From the series’ original five books to the five spin-off novels, it’s safe to say that Percy Jackson has become one of the most popular franchises of all time, selling more than 180 million copies worldwide and cementing its status as a childhood favorite classical. The series, written by Rick Riordan, describes a child’s path as he navigates his identity as half god, half human and blends Greek, Roman and Norse mythology in a modern setting.
The first and second books in the series were made into films: 2010s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and the 2013s Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. While the films were commercially successful, they were not well received by critics and fans. In 2020, the author teased a reboot after the mishaps in the first two film adaptations. Now a Disney+ series is in the works, as shown in the teaser trailer released by the streaming service.
After watching the preview, what can we expect from the new series? Let’s take a look.
What do we learn from the teaser?
In the preview, we can hear Percy recount the experience of finding out he is a demigod, accompanied by ominous glimpses of the show.
At the 21-second mark, an owl appears. It turns out that the owl wasn’t pre-planned by the directors or filmmakers – it just showed up on the day of shooting! Since the owl is Athena’s signature symbol, is this a foreshadowing from the goddess of wisdom that the show will be amazing?
You can also catch a sign in the first few seconds of the teaser, with the words “stable” and “archery” on it. If you look closely, you can see that the letters alternate between English and Greek, a subtle nod to the mythology the books are based on.
If you slow down the video speed, you can see that Percy’s shirt is torn in the arm. This detail highlights his battle with the god Ares in the first book of the franchise. It also suggests that this scene takes place after his encounter with the God of War.
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Who has been cast in the series?
The main cast consists of Walker Scobell, Leah Sava Jeffries and Aryan Simhadri, who play the roles of our beloved trio Percy, Annabeth and Grover respectively.
Scobell perfectly embodies Percy’s character, as seen through his sarcastic and sassy portrayal of young Adam in Netflix The Adam Project. Scobell’s portrayal of Adam is similar to his portrayal of Percy, so it’s no surprise that he was cast.
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Aryan Simhadri, who plays Percy’s friend Grover, has been on stage for a shocking 11 years, bringing a huge amount of experience to the role.
In “The Adam Project” Walker Scobell (right) plays alongside Ryan Reynolds (left) and Mark Ruffalo. Photo: Doane Gregory/Netflix
Leah Jeffries recently starred alongside famous names such as Idris Elba and Sharlto Copley in the film Beast. Unfortunately, Jeffries has been subjected to racist abuse online due to his public disapproval of the casting choice for Annabeth, as her skin color does not match her description in the series.
But many people congratulated her and praised Jeffries for her acting skills. Riordan even called out the haters on social media in May 2022, firmly stating that “Leah Jeffries is Annabeth Chase” and that the writing team was “committed to a diverse, inclusive cast.”
We have yet to see these young stars reach their full potential, but from what we have seen so far, it is safe to say that they will shine in their roles in the upcoming series.
Expect to see more familiar faces too, like Jason Mantzoukas and Megan Mullally. You may know Mantzoukas for his role as Pimento in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Mullally as Karen Walker in Will and Grace. Mantzoukas will play the wine-loving Dionysus in the series, while Mullally stars as Mrs. Dodds/Alecto, Percy’s math teacher, who reports to the king of all things sinister: Hades.
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How old are the characters?
Fans were unhappy that the characters’ ages were changed in the previous films, but don’t worry about the new adaptation. Looking at a snippet of other characters in the teaser, you can see that the actors are all in their teens to early teens; Scobell, Jeffries and Simhadri are also 13-15 years old. If the series is picked up for more seasons, there will be more room for the characters to explore their relationships as they mature.
The show’s creators also promised that the content would be age-appropriate so that families could have fun watching the show with their children.
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Where can I see it and when?
The series will launch on Disney+ sometime in 2024. Filming began this summer in Vancouver, Canada, and the first season will consist of eight episodes.
It’s a long wait, but with the promise of a great adaptation of a childhood favorite, fans are more excited than ever.