“Percy Jackson” Author Hints at Season 2 Renewal
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After a long wait, Rick Riordan revealed the plans for the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which has been formally picked up by Disney+. Although the show was teased way back in May of 2020, Rick Riordan, author of the five-book fantasy-adventure series, made the official announcement earlier this year.
“The wait is over, demigods,” he said in a video posted by Disney+. “I am thrilled to be the first to tell you that Percy Jackson and the Olympians is really, truly, and for sure coming to your screens. The smart folks at Disney+ have given us the green light.”
A message from our friend @RickRiordan. ✨ pic.twitter.com/T6bDYsNOGi
— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) January 25, 2022
The series chronicles the tale of 12-year-old Percy Jackson, who discovers that he is a demigod (half-mortal and half-god). Shortly after learning about his supernatural abilities, the powerful sky god Zeus claims that Percy stole his lightning bolt. Facing such a weighty accusation, Percy must travel across America to locate the missing bolt and return it to Olympus.
So, what can fans expect from the new Disney+ adaptation? Here, find everything we know about the new Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
Is there a trailer for Percy Jackson and the Olympians?
We finally have our first look at the new series! On September 10, 2022, Disney+ released the first teaser trailer for Percy Jackson and the Olympians. In the approximately 50-second clip, Percy — portrayed by Walker Scobell — heeds ominous warnings of the dangers of being a half-blood, reciting the first few lines from the book series’ first novel, The Lightning Thief.
“I didn’t want to be a half-blood. Being a half-blood is dangerous. It’s scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed. If you think you might be one of us, I advise this: Turn away while you still can,” he begins. Check out the full trailer below.
When will the Percy Jackson series premiere?
In July, Riordan updated fans on the tentative series premiere, six months after the series was given the green light on January 25, 2022. The author previously guessed that the Disney+ series would be ready in 2023, but he’s since revised his statement.
Riordan expects the show’s debut to be closer to early 2024, although, “The actual release dates are determined by the studio and the streaming service,” he said in a post on his website.
We do know that it will, of course, stream exclusively on Disney+. A subscription to the service is $7.99/month or $79.99/year.
Have they started filming the Percy Jackson series?
It’s official, demigods — we’re headed to Camp Half-Blood! Percy Jackson and the Olympians started filming on June 2, 2022. Disney+ shared the news in an Instagram post featuring a Percy-branded director's chair and clapperboard. “First day of camp vibes. 🔱 @PercySeries is officially in production!,” the caption reads.
In January 2023, Riordan provided a production update on his website. According to the author, filming is nearing its end. “We have done almost all the photography for our eight episodes. Right now, we are just doing some pick-up scenes to fill in different angles and expand some of the sequences,” he wrote. “I have seen early director’s cuts for episodes 1-6 and all the dailies for episodes seven and eight, so I am now confident in predicting . . . yeah, if you’re a fan of the books or even if you just love a good adventure, you are going to love this show. We still have months and months of post-production work to do, but the team is wrapping up in Vancouver with a sense of pride and accomplishment.”
Who has been cast in the series?
Our demigod lead has been named! Disney+ has cast 13-year-old Walker Scobell to play the hero, Percy Jackson, according to Variety. Scobell made his silver screen debut in the Netflix film The Adam Project, and his next project, Secret Headquarters, which also stars Owen Wilson, is due out in theaters on August 5.
Percy Jackson’s friends and sidekicks Grover Underwood and Annabeth Chase have also been cast. On May 5, Variety announced that Leah Sava Jeffries (from Empire and Rel) takes on the role of Annabeth, while Aryan Simhadri (seen in Disney+’s Cheaper by the Dozen) plays Grover.
For a refresh, Grover is a satyr (aka half-human, half-goat) who, while cautious, is always willing to step up to challenges and fight for his friends. Annabeth is the daughter of the goddess Athena, and is known for her intelligence and curiosity.
On May 10, 2022, Rick Riordan penned a post on his website to defend his casting choice for Annabeth after receiving backlash online. While most Percy Jackson fans are hyped for this new and diverse cast of their favorite demigods, others complained that Leah Sava Jeffries’ portrayal of Annabeth "Doesn't look the way [they] always imagined."
“The response to the casting of Leah has been overwhelmingly positive and joyous, as it should be. Leah brings so much energy and enthusiasm to this role, so much of Annabeth’s strength. She will be a role model for new generations of girls who will see in her the kind of hero they want to be,” Riordan wrote.
“If you have a problem with this casting, however, take it up with me. You have no one else to blame. Whatever else you take from this post, we should be able to agree that bullying and harassing a child online is inexcusably wrong,” he continued. “As strong as Leah is, as much as we have discussed the potential for this kind of reaction and the intense pressure this role will bring, the negative comments she has received online are out of line. They need to stop. Now.”
He went on to explain that he and the Disney+ casting directors blindly cast the actors to properly follow the company's non-discrimination policies.
“If you're still upset about the casting of this marvelous trio, then it doesn’t matter how many times you have read the books. You didn't learn anything from them,” Riordan added. “Watch the show or don’t. That's your call. But this will be an adaptation that I am proud of, and which fully honors the spirit of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, taking the bedtime story I told my son twenty years ago to make him feel better about being neurodivergent, and improving on it so that kids all over the world can continue to see themselves as heroes at Camp Half-Blood.” The author shared the post on Twitter with the hashtag #LeahIsOurAnnabeth, which ended up trending on the social media platform after fans showed their support.
Who else stars in Percy Jackson?
After the main trio was set, Disney went to work casting recurring guest star roles including Megan Mullally as Mrs. Dodds (aka one of Hades’ three Furies, Alecto), Jason Mantzoukas as Dionysus, and Glynn Turman as hero-trainer Chiron. Percy’s family has also been chosen. Virginia Kull plays Percy’s mom Sally Jackson and Timm Sharp plays his stepfather Gabe Ugliano.
On November 7, Disney+ announced that Lin-Manuel Miranda — of Hamilton and In the Heights fame — has joined the Percy Jackson cast. The actor portrays Greek messenger god Hermes, who “looks out for travelers and thieves, and is a bit of a trickster himself,” Deadline reports. He’s further characterized as “charismatic and boisterous” but has a strained relationship with his son, Luke. Once meeting Percy and his friends, he hesitates to help them on their quest to find the missing lightning bolt, “as sometimes getting involved is more trouble than it’s worth,” the outlet describes.
A message from the messenger god himself: @Lin_Manuel Miranda is Hermes in #PercyJackson and the Olympians, an Original series coming to #DisneyPlus! pic.twitter.com/ncXp0Rl8Un
— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) November 7, 2022
As for who else will be attending Camp Half-Blood, Variety reported that Dior Goodjohn, Olivea Morton, and Charlie Bushnell have joined the series as Clarisse La Rue (child of Ares), teachers-pet Nancy Bobofit, and Hermes cabin counselor Luke Castellan respectively.
Finally, on January 26, 2023, Riordan announced the casting for Zeus and Poseidon. Lance Reddick stars as the god of the sky, while Toby Stephens plays the god of the seas.
Will any of the cast from the Percy Jackson movies be joining the series?
OG Percy Jackson (aka Logan Lerman) is looking forward to watching the new Disney+ series, but will unfortunately not be making a cameo this season. Despite him saying that he would be open to participating in the new series, he clarified that there are no current plans for him to make an appearance.
When asked how he felt about the new Percy Jackson and the Olympians series on the red carpet for his upcoming movie Bullet Train, Logan told The Hollywood Reporter, “I'm really excited. I'm curious to see it. Everything I've seen so far, like peripherally just about casting and how they're doing it, and that Rick [Riordan] is running it, just makes me happy.”
How will the series relate to the Percy Jackson movies and books?
As you might recall, the series was formerly adapted into two films, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which premiered in 2011, and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, which was released in 2013. Both adaptations starred Logan Lerman as the titular character. However, both films were poorly received by the Percy Jackson fanbase, and especially by Riordan — according to Entertainment Weekly, he once tweeted that the movies feel like his “life's work going through a meat grinder.” Ouch.
This time around, Riordan will co-write the pilot and according to Disney, the new series will be “closely aligned with” the original books.
Will there be a season 2 of Percy Jackson?
Disney has not yet announced a sophomore season for the Percy Jackson series — and considering we’re likely a year out from the season 1 premiere, it might be some time until we hear any news. But in January 2023, Riordan seemed very optimistic about future installments.
“If you haven’t seen a particular god or demigod announced, that’s because they don’t appear in the season and won’t be cast until we start the subsequent seasons, which means any of those announcements are probably at least a year away,” he wrote on his website. “More later, demigods, but I am pleased to tell you we are in a very good place as we look ahead to a (not-yet-greenlit-but-fully-anticipated) season two!”
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