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‘Percy Jackson’ Series Could Use Revolutionary Film Equipment From ‘The Mandalorian’

'Percy Jackson' author Rick Riordan told fans in a recent interview the 'Percy Jackson' series on Disney+ could have access to exciting filming equipment. The rig he referenced was created for 'The Mandalorian' and is a revolutionary tool that has become the next evolution of the green screen.

If fans weren’t excited enough for the Percy Jackson series on Disney+, Rick Riordan just gave them another reason to be. According to the author, the show could have access to high-tech filming equipment made famous by The Mandalorian when it starts filming. The equipment is a revolutionary invention called the “Volume.” And it’s what made The Mandalorian‘s landscapes look so realistic. Percy Jackson being able to use this would be a boon for the series, which will rely heavily on special effects.

Logan Lerman dressed in a blue shirt and blue hoodie and jeans as Percy Jackson. He runs through a street in Brooklyn, New York with cast mate Brandon T. Jackson, who played Grover. Jackson wears an orange T-shirt, yellow zip-up hoodie, and black leather jacket.
Logan Lerman and Brandon T. Jackson filming ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief’ in 2009 | Bobby Bank/WireImage

‘Percy Jackson’ on Disney+ could have ‘very cool toys’ in its filming arsenal

In a recent interview promoting his book The Tower of Nero, Riordan said the Percy Jackson series will have access to Disney’s many resources. He said:

“So the filming. That’s later, but there is a lot of different ways we’re looking at doing this, like, for instance, we could do some location visits. We also might have access to the rig, which is the virtual environment where they, for instance, film The Mandalorian, and they do it like all there in the room, but they do amazing things with it. So we have a lot of very cool toys that we can maybe play with.”

The rig he referred to is Industrial Light & Magic’s (ILM) Volume. Also called Stagecraft, think of it as a round room with giant LED screens from floor to ceiling. What makes the screens so special is the technology running them. The Volume creates a three-dimensional environment that makes the digital backdrop indistinguishable from real life. And it makes an actor’s job more seamless because the final background that would be added in post-production is already there in the room. That means no more acting in front of green screens. The actors can fully immerse themselves in the world of the story, making for more organic performances.

According to Tech Crunch, this technology has propelled film and TV forward in such a way that it’s hard to imagine big-budget projects not using it. Percy Jackson will rely heavily on special effects for its action sequences (Percy will literally jump off the St. Louis Arch in one episode like he does in the book, Riordan confirmed). So the Volume will help the show bring its most magical scenes to life.

‘Percy Jackson’ series could have a budget comparable to ‘The Mandalorian’ and ‘WandaVision’

According to Riordan, the show has yet to be officially approved by Disney. That might be a little confusing, considering Disney announced it was making a Percy Jackson TV show in December 2020. But TV magic happens in many arduous steps. A studio can decide to make a project, and then the creative team has to present its vision for the series. That vision needs to be approved by the studio executives, and then filming can begin. Riordan told fans in a June 13 blog update they’re nearly ready to present their vision to Disney.

Funding this series won’t be cheap, however. And Riordan wrote on his blog in April that “good TV” shouldn’t be. He’s hoping the show will get similar funding to that of The Mandalorian and WandaVision. He said:

“We are starting to plan next steps so we can give our partners at the studio and streaming service a good comprehensive picture of what this show will require. What’s the first season look like? (Hint: It will follow the plot of The Lightning Thief). What will the budget look like? (Hint: Good TV ain’t cheap. Quality-wise, this has to stand toe-to-toe with Disney+ hits like WandaVision and Mandalorian.)”

Logan Lerman wears a black suit and tie at the premiere of 'Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief' in 2010. He stands in front of a blue and white poster for the film, which shows him holding a lightning bolt.
Logan Lerman at the premiere of ‘Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief’ in 2010 | Theo Wargo/WireImage

Rick Riordan Thought the ‘Percy Jackson’ Movies Ruined the Chances for a New Adaptation

‘Percy Jackson’ on Disney+ will be the adaptation fans have waited for

Next steps are finding the perfect director. And unlike the Percy Jackson movies, this team is determined to create a show that’s a loyal interpretation of the book. Riordan said finding a director who is already a fan of the Percy Jackson book series will be vital on that front.

The director will also need to be someone who can work well with young actors, as they intend on writing Percy and his friends as the 12-year-olds they’re supposed to be. If all goes according to plan, Riordan’s optimistic this show will deliver on its promises.

“When this series moves forward (fingers and toes crossed, of course) I am confident it will be the show we’ve been waiting for,” he wrote on his website.

Is it just us, or does it feel like the Percy Jackson TV series is shaping up to be one of the most exciting new shows ever?