In a change from the poorly received film adaptations, the Percy Jackson series on Disney+ will start the characters as tweens, matching the books.
The Disney+ Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has just begun the casting process, calling for actors who can “play 12” to portray Percy. Based on the series of young adult novels by Rick Riordan and inspired by Greek mythology, the series will follow Percy Jackson, a troubled boy who discovers that he is the son of Poseidon, and thus a demigod. Together with his friends Grover, a satyr, and Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, he saves the world from mythological threats as he grows up. The series is still in the very early stages, but what we can already confirm is that the first season will be based on the first of five books in the series, The Lightning Thief, with the potential to adapt a book per season going forward.
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Of greatest importance to fans of the series is the fact that Riordan and his wife, Becky, are involved in the project. The series is not the first time Percy Jackson has been adapted into live-action. Two films were released in 2010 and 2013 based on the first and second books, respectively. Fans were for the most part disappointed with the adaptations, which heavily altered the plot of the books, though no one was as upset as Riordan himself. The author called the movies “my life’s work going through a meat grinder” and took issue from the beginning of development with the decisions to age the characters up and tailor their relationships and more raunchy humor to match.
Riordan revealed in a post to his personal blog that the preliminary casting call for Percy stays true to his age in the books. Though they’re only just getting started, Riordan confirms that they want actors who can “play 12” leaving the actual age range a little more open but affirming a commitment to the characters aging up to 16 throughout the series as they do in the book. With an eye to diversity, Riordan also revealed that the only consideration when casting Percy will be to find “the best person who can embody the character we all know and love.” Check out the full blog post below:
The latest news for you all on PJO TV: The casting process is now in its earliest stages, which means we have put out a casting call to the talent agencies for an actor to play Percy Jackson.
I want to stress this is a preliminary search. We still have a long way to go before anything is official or confirmed, but this is definitely an indication that things are going in the right direction. We continue to have a lot of positive momentum behind the project and are excited to move forward!
I know you all have a million questions. I don’t have a million answers, but here are some that I can give you:
What age will Percy be?
We are looking for an actor who can “play 12.” That allows for a range in the actual age of the actor, but the goal is to stay true to the original story and have Percy’s character age from 12 to 16 over the course of the TV series, assuming of course we are lucky enough to make all five seasons. That will depend on viewership on Disney+, which is where all of you can help!
What about the other characters?
First things first! Percy is the title character, obviously, and a lot of the other casting choices will be informed by whoever we get for Percy. I’ll let you know when we start thinking about those next steps. The “big three” roles, as you can imagine, will be the trio of Percy, Annabeth and Grover.
Is Percy a specific ethnicity?
That is not part of the casting call description. We are looking for the best person who can embody the character we all know and love from the books. As with all casting choices, we will be following Disney’s company policy, which says:
We are committed to diverse, inclusive casting. For every role, please submit qualified performers, without regard to disability, gender, race and ethnicity, age, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other basis prohibited by law.
Can anybody audition? (Asking for a friend.)
If you wish to submit a self-tape for consideration for the role of Percy Jackson, yes, you can do that. Here is the link with all the information you need: PercyJacksonOpenCall.20thTelevision.com.
This is the only means through which unsolicited audition tapes will be considered.
Exciting times ahead, demigods! I will keep you posted on the blog as best I can!
As the process is only beginning, the prospect that it could be anyone, truly, is exciting. What’s important is that the casting will have Riordan’s blessing as, this time around, the production is listening to the creator. With mostly young roles to be filled, Disney could draw from its immense talent pool or pick up promising unknowns. Logan Lerman, who played Percy in the films, has gone on the record saying he wants to play a god in the series. With as beloved a franchise as this one, there will no doubt be at least a few recognizable actors filling out the adult cast.
It’ll be a good while before we actually get to stream the series. Riordan made a hopeful estimate of 2022, though with everything being turned on its head by the pandemic, that’s seeming more and more unlikely. In the meantime, it’s good to know that the team is dedicated to fixing the mistakes of the films and doing justice to Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Book fans will hopefully see the Percy they pictured in their heads, and new fans will be drawn in by the series and convinced to pick up The Lightning Thief.
Source: Rick Riordan
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