#DisneyAdaptPercyJackson — this hashtag was heard around the world as nearly 20,000 fans of the teen adventure series about mythical monsters and sarcastic demigods called on Disney+ to create a new “Percy Jackson” adaptation. These cries followed the company’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, who held the film rights to the series.
With Disney looking to release exciting content for subscribers and the heavy support from fans, the executives at Disney+ greenlit the recreation of a new adaptation for the popular series.
The official announcement came from author Rick Riordan’s social media accounts and his website in May as he thanked fans for their persistence and dedication to the series. Although the project is still in the first stages of development, Riordan released some information to help quell fears about what the series will look like in the hands of Disney.
No need for “Percy Jackson” fans to worry; this isn’t another Chris Colombus or Thor Freudenthal disaster. The Disney+ adaptation will be a more accurate, by-the-book live-action series that follows the events of the first “Percy Jackson” book, “The Lightning Thief,” according to Riordan. It won’t stop there, however. The series will have five parts or seasons, one for each of the five books in the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series.
For many fans, the fact that Riordan won’t be writing the script for the new series seems like tragic history repeating itself. But, Riordan revealed in his blog that he plans to be involved in every aspect of the creative process to ensure that the series is a more “faithful on-screen adaptation.”
Riordan assures fans that many of the problems with the film versions of the series are righted in the new remake. For one, Percy will be depicted as the 12-year-old he is in the books and not a cute but awkward 18-year-old Logan Lerman. When discussing the process of making the original films, Riordan said he believes it's imperative to keep Percy as a 12-year-old kid to allow room for the building of a franchise and stay true to the timeline of the series, which culminates in Percy turning 16 in fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.
Riordan also revealed that he’ll make sure the series remains “clean,” keeping away from the bad language that was added to convincingly age the characters in the first film. The books were written for children ages 9-12 — although fans of all ages have come to love Percy and all of his demigod friends — and Riordan and the executives at Disney said they believe bad language only discourages parents from allowing their children to watch the show. Disney’s audience falls into much of the same age group as Riordan’s readers, which should only improve the chances of the series remaining clean and family-friendly.
With the original films and the new remake being made within the same decade, many fans are wondering if the original stars of the films are involved in the new series. Although little information has been revealed about the casting and logistics of the project, it’s safe to say that the series will likely be a clean break from the films with no connections or Easter eggs harkening back to the original adaptation.
Although some fans are hoping to see Logan Lerman and other favorite actors make a reappearance on Mt. Olympus or at Camp Half-Blood, there’s been no indication from any of the original actors that they’re going to be involved in the project.
This adaptation comes as a relief for many fans — young and old — who want to see the series grace the screen in all its glory. Although the series won’t be available to stream for a while, fans can rest easy knowing that Rick Riordan and all the creative team at Disney are working to bring the series to life in a way that stays true to the original humor, drama and adventure of the story.
Contact Alexandra Dauchess at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture and Instagram @breeze_culture.