By Lexie Kauffman ’22
In 2005, author Rick Riordan released the first of many books that would shape a generation. “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” followed a troubled young teen that finds out that his father is the Greek god, Poseidon. Since the initial release, Riordan has released numerous books, many following Percy and his friends.
Like many books, Percy Jackson was soon adapted to the silver screen. “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” was released in 2010. Sadly, this adaptation was not what fans were looking for. The characters were aged up and missing many iconic features, while the plot of the books was ignored. The young twelve-year-old hero that never swore turned into a vulgar seventeen-year-old. The movie butchered the characters and the world.
20th Century Fox attempted to fix their mistakes by also adapting the second book into “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” in 2013. They fixed a few character issues, but still disregarded the book. After another disaster, the Percy Jackson movies were not continued. Riordan has expressed his disdain of the movies many times over.
On June 8, 2020, Riordan tweeted, “Well, to you guys, it’s a couple hours of entertainment. To me, it’s my life’s work going through a meat grinder when I pleaded with them not to do it. So yeah.”
However, for years fans have pleaded for an accurate depiction of their favorite childhood books. In 2014, Rob Rokicki and Joe Tracz adapted the tale into a musical. “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson” musical officially hit the Broadway stage on October 16, 2019. While the musical is accurate and beloved by fans, they still pushed for more.
On December 14, 2017, Disney bought 20th Century Fox, acquiring the rights to Percy Jackson. Once Disney Plus was launched in 2019, fans pleaded for Disney to readapt Percy Jackson into an accurate live-action TV series.
Riordan heard the pleas and went to LA to advocate for the series. In May of 2020, Riordan and Disney announced that the show was happening with Riordan at the helm.
“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,” Riordan tweeted. “Rest assured that Becky (his wife) & I will be involved in person in every aspect of the show.”
However, fans will have to wait a while until the new adaptation is available. Riordan commented on the timetable via Twitter on July 6, 2020.
“So it takes me 6-12 months just to write a novel all by myself,” Riordan explained. “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?”
Despite the wait, Percy Jackson fans can be confident that the new series will be everything they wanted from the movies with Riordan involved.