The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The return of Percy Jackson

A look at the highly anticipated TV adaptation

For nearly two decades, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” simply known as “Percy Jackson,” has been a popular literary choice for children and young adults alike. Created by Rick Riordan, the story of “Percy Jackson” is centered around a 12-year-old boy, Percy, who discovers he is a demigod and that the tales of Greek mythology are true. 

After the completion of the five-book series, Riordan continued to expand the Percy Jackson universe. Although the next few series were generally well-received, fans of “Percy Jackson ” consistently begged for a screen-adaptation that would bring their beloved characters to life. 

Their wish was granted in 2010, when “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” was released, later followed by “”Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” in 2013. Despite the popularity of the book series, many were sorely disappointed by the films they were given.

Nearly every component in the films ignored key details and integral parts of the “Percy Jackson” world; the age development of characters from 12 to 15/16 and the rushed story lines were among the most hated elements of both movies. 

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Even Rick Riordan vocalized his distaste for the movie adaptations. “As I’ve said many times, once I saw the final script and saw what they were doing on the set, I realized I had to step away for my own peace of mind,” Distractify quotes Riordan. “I never saw either of the movies in their final form. What I know of them, and how I judge them, is based entirely on my experiences with the producers and on the final scripts… Do you see any indication [on my website] that the Percy Jackson movies ever existed? No. No, you do not.”

When the author announced in May 2020 that a new live-action series would soon be in development with Disney+, many fans were skeptical. In the initial announcement on his website, Riordan tried to alleviate any fears, stating, “We can’t say much more at this stage but we are very excited about the idea of a live-action series of the highest quality, following the storyline of the original “Percy Jackson” five-book series, starting with “The Lightning Thief” in season one. Rest assured that Becky and I will be involved in person in every aspect of the show.”

Since then, Riordan and his team have been working on producing a faithful adaptation that is worthy for the screens, even going on to say, according to Distractify, that he “wouldn’t want there to be a reboot of the series if he was going to have the same experience as he did with the films.” 

The auditioning process for “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” took place throughout 2021 and 2022 and fans were more than pleased by Riordan’s choices in casting. Walker Scobell, known for his role in “The Adam Project,” was casted as the titular character. Distractify notes that Riordan, on Scobell, remarked that “It was obvious to me and the rest of the team that Walker had the perfect mix of comedic timing, sweetness, rebelliousness, snark, and heroism to embody our hero Percy Jackson.”

Cast alongside Scobell was Leah Sava Jeffries as Annabeth Chase and Aryan Simhadri as Grover Underwood. Distractify claims that “Leah was described by Rick in his blog as ‘exactly the way [he] imagined Annabeth in the books: smart, strong and courageous, a true daughter of Athena who has zero patience for the foolishness of a certain Seaweed Brain.’” 

Regarding Simhardi, Distractify again notes Riordan, stating, “Aryan won our hearts. He had me laughing out loud with his delivery and timing,” which is perfect for the series’ beloved satyr. 

Filming for the first season of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” began on June 22, 2022, according to Collider, and wrapped up on Feb. 2, 2023. It was originally believed that the series would be released in early 2024. However, on Aug. 18, 2023, “in celebration of Percy Jackson’s birthday, Disney+ revealed that Percy Jackson and the Olympians would debut on Dec. 20, 2023,” as stated by Teen Vogue. 

Five days before Christmas, the first two episodes of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” finally aired on Disney+ and Hulu, captivating audiences across the world. In just the first six days, “the first episode,” Variety reports, “brought in 13.3 million viewers on Disney+ and Hulu. This number puts the series among the top five most-watched season premieres in all of 2023 on both streaming services.”

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is without a doubt, worthy of admiration and applause. The casting was spot on. Scobell, Jeffries, and Simhardi perfectly embody their characters and bring them to life in a way that feels both true to the books, new, and exciting. The special effects were also impressive, and the attention to detail, both large and small, was phenomenal. 

When Percy saw Camp-Half Blood for the first time, it was easy to believe that you were standing right alongside him. This series captured what the movies failed to: the heart and humor contained within the books. This time around, the story felt unrushed and was full of action, adventure, and heart. 

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is a fantastic adaptation that does justice to the original book series. Fans have already demanded another season which would likely follow the events of book two. Disney+ has yet to confirm a second season, but Riordan has shared his positive hopes, making it believable that a second one is certain to come. 

The season one finale of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” airs Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. 

For more information, be sure to check out rickriordan.com/2020/05/percy-jackson-at-last/, collider.com/percy-jackson-and-the-olympians-series-release-window-cast-teaser-plot-filming-details/, www.teenvogue.com/story/percy-jackson-disney-series-everything-you-need-to-know

variety.com/2023/tv/news/percy-jackson-and-the-olympians-premiere-ratings-viewers-1235850744/, and www.distractify.com/p/is-percy-jackson-on-disney-plus.



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Lainey Vollmer, Staff Writer

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