Rick Riordan Explains Why ‘Percy Jackson’ Deserves Second Shot As Disney+ Series

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is premiering in two months, and author Rick Riordan is excited to see it fly.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a Disney+ adaptation of Riordan’s book series that spans five novels: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters. The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian. The first two books were adapted into live-action feature films in 2010 and 2013.

Whilst the Percy Jackson movies made a cumulative of US$429 million at the box office, the movies fell short in fulfilling the author’s and the studio’s dreams of turning it into a successful film franchise ala Harry Potter. There are “fundamental mistakes” to the failure, according to Riordan, but that doesn’t stop him from giving his books a second shot at life on screen.

One of the mistakes is that the characters were aged up. The characters are aged 12 in the books but were played by then-17-year-old Logan Lerman, 23-year-old Alexandra Daddario and 25-year-old Brandon T. Jackson.

“Once you have older teens, it’s a completely different dynamic. You lose so much of the wonder. The magic of being a middle grader doesn’t come across the same way. There’s a jaded teenage quality,” said Riordan about the casting (via Variety).

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Movies weren’t the way to go either. The author always felt like the TV medium was more suitable to successfully tell the story.

“My feeling was always that television was the better format for Percy, because it allows us a larger canvas to tell more of the story. And to be more faithful to the source material, which is what the fans of the books really would love to see,” he continued.

New images of the upcoming series have also been released, spotlighting main characters Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood. The characters are played by Walker Scobell, Leah Sava Jeffries and Aryan Simhadri respectively.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a big-budget series with each episode falling between US$12 million and US$15 million to make. This is on par with the streaming service’s Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians premieres on 20 December on Disney+.