After nine long years, Rick Riordan has announced a brand new series on Disney+ which he will help create as executive producer. Additionally, it will feature three new, big shot Greek gods.
It was in 2004 that 20th Century Fox attained the rights to Rick Riordan’s mythological tales and brought it to the big screen. The first, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, was released in 2010, grossing $226,497,209 million. The second, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters debuted in 2013. Profits came in at only a little under $202,247,751.
The Percy Jackson series
Riordan conceived the Percy Jackson series as a bedtime story for his son, Haley, who suffered from ADHD and dyslexia. Furthermore, the hyperactive, dyslexic character he created was also made in the image of his son.
The American author published his first work in 2005. This was followed by four more sequels before his second came out in 2009. They were not the only ones, however. He created The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus as well—a sequel series to Percy Jackson. Riordan also helped produce 39 Clues, a children’s book series and The Maze of Bones, a New York Times best seller.
This year, Riordan will not relaunch on 20th Century Fox. The Percy Jackson series will appear on Disney+, an on-demand video-streaming service belonging to the Walt Disney corporation’s Media and Entertainment Distribution division. It was set up in 2019. The motion pictures will join the ranks of other Hollywood productions featuring the gods of Ancient Greece.
Rumors began making the rounds sometime in May of 2020 but remained unconfirmed— that is, until Riordan’s wife, Becky Riordan, hinted that those rumors may be true in a video on Riordan’s website.
U.S Magazine reported the author as writing: “Hey Percy Jackson fans, for the past decade, you’ve worked hard to champion a faithful on-screen adaption of Percy Jackson’s world. Some of you have even suggested it would be a good series for Disney+. We couldn’t agree more.”
Yet, only a few years ago, the author did not exactly appear thrilled by the idea after devotees of the novels criticized cinematic adaptions of his narratives.
A change of mind
In June of 2020, Entertainment Weekly reported that Riordan apparently penned a now deleted tweet that went along the following lines:
I still have not seen the movies and don’t plan on ever doing so. I judge them from having read the scripts, because I care most about the story. I certainly have nothing against the very talented actors. Not their fault. I’m just sorry they got dragged into that mess.
Then, in October of the same year, the popular writer spoke to The Guardian about his dislike of Hollywood.
I’m not a fan of Hollywood. I’ve never been starstruck. I could[n’t] care less about TV and film, honestly. But that’s not true of my fans. They really wanted new adaptions, and they felt bitterly disappointed by the movies.
Riordan and his wife also told the newspaper that he “owed it to the fans to try one more time.”
Commitment to producing the best for his fans
The fact that Percy Jackson enthusiasts do not like the re-adaption of the novel for the silver screen is not an uncommon phenomena in show business. That is perhaps one reason why the movie versions of Riordan’s books may have not had the same level of critical acclaim and success as Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings.
What Jackson somehow managed to do was create motion pictures that seemed almost better—if not just as good—as Tolkien’s epic tales of adventure.
This time, however, Riordan has fully committed himself to the creative process in order to produce something that will more than please his fans. He also aims to include three new deities from Ancient Greek times, Comicbook TV stated.
Three more Ancient Greek Gods
New actors will join well-known Hollywood names representing the Greek gods in the upcoming series. Lin-Manuel Miranda, one of the stars of the musical Hamilton, will take on the role of Hermes, the Greek god of trade, wealth, luck, fertility, sleep, thieves, language, and travel. In the role, she plays the parent of Percy’s nemesis, Luke Castellan.
Jason Mantzoukas has signed up to portray Dionysus, also known as Bacchus. In Ancient Greek mythology and religion, he was the god of theater, orchards and fruit, vegetation, grape-harvest, winemaking, festivity, fertility, insanity, religious ecstasy, and madness.
Last but not least, Adam “Edge” Copland has signed up to play Ares, the Greek god of war. Comicbooks has, nevertheless, stated that, according to hearsay, yet another might soon be joining the cast.
In addition, the magazine has announced that the immortal Hades will also seemingly appear in the latest series after executive producer Rick Riordan gave a hint on his website of the new things to come:
I had a lovely chat with the god Hades. Can’t tell you who it is yet, but he did such a great job. And wow, the Underworld set! Amazing stuff as usual from our art and design team.
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