After years of begging and pleading from fans on Twitter, a live action "Percy Jackson" television series centered around the half human half demigod teenage son of Poseidon and the perilous journey he must endure to fulfill his destiny has been announced to be in development at the rapidly expanding streaming service Disney Plus with each season focusing on the five books of the main series: "The Lightning Thief", "Sea of Monsters", "The Titan's Curse", "Battle of the Labyrinth", and "The Last Olympian".
Not unlike the "Harry Potter" or "Lord of the Rings" series, the "Percy Jackson" mythology depicted in the novels is home to hundreds of characters, creatures, and locations derived from Greek mythology which the show would be remiss not to take advantage of. The "Percy Jackson" films ( starring Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, and Brandon T. Jackson), "The Lightning Thief" and "Sea of Monsters" were not complete box office bombs with both movies combined grossing over 400 million dollars worldwide.
However, the movies released left much to be desired in the way of story, character development, as well as staying faithful to the source material. For close to a decade, the two mediocre films were all fans would have when it came to live action representations of the "Percy Jackson" series.
In maintaining the longevity of the show, it would be very beneficial for Disney to go the "Harry Potter" route with the series by focusing on an actual teenage group of characters who can really age into the role and grow with the audience as the series continues. For instance, "Stranger Things" is a well established show that revolves heavily around a younger main cast of characters in very high stakes situations and that's not only one of Netflix's biggest shows but one of the biggest shows out right now period. Don't make the mistake of the movies and cast actors that will be deemed too old for their roles after about a year.
Now Disney Plus was only released in the latter half of the previous year so it's understandable that they are going to need some time to build themselves from the ground up. However, the service doesn't offer much in the way of original television or film content compared to the competition Netflix and Hulu. Right now, Disney Plus is banking on mass nostalgia and that's definitely working for its 50 million subscribers but that can only hold for so long. In order to be on equal footing with the others, Disney must start offering more variety in the way of its content.
As far as specific content goes, Disney is currently missing out on the epic fantasy genre of original programming that HBO has with "Game of Thrones", Netflix with "The Witcher", and Amazon Prime Video with its upcoming "Lord of the Rings" series. Now most of the aforementioned are adult oriented shows while "Percy Jackson" is aimed primarily at young adults, which is another advantage for that series. " Percy Jackson" along with Disney's future Marvel slate of shows ( "Falcon and the Winter Soldier", "WandaVision, "She Hulk", etc.) offer an opportunity for Disney's service to further distance itself from just the fairy tale and princess fare that the company is primarily known for. Many Disney Plus subscribers are satisfied now but they are going to need a more mature yet colorful brand to hold them over aside from "Avengers" and "The Mandalorian" in the downtime. Enter the Greek gods of Olympus.
While no major details have been revealed beyond that the show is in development, the upcoming show seems to be in fairly safe hands with the author of the original "Percy Jackson" book series Rick Riordan and his wife Becky behind the scenes overseeing the TV project. The "Percy Jackson" fans who have followed the series since its inception deserve a faithful adaptation that can take its time with the story and characters, given that we're now getting a full show as opposed to a two hour film. A "Percy Jackson" series done the right way deserves to be seen in the same light as a "Harry Potter" or "Lord of the Rings" adaptation, or dare I say even better.