Disney is bringing its live-action adaptation of the bestselling Percy Jackson books to streaming with the upcoming Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1. Fans are understandably excited for this adaptation following a previous attempt to bring their favorite demigods to life. Teaser photos of the cast have also been rolling out in the past several days, adding to the excitement.
As we wait for the December premiere, here’s everything we know about Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1.
A New Adaptation of Rick Riordan’s Book Series
In December 2019, author Rick Riordan pitched the idea for a Percy Jackson series to Disney. It was officially announced to be in development by May 2020. This marks the second time Riordan’s bestselling book series received a live-action adaptation, following the two films that were panned at the box office. Fans of the books, and maybe even the films, have long anticipated the project, this time with Riordan and his wife Becky Riordan taking on a larger role in its production.
In September 2022, Disney presented a surprise teaser during D23 as the first season was still in production. The teaser gave audiences a first look at the new iteration of the titular character played by Walter Scobell. Scobell’s Percy is narrating the opening lines of The Lightning Thief, while also giving a peek into Camp Half-Blood and other fellow demigods.
Disney revealed the official teaser poster for the show on July 14, 2023. On August 18, 2023, another teaser was dropped, showing more footage from the upcoming show and its release date. More photos of the characters were revealed at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con. Fast forward to September 2023 when more photos and a new poster were dropped for the show.
The Team Behind Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Jonathon E. Steinberg and Dan Shotz are serving as showrunners for Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1. Steinberg and Shotz have worked together on multiple projects in the past 20 years.
Riordan will also play a big creative role in the show’s production. The Percy Jackson creator co-wrote the pilot episode with Steinberg as well as the series bible. The series bible contains the plans for the main storylines for the first season and possible ideas for future seasons. James Bobin directed the pilot episode, while Anders Engstrom and Jet Wilkinson directed two episodes each.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1 is also written by Monica Owusu-Breen, Daphne Olive, Stewart Strandberg, Zoe Neary, Joe Tracz, and Xavier Stiles. Steinberg, Shotz, Riordan, Bobbin, Engstrom, Wilkinson, and Owusu-Breen all serve as the show’s executive producers.
Also executive producing are Rebecca Riordan, Bert Salke, Jim Rowe, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, and D.J. Goldberg.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1 has already wrapped filming and is currently in post-production. Principal photography started on June 2, 2022, in Vancouver, British Columbia. At the time of filming, the working title was called Mink Golden. Filming wrapped on February 2, 2023.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Cast
As said earlier, Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1 stars Walter Scobell as the titular demigod. Leah Sava Jeffries plays Annabeth Chase, the daughter of Athena, while Aryan Simhadri plays the satyr Grover Underwood. Riordan defended the casting of Jeffries, following the racist backlash that ensued. The author reiterated his defense of Jeffries in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“For Leah, she should not have to deal with that. She should be allowed to practice her profession and her art, and to be recognized as a talented actor who got a part because she merited getting the part, without dealing with this speculation of it was only this or it was only that – ‘It was a quota, it was wokeness,’ whatever, blah, blah, blah. That didn’t sit well with me,” said Riordan.
The adult cast members include Virginia Kull as Percy’s mother Sally Jackson and Timm Sharp as Percy’s stepfather Gabe Ugliano. Also part of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is Glynn Turman as Chiron/Mr. Brunner, Jason Mantzoukas as Dionysus/Mr. D, Megan Mullally as Alecto/Mrs. Dodds, and Adam Copeland as Ares.
Charlie Bushnell plays Luke Castellan, Dior Goodjohn as Clarisse LaRue, Olivea Morton as Nancy Bobofit, Suzanne Cryer as Echidna, and Jessica Parker Kennedy as Medusa.
The cast members playing the other Olympian gods were also introduced. Lin Manuel Miranda as Hermes, Jay Duplass as Hades, Timothy Omundson as Hephaestus, Toby Stephens as Poseidon, and the late Lance Riddick as Zeus himself. Jason Gray-Stanford was also cast in an undisclosed role so far.
What to Expect
Fans of the books and even the movies will already know what to expect. For Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1, the storyline will be all about Zeus’ lightning bolt. Disney also released a very short synopsis for the upcoming show.
“Demigod Percy Jackson leads a quest across America to prevent a war among the Olympian gods.”
Season 1 will focus on the first novel in the Percy Jackson series, The Lightning Thief. Zeus accuses Percy of stealing his thunderbolt. The titular character is forced to race against time to find the missing lightning bolt and return it to Zeus before chaos ensues. All the while, Percy learns more about the world of gods and monsters and makes new friends along the way.
The Cast Is Hyped for What’s to Come
Following the announcement of the series, Logan Lerman, who played the titular character in the films, congratulated Riordan on the show. In June 2020, Lerman told The Hollywood Reporters that he was “open” to returning to the Percy Jackson universe. Just don’t count on him returning as Poseidon as many of his fans previously hoped.
“I’m curious to see what’s going to happen with it and I’m just glad that Rick, the writer – it seems like he’s in control or has a say,” said Lerman. “I’m not sure how much say he had in the movies we did way back when a couple of years ago. I hope that they get good scripts together…I’d be curious to see how it comes along, but if I’m right for it, of course, I’d consider it.”
Alexandra Daddario, who played Annabeth in the movies, also expressed excitement for the show. Daddario told The Wrap in December 2021 that she’s “so excited” to see how the new cast will “inspire a new generation of young women.”
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1 Release Date
The first two episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1 will premiere on December 20, 2023. The show will be on Disney+ and will have eight episodes with possible runtimes of 45-60 minutes.
As for Percy Jackson and the Olympians getting a Season 2? Riordan only confirmed that the writers’ room has worked on the scripts for the next season. But, Disney has yet to officially make a renewal.