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Percy Jackson Disney+ Series Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

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. Fortunately, the Riordans have been unusually communicative about the development process via Twitter. In response to a deluge of fan inquiries about the project, Beth Riordan tweeted, "Any news to share? A couple of studio meetings this week. Getting close to wrapping up the pilot outline. A script outline isn't the same as an outline for a term paper but is more a script without dialog if that makes sense. We are having a blast! We love our team! More soon."

Then, on November 24, more good news came once again from the Riordans themselves. Becky tweeted, "Great news to share this morning. Yesterday our team sent the #PercyJackson pilot script up the chain of command at the TV studio for notes and approvals. Why is this news? Adaptation is a very slow collaborative process so we are excited for every step in the right direction!"

If all goes swimmingly and Disney approves of the preliminary round of scripts, we could potentially see the first episodes streaming sometime in 2022. Any estimated date before that — especially in light of the vast production uncertainties in the industry this year — would be foolishly optimistic. Rick Riordan himself appeared to confirm this timeline in a message to fans about production process: "So it takes me 6-12 months just to write a novel all by myself. Making a TV show is infinitely more complicated, especially w/unknown factors like the pandemic in play. We are still in the earliest stages of writing, which will take months. Most optimistic guess 2 years? Maybe?" (via CBR).

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.

That said, Lerman, at least, seems interested in coming back to the franchise in a new capacity. When asked to comment on the Disney reboot's announcement, the actor told ET, "So, they announced the development of this show. I wonder when they will be ready to make it. They've got to approve scripts, budget it, and cast it. Do this whole thing. So, it could be a ways away for them, you know. I'm curious if there would be a role that would be interesting for me or something like that. I'd definitely consider it."

The wait for news on this front shouldn't be much longer. According to Rick Riordan himself, the search for the next Percy Jackson has already begun in earnest. Olympian casting is underway.

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. According to the very talkative author, he hopes that Disney will commit a budget similar to what's been deployed on series like WandaVision and The Mandalorian — though whether or not the Mouse is ready to pony-up Marvel numbers for a somewhat unproven franchise is still unknown (via Cinemablend).

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