Produced by Chris Columbus whose successful string of blockbusters includes the “Harry Potter” films, “Percy Jackson: Lightning Thief,” “Fantastic Four,” “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Surfer,” “Night at the Museum” and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” the latest adventure of Percy Jackson adapted from Rick Riordan’s 2nd book from the best selling series “Percy Jackson and The Olympians” finds Percy at waters’ ends dealing with shocking family revelations, saving his best friend Grover from a cyclops and battling fellow demigods to ultimately stop the evil Kronos from wreaking havoc to their world.
In “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” the Oracle further complicates Percy’s sense of self and duty, says Lerman, when it tells him he “is either going to destroy Olympus or save it. He’s not sure if he can rise to the occasion.” Percy has a lot at stake, according to Freudenthal. “He’s trying to save Camp Half-Blood and prove himself as a hero. He’s grown distant from his father, who is not really responding to his requests for help. Percy embarks upon his ‘odyssey’ for two reasons: to save his home, and to ascertain if he is indeed a hero.”
On his journey to battle demigod Luke (played by Jake Abel) and retrieve the Golden Fleece, Percy discovers he has a half-brother, Tyson (Douglas Smith), who is a Cyclops. “Tyson is a sweet, teenage Cyclops,” says director Thor Freudenthal. “Cyclopes are viewed as monsters, but everything about Tyson is the opposite of that.”
“Tyson is a warrior, of sorts,” says Douglas Smith, who plays the one-eyed teen. “He’s a really soulful, salt of the earth Cyclops. Tyson is one of those people who seem overly simple but he’s actually got a deep wisdom. It comes in handy in the quest because he’s got a variety of skills that only Cyclopes have. He’s a good guy, and identifies more with the Half-Bloods than with the other Cyclopes, who like to eat demigods. Tyson looks like a villain, but he has a heart of gold and that can be very confusing when people meet him. And it’s confusing for him, too.”
Like Percy, Tyson is a son of Poseidon, but while Percy’s mother is human, Tyson’s mother was a sea nymph. Smith describes the sibling relationship: “Percy and Tyson are half-brothers, but Tyson doesn’t like to harp on that. Percy doesn’t expect to have a brother show up at camp, he doesn’t expect to bring him along on the journey, and he does not expect to be won over by Tyson’s optimism and point of view, which is fresh and filled with wonder. Ultimately, Percy realizes that Poseidon is looking out for him, because he sent Tyson to Percy.”
Initially, the filmmakers planned to give Smith a prosthetic eye, but they decided to create the eye mostly through visual effects. The prosthetic shrank in size from a full facemask to a small forehead application that created the effect of a single brow, which Smith only had to sport when Tyson wears sunglasses. And, as in the book, an application of magical mist creates the illusion of Tyson having two eyes; for those scenes, Smith wears only his own visage.
Douglas Smith is best known for his starring role as Ben Henrickson on HBO’s critically acclaimed series “Big Love,” starring Bill Paxton and Jeanne Tripplehorn. He also starred in the indie film “Remember the Daze,” opposite Amber Heard, Leighton Meester and Lyndsy Fonseca, He recently starred in the independent “The Boy Who Smells Like Fish,” opposite Zoë Kravitz and was recently seen in Brandon Cronenberg’s “Antiviral.”
“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” (3D and 2D) opens August 7 in theaters nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.