT . . . HE EMBARKS ON A TRANSCONTINENTAL ODYSSEY TO FIND THE UNIVERSE'S MOST POWERFUL WEAPON AND THE REAL THIEF. THE MOVIE STARS LOGAN LERMAN, ALEXANDRA DADDARIO, AND KEVIN MCKIDD.
LERMAN says: "Well I mean it's pretty crazy. I mean the coolest part about all this right now is the fact that a I get to have me on a billboard on Sunset so that's pretty cool. I never thought that would happen. I mean this is the first time I have been the central character in the middle of a huge film this so. It's a really wild really wild experience, especially when I am gone from doing chemistry homework from like three hours ago to an event like this so it's pretty crazy."
LERMAN says: "The one thing I am really excited about is the ending. There is this huge, I am not going to tell you about what happens, but there is this huge action sequence flying through New York its like a tag sequence flying through battling a character. Its amazing flying through the buildings it looks really incredible so check it out I think you guys are going to like it.
DADDARIO says: "This movie is so epic and so huge. It's completely different than anything I have done before. It's sort of a once in a lifetime movie and I am lucky to be part of it. The green screen is just this gigantic warehouse that's just covered in green screen and at one point we are, without giving too much away, we are in a boat, we are in some flying stuff, a lot of action sequences that are done on green screen. You look forward to seeing all that stuff you did with that incredible background put in."
MCKIDD says: "This is an amazing mix of set in modern day times but it has the Greek gods walking amongst us and incredible adventures. It was a real blast to do. Chris Columbus was fantastic to work with and all the young cast were great. Some of the cast Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan some of these people I have been watching in movies since I was a kid so for me it was really exciting on lots of levels."
MCKIDD says: "What is great about the film is it teaches kids in a really accessible way about Greek mythology. I used to sit in the classics classes and fall asleep when I was a kid and this is a really great way to make those stories vibrant and digestible for young audiences."
Second trailer for Percy Jackson and the Olympians "The Lightnight Thief" Source: Trailer Spy
Rome actor on playing a Greek god in Percy Jackson
Kevin McKidd (Rome) said he signed on to Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, in which he plays the Greek god Poseidon, for his kids—and he adds that his young son is checking on whether dad will appear in any sequels based on the series of children's books.
"My son, since I started doing it, he's read the first three books," McKidd said in a group interview over the weekend in Pasadena, Calif., where he was promoting ABC's Grey's Anatomy at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "I'm watching him read the book, and I'm like, 'So, Joseph, am I in this one much?' He's like, 'Nah, nah, you're not. Maybe in the next one, but in this one not so much.'"
In themovie, based on Rick Riordan novels, young Percy Jackson discovers he is a descendant of the Greek gods and goes on mythological adventures in modern-day settings. McKidd added that he is signed for four of the anticipated five films in the series, as much as they feature Poseidon.
"I'm 40 feet tall for most of the film, but then we come to human form," McKidd continued. "We can atomize ourselves because we're gods. We can do what we want, right? So we can atomize ourselves and walk around the streets of Manhattan, wandering Manhattan, and dress in Gap clothing and do all that stuff, then atomize ourselves back to 40-foot Greek god stage. It's a really fun film."
Effects work is still underway, so there has not been a cut to screen for actors yet, but McKidd has heard early reports. "I know [director] Chris Columbus saw a cut," McKidd said. "He saw an early cut of it without the effects laid on yet. There's a lot of effects in it, and he's very excited about it. I think it's going to be really cool. My kids are really excited about Percy Jackson."
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief opens Feb. 12, 2010.
Percy Jackson Finds Gods
March 25, 2009 Source: Hollywood Reporter *** Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Sean Bean, Kevin McKidd and Melina Kanakaredes are heading to Mount Olympus.
The quintet has been cast in Fox 2000's fantasy-adventure adaptation "Percy Jackson" as classical Greek gods Chiron (Brosnan), Medusa (Thurman), Zeus (Bean), Poseidon (McKidd) and Athena (Kanakaredes). Aries, Hades and Persephone have not yet been cast.
The film, being directed by Chris Columbus, is shooting in Vancouver for a February release.
Columbus and Craig Titley have adapted the screenplay from Rick Riordan's best-selling children's novel "The Lightning Thief." The Greek mythology-inflected book involves Poseidon's half-human son, Percy, who's on a quest across modern America to prevent a war among the gods.
Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson have already been cast as the book's lead teenagers.
The all-star casting is reminiscent of the 1981 fantasy film "Clash of the Titans," which showcased Laurence Olivier as Zeus, Ursula Andress as Aphrodite, Claire Bloom as Hera and Jack Gwillim as Poseidon.
"Lightning Thief" is the first of five novels about Percy Jackson and the Olympians -- the fifth, "The Last Olympian," is due in stores in May. The studio hopes to spin the books into a franchise in the "Harry Potter" mold.
Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Karen Rosenfelt are producing the film. Mark Radcliffe and Greg Mooradian, Guy Oseary and Mark Morgan are executive producing. Carla Hacken is overseeing for Fox 2000.