Disney+ has found its Percy Jackson


The wildly popular book series Percy Jackson and the Olympians is returning with a new TV series adapted by Disney+. After a disappointing movie series produced by 20th Century Fox in 2010, the former two series installment will be completely recast and produced–this time with author Rick Riordan working closely with the development of the show. 

A look at the past

For a non-book reader of the series, the movies produced in the early 2010s were good overall considering plot and character development, but when compared to Riordan’s series, there were distinguishable discrepancies. Riordan acknowledges that he didn’t even watch the former films in 2010 and that when he first read the script, he knew that the series wasn’t going to be representative of the original books.

As young fans, it was amazing to see favorite characters brought to life on the big screen, but looking back, the movies just weren’t the most accurate way for readers to experience the true story.

Will Sharp is a senior at Leesville and a longtime fan of Percy Jackson. Despite enjoying the movies, he said, “[he] felt like the timeline of the story was sped up way too much and too many important events were skipped over or just thrown in there.”

 Other fans agree with him too and say that complete scenes were cut out from the movies, leaving big plot holes that confused readers.

Disney+ revival

Much to fan’s delight, in May 2020 Riordan announced the development of the show and then the green light approval in January of 2022. It’s unclear when the trailer will be released because only the role of Percy Jackson has been officially confirmed.

On April 11, Walker Scobell was announced for the lead role Percy Jackson. The 13-year-old made his big break in Netflix’s recent movie The Adam Project, playing the snarky younger version of Ryan Reynolds. His personality and love of superhero movies makes him the perfect fit for Percy’s character. 

Sophie Davis, a junior at Leesville, has watched The Adam Project and has kept up with the development of Percy Jackson. Davis said Scobell is “such a good actor and did great in The Adam Project.”

Scobell is a superfan of the Percy Jackson series and was even in a screenshot wearing a Camp Half-Blood shirt when Riordan congratulated him on getting the role. 

Fans of the series reacted well to the casting, saying that his personality in The Adam Project showed he was a great fit for Percy. Sharp said he wasn’t familiar with Scobell but said he could “be the next Daniel Radcliffe.” 

On that note, Percy Jackson and the Olympians will take the same approach as Harry Potter did– casting actors the same age as the characters in the beginning of the books. This was one flaw that fans hated in the original Percy Jackson movies; the actors were much older than the characters were supposed to be. With younger actors, the audience will be able to experience the actual aging of the characters as the series progresses similar to Harry Potter

It is even rumored that Percy Jackson and the Olympians will have a higher budget than some Marvel and Star Wars shows Disney+ has produced. Davis said “[she loves] that the show has a big budget to bring the mythical elements to life and hopefully engage the whole family with cool visual effects.” This has only improved the outlook and anticipation for the show, pointing that it will be an accurate representation fans want so badly.

Looking ahead

For many teens and young adults, the Disney+ revival will bring back the nostalgia of their childhood. Original fans of the series are now well into their twenties but will likely still tune in to watch the book series come to life. 

Creation of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is still in the very early stages but fans should soon expect some more updates regarding casting of two other lead roles– Annabeth and Grover. Riordan has said that Scobell is traveling to do chemistry reads with candidates for the two parts and the finalized cast for the trio should be released in a matter of weeks.

Filming for the series begins in June and fans should expect season one of the show to be eight episodes, according to Riordan’s website. To stay updated, follow Riordan on Instagram @rickriordan and check the “News” category on his website.



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