It’s a tale as old as time: a misfit teenage boy discovers he has magical powers and is the chosen one who can restore balance between good and evil. Along the way he finds two best friends, a wise mentor and a string of foes.
No, this isn’t the story of Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter, it’s Percy Jackson, the American nerd who turns out to be a demigod, naturally.
Ever since Harry Potter became the biggest phenomenon of pop culture, a slew of fantasy franchises were vying to be the next big behemoth of page and screen.
For every success story like Twilight and The Hunger Games, there’s been an Eragon, Mortal Instruments or Maze Runner. Up until now Percy Jackson has sat in the middle of the fantasy franchise barometer, with six novels, two live-action movies starring Logan Lerman that made a fair haul at the box office, and even a Broadway musical.
Now Disney has taken over the franchise with a brand new series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, coming to their streaming service later this month.
Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming adventures of the schoolboy who discovers he’s a demi-god.
When is the ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ TV series being released?
Percy Jackson and the Olympians will serve as an early Christmas present with the first two episodes of the series arriving on Disney+ on December 20. Later episodes will arrive weekly each Wednesday.
The series consists of eight episodes with the finale arriving on January 31, 2024.
Any news on the plot?
Fans of the ‘Percy Jackson’ movies will know what to expect as the first season of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a faithful adaptation of the first book in the series.
Misfit student Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell) struggles at school and encounters mythical creatures that he finds hard to believe are real. Initially, he puts them down to his imagination playing havoc.
When he’s accused of stealing Zeus’s (Lance Reddick) thunderbolt, Percy is taken to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigod children, hidden from humans and boisterous beasts alike. As he discovers his true parentage (spoiler: he’s the son of Poseidon) and the powers that entails, Percy must quickly discover who his allies are as he encounters minotaurs, gorgons and gods who want to see his demise.
Who’s in Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ cast?
It’s no overstatement to say the cast for Percy Jackson’s latest outing is stacked. It features Broadway legends, TV icons, wrestling superstars and a bunch of rising talent that are sure to be household names in the near future.
Walker Scobell landed the role after an impressive screen debut opposite Ryan Reynolds in Netflix’s hit sci-fi romp, The Adam Project.
Leah Sava Jeffries takes on the role of Annabeth Chase, who befriends Percy while they’re both at Camp Half-Blood, and is the daughter of Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Jeffries made her screen debut on hit TV series Empire before starring opposite Idris Elba in Beast.
Aryan Simhadri takes on the role of Grover Underwood, Percy’s best friend and companion throughout his adventures. Aryan has previously appeared in the Disney+ reboot of Cheaper by the Dozen.
Other members of the cast include Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hermes, the messenger of the god; Toby Stephens (Lost in Space) as Poseidon, Percy’s father and god of the sea; Adam Copeland (WWE alumni) as Ares, the god of war; Virginia Kull (Big Little Lies) as Sally Jackson, Percy’s mother, and Will and Grace icon Megan Mullally as Percy’s teacher with a sinister hidden identity.
Is there a trailer?
You bet. The trailer was released in November and was viewed a whopping 84 million times in the first ten days, suggesting that Disney may have a new blockbuster franchise on their hands.
How many books are the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series?
The book series, authored by Rick Riordan, consists of six books. The first book in the series, The Lightning Thief, was published in 2005 with four more released before 2009. Riordan reprised the series in 2024 with the release of The Chalice of the Gods. A sequel is expected to arrive in 2024.
The complete list of books so far is:
- The Lightning Thief (2005)
- The Sea of Monsters (2006)
- The Titan’s Curse (2007)
- The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008)
- The Last Olympian (2009)
- The Chalice of the Gods (2023)
Will there be a second series?
Nothing is confirmed yet, but with six novels of the series, Disney will no doubt be planning to adapt all of Percy Jackson’s adventures for the screen.
Aside from the six published novels, there have also been two movies, a graphic novel, several spin-off books and even a Broadway musical adaptation, leaving Disney with no shortage of material to adapt for future seasons.
Where was Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ filmed?
Filming began in June 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia and wrapped in February 2023.
The first two episodes of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ launch on Disney+ on Dec 20.