What’s up, demigods? It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since we first heard the news that a Percy Jackson series was in the works over at Disney+. (Time has lost all meaning since March 2020.) There have been little tidbits dropped since then, but yesterday the news came down that the Percy Jackson Disney+ series is officially greenlit.
While that confirmation is fantastic news, unfortunately we know very little about the Percy Jackson Disney+ series so far. We don’t have a premiere date or any casting news. (I’m hesitantly excited about potential casting news, as I know that Rick in particular is a big fan of blind casting.)
Disney’s 20th Television (formerly 20th Century Fox Television) is producing. The fact that this studio was also behind the poorly-received pair of films based on the series, 2010’s The Lightning Thief and 2013’s Sea of Monsters is a bit off-putting, I’m not going to lie. But I remain pretty confident that the series won’t be anything like those pale imitations because of how involved Riordan is with this project. (He was famously not involved with the movies and avoids answering questions about them when asked.)
“With Rick Riordan, Jon Steinberg and Dan Shotz leading our creative team, we’re deep into creating a compelling TV series worthy of the heroic mythological characters that millions of Percy Jackson readers know are well-worth caring about,” said Disney Branded TV president Ayo Davis. “We’re eager to invite Disney+ audiences into stories that are true to the blockbuster franchise and full of anticipation, humor, surprise, and mystery.”
“True to the franchise” is exactly the phrase I wanted to hear in regards to this series. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I was not a fan of the films (although I finally saw Sea of Monsters) because of how many nonsensical changes they made to the plot, the characters, and Greek mythology in general. I’ve never understood why a studio will buy a popular book with a huge fanbase and then change so much of the story. Some changes are bound to happen in a page-to-screen adaptation, but I mean. Come on.
And how will this series stay true to the source material? Well, in addition to serving as executive producer, Riordan will be penning the pilot alongside Steinberg (The Old Man, Black Sails). Black Sails is criminally good, so I’m optimistic that those two will deliver an amazing first episode. James Bobin (The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Muppets) will direct the first episode, and according to Riordan, he is a big fan of the series. (Well, his kids are.)
Said 20th TV president Karey Burke, “Bringing Rick Riordan’s brilliant Percy Jackson books to Disney+ as a television series has been a mission for so many of us at this company as well as for Rick himself, and Jon, Dan, James and the excellent team they have assembled have proven to be the perfect collaborators. Thanks to our friends at Disney Branded Television led by Ayo, and Disney Streaming led by Michael [Paull], this will be an adaptation for the ages, with all the excitement, action and mythology fans of the books expect and love.”
I am unbelievably excited for this series to be a reality. You’d better believe that we’ll be reviewing this show when it premieres. I can’t want to fangirl over everything with y’all!
Watch Riordan make the announcement on the official Disney+ YouTube:
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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