Percy Jackson author, Rick Riordan and his wife Becky announced via Twitter today that they are working on a live-action Percy Jackson series for Disney+.
"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."
Riordan went on to say that he and his wife would be involved in person in every aspect of the show, a comment making a clear reference to the fact that Riordan felt that the earlier live-action projects based on his popular book series diverged from his intent. 20th Century Fox had made the earlier films, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Both films scored around $200 million at the worldwide box office. While not scoring as highly as other major franchises like Harry Potter or Marvel, there was clear interest from fans of the books and much was left on the table without further work on the series.
Riordan had never liked that his lead character, Percy Jackson, was portrayed as a 17-year-old rather than the 12-year-old character he was in the books. He had also been dismayed at the profanity in the scripts that ended up developed into movies by Fox.
The Percy Jackson book series included: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian. It's possible, that if the series is a massive hit, Riordan could be tapped to develop more stories beyond the core books to feed more seasons, but that is simply speculation at this point.
Along with Disney's acquisition of Fox's studios, came a statement from Riordan that he would be willing to help Disney work on adaptations of the books and would even "consult and advise" if Disney would want him to. Disney is apparently taking the hit and dropping this one into its pipeline along with the various other projects from its deep library of characters and stories. Already, the Mouse House has pulled Beauty and the Beast, The Mighty Ducks, Star Wars, Monsters, Inc., and several Marvel stories, among others to develop new streaming projects for its fledgling Disney+ service. Riordan's full statement via Twitter read:
"Hey Percy Jackson fans, for the past decade, you've worked hard to champion a faithful on-screen adaptation of Percy Jackson's world. Some of you have even suggested it would be a great series for Disney+. We couldn't agree more! 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. There will be much more news in the future, but for now, we have a lot of work to do! Buckle up, demigods. It's going to be a fantastic, exciting ride!"
No word yet as to when the project is targeted to premier, but Riordan will certainly update his fans as the project moves forward.