The television show will hit Disney+ on December 20. It is a highly anticipated project, particularly due to the fact that Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan is a co-writer on the show and has been closely involved in its development.
The Disney+ adaptation of The Lightning Thief has a massive ensemble cast. Beyond the three leads in Walker Scobell (Percy), Leah Jeffries (Annabeth), and Aryan Simhadri (Grover), adult characters like the gods of Olympus are being portrayed by some big names such as the aforementioned Miranda (Hermes), Lance Reddick (Zeus), and Jason Mantzoukas (Dionysus).
Percy Jackson Character Stills Revealed
During the Percy Jackson and the Olympians panel at New York Comic Con, photos of several characters from the upcoming show were unveiled, giving the first official looks at a number of the show's supporting cast members.
This first look at Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hermes all but confirms that the character — one who did not appear in The Lightning Thief novel beyond his name — will be added into the Lotus Casino scene.
Given the table and chips, as well as the background matching the Lotus scene in the show's trailer and the backgrounds of two now-deleted set photos, it is fairly safe to assume this relatively plainly dressed god will play a role in this iconic moment from the novel. Besides, it does makes sense for Hermes, known for being tricky with money, would take mortal form in a casino.
Another god who didn't appear in The Lightning Thief but will play a role in Percy Jackson and the Olympians is Timothy Omundson's Hephaestus.
The god is sporting a steampunk look, which is a fitting aesthetic for a god known for, among other things, innovation and fire. It can be assumed that the cane he is holding is due to the injury — and permanent disability — from when Hera threw him off Mount Olympus, and could also be attributed to the stroke that afflicted the Psych star in 2017.
Adam Copeland's Ares appears almost exactly like how the character is described in the novel. In his first actual appearance in The Lightning Thief, Ares takes the form of a motorcyclist who thinks he is the coolest person in any given room — despite his known hot-headedness.
Proud, put together, and a little high strung, Zeus will be played by the late Lance Reddick. The actor looks perfect for the ruler of the gods — even this picture conveys an air of confidence and stubbornness that matches the Zeus that demigods and book fans alike love to tolerate.
Zeus' brother Poseidon, played in the new show by Toby Stephens, also reflects his book counterpart fairly well, though a more light-and-breezy shirt has replaced novel Poseidon's classic Hawaiian shirt look. One notable feature of Poseidon's appearance is his tendency for sandals. Though cut off in this picture, the sandals are still part of his ensemble in the new series, according to costume designer Tish Monaghan during an interview following the panel.
The Big Three wouldn't be complete without Jay Duplass' Hades, ruler of the Underworld. He has that same regal and proud air to him that Zeus does, but with his own flair. Book fans know that Hades is the story's red — or in this case, black-and-green — herring, distracting the audience from the real culprits in the story, Ares and Luke. Comparing Hades' demeanor and expressions to Ares' in the new stills, it is clear that the look of the former helps maintain the assumption that he is to blame.
The pre-algebra teacher who will go down in history as the first monster Percy ever fought, Mrs. Dodds is a fury named Alecto, played on Disney+ by Megan Mullally. The leather jacket she wears is particularly noteworthy, as it becomes her wings when she takes her monster form.
This look for Medusa, as played by Jessica Parker Kennedy, is yet another depiction that keeps some key details from the original book. In The Lightning Thief, the veil covering her eyes and the hat covering her snake hair — both present in this interpretation — are enough to hide her true self from the three demigods, for a few minutes at least.
New Takes With Classic Inspiration — The Disney+ Percy Jackson Way
From the trailer to the stills to the footage shown at the panel, one thing is clear about Percy Jackson and the Olympians — it enhances the story fans know and love without sacrificing any of the classic and beloved book moments and characters.
Changes like the additions of Hermes and Hephaestus will offer longtime fans new and surprising stories, in between seeing those little book details, like Mrs. Dodds' iconic leather jacket and Poseidon's love of sandals, come to life.
This appears to be a pattern for the show more generally, too. Fully new scenes like Percy's school experiences before Yancy Academy and how Sally met Poseidon will be added, without sacrificing fan-favorite moments like the Chimera scene (as confirmed at NYCC) and Waterland (as confirmed in the show's trailer).
The first two episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians hit Disney+ on December 20.