Statues and thrown sandwiches abound in the first trailer for Disney’s TV adaptation of Percy Jackson And The Olympians. Here’s the new trailer:
In the 2010s, when film studios were frantically adapting anything they found in the ‘YA’ section of their local Waterstone’s, Rick Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson books were first brought to the screen by 20th Century Fox. It’s fair to say that the resulting films, 2010’s The Lightning Thief and 2013’s Sea Of Monsters, weren’t universally loved. Even Riordan once described them as “My life’s work going through a meat grinder.” Ouch.
A decade on, and the dust has settled enough for Disney to make a new attempt at adapting those books. This time, it’s taking the form of a Disney+ TV series, Percy Jackson And The Olympians, which this time stars Walker Scobell in the lead as Percy, the son of Poseidon (a role previously occupied by Logan Lerman). Among the guest stars you’ll also find Toby Stephens as Percy’s ornery dad, Lance Reddick as Zeus, Jay Duplass as Hades, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hermes.
The aim, understandably, is to make a series that better captures the tone of the books than those earlier movies, and the greater expanse of an eight-episode run should give showrunners Jonathan E Steinberg and Dan Shotz the space to flesh out the characters established in Riordan’s novel of the same name.
If you like these sorts of things, here’s a synopsis:
Percy Jackson is on a dangerous quest. Outrunning monsters and outwitting gods, he must journey across America to return Zeus’ master bolt and stop an all-out war. After losing his mother, Percy is sheltered at Camp Half-Blood, a sanctuary for demigod children. He must prove himself and confront his origins once he discovers he too is a demigod, and will take off into the perils of pursuing enemies in search of the Underworld. With the help of his quest makes Annabeth and Grover, Percy’s journey will lead him closer to the answers he seeks: how to fit into a world where he feels out of place, if he’ll ever see his mother again, and if he can ever find out who he’s destined to be.
On a semi-related note, do you remember when Mark Kermode’s review of the first Percy Jackson film somehow resulted in a low-budget parody, Benjamin Sniddlegrass And The Cauldron Of Penguins? Heady days.
Percy Jackson And The Olympians will make its debut on Disney+ on the 20th December 2023.