How Disney+’s ‘Percy Jackson’ Series Can Honor the Books

Logan Lerman Percy Jackson Sea Of Monsters
Murray Close/©20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection

The excitement for the upcoming Percy Jackson And The Olympians series in development ay Disney+ has been high since its announcement in May 2020. Fans are not only excited to see their favorite YA characters return to the screen, but also to see the story finally get justice after the disappointment of the 2010 film adaptation of Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief.

After years of clamoring for a faithful screen adaptation, Percy Jackson fans were finally able to celebrate when series creator Rick Riordan announced that both he and his wife Becky would “be involved in-person at every step of the show.” Yet even with all of this excitement after Riordan’s recent claim on his blog that the team is “on the verge of getting a really first-rate project off the ground,” patience must once again become a virtue among Percy Jackson fans, as the series is not likely to premiere for another two years.

'Black Panther' Director Ryan Coogler to Develop Wakanda Series at Disney+See Also

'Black Panther' Director Ryan Coogler to Develop Wakanda Series at Disney+

A just-announced five-year TV deal allows for TV projects within the Walt Disney Company.

Until then, here are some ways that Disney+’s TV adaptation of Percy Jackson and The Olympians can honor its original source material in these early stages.

Casting (Real) Teenagers

Brandon T. Jackson, Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario Percy Jackson

(Murray Close/©20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection)

No names have been attached to the project yet, but when they are, it is important that the actors are pre-teens. Percy begins the series at age 12 and ends the series at age 16; in the film adaptation, his age was changed to 16 to reach an older demographic, something which longtime fans of the series were not pleased with. It’s significant that the characters are young teenagers grappling with the high-stakes situations that surround them. To nail this impact, it is crucial that viewers are connecting with the characters at the ages they are in the books.

One Book = One Season

We know the first season of the series will focus on Riordan’s first Percy Jackson novel, The Lightning Thief. However, to grant the series the time it needs to develop, each season should dedicate itself to one book, rather than condensing two novel-long narratives into a mere 10-12 episodes.

Accurate Depictions of the Characters

Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters

(Murray Close/©20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection)

From the books to the films, fan-favorite character Annabeth Chase went from having blonde hair and grey eyes to light brown hair and blue eyes. To this day, fans have not forgotten this misstep and already have started to clamor for accurate character depictions in the Disney+ series. While these traits may seem superficial, they are crucial components of characters that fans have loved since 2005, making their depiction in this series an important one.

Remaining Faithful to Original Plotlines

With Riordan on board, this may be a no-brainer, but it’s still important. After the release of the 2010 film, Percy Jackson fans were upset to discover that much of the original plot was manipulated and even cut from the film completely. Here’s to hoping that the Disney+ series includes Percy’s high-stakes duel with Ares on the Santa Monica beach this time around, with Riordan himself claiming that it was a “crime to exclude it from the movie.”

Return of a Familiar Face?

Obviously, original Percy Jackson actor Logan Lerman cannot return to the series as Percy himself, but this has not stopped the popular fan-casting of Lerman as Percy’s father, Poseidon. Lerman has expressed his excitement for the new series, but unfortunately, this popular fan theory remains a rumor at best.