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Percy Jackson Disney+ series release date, cast and plot

Fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson novels rejoice — Disney has officially begun development on a new adaptation of the popular YA book series, and we have every reason to think the company intends to get it right.

Riordan took to Twitter to make the announcement himself (a positive sign, since the author famously distanced himself from the divisive feature film series based on his work). The author broke the news in a video alongside his wife, Becky. He captioned the post with the message, "We can't say much more at this stage but we are very excited about the idea of a live-action series of the highest quality, following the storyline of the original Percy Jackson five-book series, starting with The Lightning Thief in season one. Rest assured that Becky & I will be involved in person in every aspect of the show" (via Variety).

The new adaptation follows in the wake of 2010's Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and its 2013 sequel, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters. Both films received lukewarm responses from critics and fans alike. The detractors cited the movies' significant and sometimes inexplicable departures from the bestselling books as a major pain point. Riordan himself claims to have never seen the movies, and has grumbled about being shut out from the production process. A close reading of his Twitter announcement suggests that this go-around may be different.

The project is only in the earliest stages of development, but here's everything we know so far.

When is the release date for the Percy Jackson Disney+ series?

Attempting to estimate the release date of a TV series just entering development is a fool's errand. Riordan's Twitter announcement made it clear that this project was still at the earliest stages, which could have a range of meanings in the studio world. We likely won't have a good sense of when the series might reach Disney+ until it enters pre-production — or at least until we have a script.

We don't even know if Disney has found a showrunner to shepherd the project yet. All we have is an early — albeit encouraging —announcement that the Mouse House is officially assembling a package around this project. A lot of pieces have to fall into place before anything actually reaches our screens. If all goes swimmingly and Disney approves of the preliminary round of scripts, we could potentially see the first episodes streaming some time in 2022. Any estimated date before that — especially in light of the vast production uncertainties in the industry this year — would be foolishly optimistic.

Who is in the cast of the Percy Jackson Disney+ series?

While it isn't altogether uncommon for projects to attach one or two pieces of marquee talent at early stages of development, the standard practice is to wait for a script to be produced before the casting process begins in earnest. With that in mind, it's unlikely we'll see any official casting news until the new project inches closer to pre-production.

The 2010 Percy Jackson film starred Logan Lerman as the titular demigod, alongside Brandon T. Jackson as Grover, Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth, Jake Abel as Luke, and the incomparable Sean Bean as Zeus (obviously). Considering the film series' lackluster performance and the author's own disapprobation, Disney likely wants to distance this latest project as much as possible from its forebears. For that reason, it seems unlikely that any of the actors from the films will be reprising their roles on Disney+. Most of them have aged out of their characters anyway — though Sean Bean would certainly still make a mean Zeus.

What is the plot of the Percy Jackson Disney+ series?

Given Riordan's enthusiasm for the streaming iteration of his magnum opus, we can assume the TV producers plan to hew much closer to his original plot than the films did. The novels follow Perseus "Percy" Jackson, a young demigod sired by the Greek sea god Poseidon. Percy was raised by his human mother, and the revelation of his divine parentage sets in motion the major conflict of the series.

The book series comprises five novels and two companion books, The Demigod Files and The Demigod Diaries. The first novel, subtitled The Lightning Thief, was released in 2005 and became an instant bestseller. It was followed by The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. The first film attempt at adapting the series loosely translated the events of the first novel, while the 2013 sequel appeared to blend elements from the second and fifth books.

The new series destined for Disney+ may take a Game of Thrones-like approach by adapting approximately one book per season, or it may try to cram all five novels into a single limited series event. We'll just have to wait and see.

As soon as Disney releases any more information, we'll be sure to keep you updated.