Disney+ Lands Huge Fantasy Book Adaptation Series

A Disney+ series based on the Percy Jackson and the Olympians novels by author Rick Riordan has won a series order. The project has been in development for almost two years, but it was not until Tuesday that Riordan and Disney+ announced that the show is moving forward. 20th Century Fox, which Disney now owns, produced two film adaptations based on the series in 2010 and 2013.

"The wait is over, demigods," Riordan said in a video announcing the series order. "I am thrilled to be the first to tell you that Percy Jackson and the Olympians is really, truly, and for sure coming to your screens." The new series will be produced by 20th Television for Disney Branded Television.

Riordan will be more directly involved with the series than he was for the movies, which made significant changes to the story. Jon Steinberg (Black Sails) wrote the pilot with Riordan and is an executive producer, reports The Hollywood Reporter. James Bobin, who directed The Muppets and episodes of Disney+'s The Mysterious Benedict Society, will direct the first Percy Jackson episode. Steinberg and Dan Shotz will oversee the show.

"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," Disney Branded Television president Ayo Davis said in a statement. "We're eager to invite Disney+ audiences into stories that are true to the blockbuster franchise and full of anticipation, humor, surprise, and mystery."

Riordan's novel series launched in 2005 with The Lightning Thief, which was followed by four more novels. The franchise focuses on Percy Jackson, a 12-year-old who discovers he is a demigod with supernatural powers. Zeus accuses Percy of stealing the master lightning bolt. Percy has to find it to restore order in Olympus. Disney has not announced when the show would debut.

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The first two novels, The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters, were turned into films by 20th Century Fox in 2010 and 2013. Chris Columbus directed the first film, while Thor Freudenthal directed the second. Fans were not thrilled with the movies, which aged up the characters. Logan Lerman played Percy in both movies. After Sea of Monsters was a disappointment at the box office, Fox never made a third movie. However, Disney's acquisition of Fox and its properties revived interest in adapting Percy Jackson. In May 2020, Disney formally began developing Percy Jackson as a television series.