The gods are awake! The Percy Jackson series is officially a go at Disney+. The streaming platform first announced its adaption of the beloved fantasy novels back in May 2020. Now, it’s officially official. Rick Riordan, author of the beloved series, announced the series’ greenlight in a video shared by the streaming platform. And, even more, exciting than that, the Percy Jackson series has cast its three main leads, Percy Jackson, himself, Annabeth Chase, and Grover Underwood. Not to mention, author Rick Riordan has shared his estimations about when we’ll see the series.
Percy Jackson’s Release Date
Author Rick Riordan has previously discussed a potential 2023 release date for the Percy Jackson Disney+ series. But now, he’s changed his speculations. In a recent blog post, Riordan shares:
So when will the show be out? I hear there have been some wildly unrealistic dates floating around on social media, so I am here to moderate your expectations. Previously, I have said that my own personal best guess was sometime in 2023. I also warned you that this could definitely change. Now that I have a somewhat better understanding of the work involved… I think the most likely air date will probably be early 2024. Again, that’s just me guessing. The actual release dates are determined by the studio and the streaming service, and have to take in hundreds of other factors like the release schedule for all Disney+ shows, timing for publicity, etc., etc.
As Riordan notes, 2024 is just his own estimation. But it certainly frames our notions of when we might expect the series.
Percy Jackson Series Announcement
While Riordan didn’t share any new details in the minute-long video, he confirmed James Bobin is directing the pilot. Bobin’s been attached to direct since October, when Riordan announced his collaboration in a blog post. For an adaptation like The Lightning Thief, it’s vital to have true fans involved in the work. The book has a lot of nuances, and getting the vision right can feel tricky. In addition, fans have high expectations, especially considering the last adaptation didn’t go precisely as planned. But for this adaptation, Riordan is actively involved. In addition to serving as an executive producer on the series, the author is co-writing the pilot with John Steinberg.
Per a Disney+ press release, Percy Jackson and the Olympians “tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson, who’s just coming to terms with his newfound supernatural powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. Now Percy must trek across America to find it and restore order to Olympus.”
Percy Jackson’s Casting
Casting, it seems, is also underway. Riordan notes he believes that the Percy Jackson series is deep in their casting for the main characters of this Disney+ series. So deep, in fact, that Disney+ recently announced its first piece of casting news. Of course, the Percy Jackson series had to first cast Percy himself. The Adam Project‘s Walker Scobell will play Percy Jackson in the Disney+ series. The streamer also recently announced its Annabeth and Grover casting. Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood will be played by Leah Sava Jeffries and Aryan Simhadri, respectively, in the Percy Jackson series.
Additionally, we know now who will play some of the other demigods. Charlie Bushnell will play Luke Castellan, the coolest kid in Camp Half-Blood…maybe. Meanwhile, Dior Goodjohn will play Clarisse La Rue, a competitive child of Ares.
We also know more about the adult characters. Virginia Kull joins the series as Sally Jackson. Jason Mantzoukas will play Mr. D/Dionysus. Megan Mullally will be the villainous Mrs. Dodds/Alecto. Meanwhile, Glynn Turman joins the Percy Jackson series as Mr. Brunner/Chiron. Finally, Timm Sharp will play Gabe Ugliano. Finally, Olivea Morton will play Nancy Bobofit, a mortal bully who picks on Percy. Casting for other characters is also underway and will release in phases.
Additional Information about the Disney+ Percy Jackson Series
In a blog post, Riordan toured Industrial Light and Magic’s “Volume” stage. Disney+’s Star Wars shows such as The Mandalorian film at this location. Though the Percy Jackson Disney+ series likely won’t film there, Riordan hopes to learn from the process of these other shows. He notes the technology he saw was awe-inspiring. And he hopes that some of it can inform Percy Jackson’s adaptation:
If you’re not familiar with the Volume and how it works, there is a short YouTube documentary publicly available here. It is pretty incredible stuff that puts you in the middle of a 360-degree virtual environment. They even plopped us in the middle of deep space at one point and let me punch the button “enter hyperspace.” Suddenly, we were doing the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. The effects are so real we were warned to be careful if we had motion sickness, and they weren’t lying.
Riordan also recently shared that the series’ first season would be eight episodes long, he mentioned four episodes are basically done and four are still in the works. He also shared some of the ins and outs of pre-production. Riordan notes, “We had meetings with the props and costume departments to get a “show and tell” about what they’re working on. So many things to think about that would never have occurred to me: What kind of backpack does Percy use? What kind of t-shirts would he wear? What kind of sheath does Annabeth use for her dagger? Is Grover a cargo shorts kind of guy? And the all-important question: What pattern does Chiron prefer in his sweater vest?”
That’s a lot to think about, for sure. And just the kind of details that true fans will get very excited for.
Production for the series has now officially begun.
Originally published on October 21, 2021.