‘Percy Jackson’ Series Has Taken ‘a Massive Step Forward,’ Rick Riordan Says

Who’s ready to fight some monsters? The Percy Jackson series is making strides in its development. And in a new update on his blog, author Rick Riordan said the Disney+ series just took a “massive step forward” on its journey to the small screen.

Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, and Brandon T. Jackson at the premiere of 'Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters' in 2013. They stand side-by-side in front of a backdrop with the movie title on it.
Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, and Brandon T. Jackson at the premiere of ‘Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters’ in 2013 | Barry King/FilmMagic

Is there going to be a ‘Percy Jackson’ series on Disney+?

Disney+ announced it was creating a Percy Jackson TV series in December 2020. Riordan is leading the charge on the show with his wife and collaborator, Becky Riordan. He and showrunner Jon Steinberg (Black Sails) wrote the pilot script together and the outline for season 1. As Riordan said on his blog:

“Jon and I had co-written the script for the pilot episode, the series ‘bible,’ and the outline of the first season (and a bit of sketching out the following seasons, assuming all goes well, of course). That work took the better part of a year, along with putting together a lot of other preliminary pieces for the show behind the scenes (a process that was complicated and slowed down considerably by Covid, as you can imagine).”

If all goes according to plan, Percy Jackson will have five seasons. One for each book.

‘Percy Jackson’ series creative team was approved by Disney

After writing the pilot and outline, they had to compile the writers’ room. Per the author’s blog, the writing team consists of Riordan, Becky, Steinberg, and co-showrunner Dan Shotz. Additionally, Daphne Olive, Monica Owusu-Breen, and The Lightning Thief musical writer Joe Tracz are also on board. And the team is made complete by assistants Xavier Stiles, Zoë Neary, and Stewart Strandberg.

Riordan said the team being approved was a “massive” step towards a green light from Disney.

“We are still waiting for an official series order,” he said. “And that will require finding the right director. Once that hurdle is overcome, things should start to move much more rapidly on production, casting, etc.” He continued:

“But keep your fingers crossed, because this series still is not a 100% done deal until we get that green light. Nevertheless, the fact that the studio has approved the writers’ room to start is a very good sign and a massive step forward. Let’s keep that momentum going! You all have been amazing about making your voices heard and letting Disney+ know how much you want to see this show. You have made a huge difference!”

All of Riordan’s updates have kept fans excited for the series. And he’s been diligent in providing them. The author knows the loyal Percy Jackson fans have been craving an adaptation that’s actually like the books. The Logan Lerman-led movies failed to do this. And it’s in part because Riordan was shut out of the creative process.

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

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Why did the ‘Percy Jackson’ movies fail?

While Riordan was able to suggest changes to the scripts for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) and Sea of Monsters (2013), key plot points and character traits from the books were largely ignored. Riordan read the scripts and decided he would never watch the movies. To this day, he still hasn’t. The movies didn’t perform too horribly at the box office, but the fandom largely dislikes them as well. However, Riordan and Becky are leading the way on the Disney+ series to ensure a quality adaptation.

The writer’s blog updates (as well as Becky’s Twitter feed) give viewers constant hope that the show will be what they’ve all been waiting for. And it seems Disney approves of the team’s vision. As Riordan said in his July 13 post:

“After our first two days, I am delighted to report that I am feeling more confident than ever about the quality of writing this show will have, and I am over the moon about the level of thoughtfulness and love for the PJO book series that everyone is bringing to the discussion.”

He continued:

“This is a group that knows the books, understands the importance of making longtime (and brand new) readers happy, but also making a show that feels fresh and surprising in the best ways, so even if you think you know the story backwards and forwards, you will find the show a compelling experience. And if you’ve never read the books, it will work for you, too!”

The series has no release date yet. But both Percy Jackson movies are available to stream on Disney+.