By Andie Hagemann
Disney+ has ordered Percy Jackson and the Olympians, an epic new series based on—and closely aligned with—Disney Hyperion’s best-selling book series by award-winning author Rick Riordan. Geared towards a general audience and especially tweens, teens, and young adults, the live-action series tells the story of 12-year-old modern demigod Percy Jackson, who’s just coming to terms with his newfound supernatural powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. Percy then embarks on a journey across America to find the missing bolt and restore order to Olympus.
Rick Riordan and Jon Steinberg will pen the pilot, with James Bobin directing. Steinberg will oversee the series with his producing partner, Dan Shotz. Steinberg and Shotz serve as executive producers alongside Bobin, Rick Riordan, Rebecca Riordan, Bert Salke, Monica Owusu-Breen, Jim Rowe and Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, and D.J. Goldberg. The Disney Branded Television series is produced by 20th Television. Casting is underway.
“With Rick Riordan, Jon Steinberg and Dan Shotz leading our creative team, we’re deep into creating a compelling TV series worthy of the heroic mythological characters that millions of Percy Jackson readers know are well-worth caring about, and we’re eager to invite Disney+ audiences into stories that are true to the blockbuster franchise and full of anticipation, humor, surprise, and mystery,” says Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television.
Adds 20th Television president Karey Burke, “Bringing Rick Riordan’s brilliant Percy Jackson books to Disney+ as a television series has been a mission for so many of us at this company, as well as for Rick himself, and Jon, Dan, James, and the excellent team they have assembled have proven to be the perfect collaborators. Thanks to our friends at Disney Branded Television led by Ayo, and Disney Streaming led by Michael [Paull], this will be an adaptation for the ages, with all the excitement, action and mythology fans of the books expect and love.”
“The opportunity to deliver a new fantastical series based on the bestselling book franchise to audiences around the world is thrilling and we look forward to what our partners at 20th Television, Disney Branded Television, and the ingenious Rick Riordan have in store for demigods everywhere,” says Paull, president of Disney Streaming.
Riordan, a former teacher turned best-selling author, is the top author at Disney Hyperion.
In 2016, he and Disney Hyperion launched the Rick Riordan Presents imprint with the ongoing goal to find, nurture, and promote diverse and under-represented authors of mythology-based fiction for middle grade readers.