Riordan, who also wrote the books the streaming series is based upon, is closely involved in Disney's take on his mythological world, especially after the failed attempt to turn his books into a string of movies in the early 2010s.
While the trio of main characters has been announced and cast for the project, the actual gods remain a big question. A couple of names like Lin Manuel Miranda and Jason Mantzoukas have joined the project as Hermes and Dionysus respectively, but how far will Riordan and crew go down the rabbit hole of deities that appear in the book series?
Well, turns out six key gods will be missing from (at least Season 1) of the Disney+ series.
Six Gods Missing from Percy Jackson
In a blog post on his official website, Percy Jackson and the Olympians producer and author of the Disney+ series is based upon, Rick Riordan, revealed that Season 1 of the show will be missing at least six key gods from the books.
Riordan wrote that "As [fans] know from the books...not all twelve Olympian gods appear in book one," meaning that Season 1 won't include them all:
"I’d imagine everyone is curious about casting for the other Olympian gods. As you know from the books, if you’ve read the books, not all twelve Olympian gods appear in Book 1, so not all gods will appear in season one, nor have all gods been cast yet."
He noted that "Actors have to be cast based on scripts, and scripts have to be written one season at a time." He gave the example of Aphrodite, the Greek god of love and beauty, who "probably won’t appear until season three," indicating that it will be a couple of years until that casting happens:
"Actors have to be cast based on scripts, and scripts have to be written one season at a time. Aphrodite, for instance, probably won’t appear until season three, assuming we’re lucky enough to get a Season 3, so that casting is at least 2-3 years away. Apollo and Artemis, same thing. Hestia, Hera and Demeter probably wouldn’t appear until season five."
In this particular blog post, Riordan did update fans on what is still coming for season one, teasing that "the Big Three [of] Hades, Poseidon, Zeus" still have to be announced:
"Still to come for this season: the Big Three, Hades, Poseidon, Zeus. When those parts will be announced publicly, I’m not sure yet."
Speaking on why he hasn't thought about actors from the original movie adaptation for the Disney+ series, Riodain said "a lot of wonderful, talented actors were involved in those movies:"
"To answer another question I get a lot, even being isolated from social media: What about actors from the original movie adaptations? The answer should not surprise you if you’ve read anything I’ve said about the movies over the last decade, but I’ll say this again: A lot of wonderful, talented actors were involved in those movies.
However, this is "a fresh start for Percy Jackson," and that means "an entirely new cast putting their own spin on the characters:"
"I have been quite open about my feelings concerning the adaptations, but that is no fault of the actors, whom I have enjoyed watching in many other great screen productions. That said, the whole point of me being involved in the TV show is to make sure this is a completely different production and a fresh start for Percy Jackson.
That means an entirely new cast putting their own spin on the characters, and it’s important for the cast and crew that they have a clean slate to work from. Because of that, there will be no crossover casting between the movies and the new TV show. This must be and will be its own thing."
The Long Road Ahead for Percy Jackson
For fans eagerly anticipating Percy Jackson and the Olympians, this news should actually be quite exciting. The fact that Rick Riordan and the team behind the jaunt through Greek mythology are actually holding things back will only set up exciting things for the future.
They seem to have a plan, wanting to trickle out the best parts of this work as the series unfolds over multiple seasons. This is something that was noticeably absent from the original film adaptations.
Instead of taking this approach and having characters pop up when they should be based upon where the series is in the source material, the original two films took creative liberties in both the casting and specific plot points.
The Disney+ series looks to be staying much more faithful to the books penned by Riordan, so it's exciting to see his vision for the franchise come to life, even if that means holding back some big names for later seasons.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians is expected to hit Disney+ sometime in 2024.