Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters hit theaters in 2013, and since then fans haven’t had a single screen adaptation from the franchise. Rick Riordan — writer of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians book series — has been trying to get the coveted green light on a Percy Jackson reboot series for Disney+ since May 2020. After a long wait, the writer happily updated fans on Tuesday that the series is finally a lock.
Riordan appeared in a video on Disney+’s YouTube channel. Riordan fittingly opens the video with, “The wait is over, demigods.” The Percy Jackson reboot, the writer says, “is really, truly, and for sure, coming to your screens.” You can watch the entire video, exactly a minute long, below.
Riordan expresses a lot of confidence in the work of the director of the Percy Jackson reboot pilot, James Bobin. He mentions Bobin’s work on The Mysterious Benedict Society. Bobin also directed 2011’s The Muppets, 2014’s Muppets Most Wanted, and 2019’s Dora and the Lost City of Gold. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Riordan will be much more closely involved with the series than he was with the films, and is co-writing the pilot episode with Jon Steinberg. Riordan will also be one of Percy Jackson & the Olympians‘ executive producers. There’s no word yet on casting or release dates.
As fashionable as it may be to complain about the seemingly endless list of reboots, revivals, and remakes, it’s more than nostalgia and brand recognition driving Rick Riordan and others to get the Percy Jackson reboot made. In spite of 2010’s Percy Jacksion & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and the 2013 follow-up Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters bringing in a combined total of $426.3 million according to Box Office Mojo, no one much liked them. According to Rotten Tomatoes, critics and audiences didn’t like them. THR says fans of the book series didn’t like them. According to Entertainment Weekly, Rick Riordan says that based on his hatred for the scripts, he’s refused to watch them, and even Logan Lerrman — who plays the titular hero in both films — isn’t a fan. When he found out about the reboot in development, Lerrman’s respone was “Excited to see this! Hope it gets the adaptation the books deserve.”
Among the changes from page to screen, the Percy Jackson films made its characters older than the heroes of the books, took events in different books and merged them into the same story, and made other changes that arguably ruined otherwise fantastic reveals from the novels. As reported by EW, when one fan expressed their pleasure in seeing that Riordan disliked the movies as much as they did, the writer responded, “well, to you guys, it’s a couple hours’ entertainment. To me, it’s my life’s work going through a meat grinder when I pleaded with them not to do it.”
While Percy Jackson fans might cringe at a description like “Harry Potter with gods instead of magic,” it’s not a completely inaccurate description. Rather than learning he’s a wizard, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson learns that he’s a demigod — someone with one mortal parent and one parent who is a god. Jackson’s father is the sea god Poseidon. Just as Potter always has the threat of Voldemort facing him in his book series, Percy has his own big bad, Kronos.