Sometimes, movies just can’t contain the story when it comes to a novel series adaptation. Such appeared to be the case when 20th Century Fox (in its pre-Disney days) released two films based on Rick Riordan’s ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ books.
Even with Chris Columbus –– who had helped launch the hugely successful ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise –– at the helm of the first, the movies didn’t deliver the way studios and fans had hoped for, and the on-screen version only managed two entries: 2010’s ‘The Lightning Thief’ and 2013’s ‘Sea of Monsters’ (directed by Thor Freudenthal).
Hopes are higher for the TV version which, thanks to Disney buying Fox, finds itself on Disney+, with the sort of budget and, potentially, running time that fans are hoping can do justice to the stories.
Of course, it’ll still have to connect with wider audiences to avoid the creeping trend for streaming services that wipe unsuccessful shows from their servers after a season or two, which is something that has happened with Disney+ as much as any other.
What’s the story of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’?
The new show tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell of ‘The Adam Project’), who’s just coming to terms with his newfound divine powers when the sky god Zeus (the late Lance Reddick who died shortly after the season wrapped) accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt.
Who else stars in ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’?
The supporting/guest cast for this one is a strong blend of known names and newcomers including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Megan Mullally, Toby Stephens, Virginia Kull, Jason Mantzoukas, Jay Duplass, Glynn Turman, Adam Copeland, Charlie Bushnell, Dior Goodjohn, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Olivea Morton, Suzanne Cryer, Timm Sharp and Timothy Omundson.
Rick Riordan on the new show
Riordan, who is serving as an executive producer and head writer on the show, seems confident in the new version.
Here’s what he told Entertainment Weekly (in an interview conducted before the start of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes) about the process of bringing the series to life:
“We have been involved in the series since its inception, since the very, very earliest conversations about what a new Percy adaptation might look like, how it would be sketched out, whether it would be episodic. So, I feel comfortable telling fans of the books who have been waiting — in some cases, decades — for this kind of faithful adaptation, that this is the one you’ve been waiting for. We are involved and I think you’re gonna love it.”
‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ launches with its first two (of eight) episodes on Disney+ on December 20th.
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