The author — who is a co-writer on the television show and has been working closely on the adaptation — promised a story that closely follows his original books.
This came as welcome news to fans who were disappointed by the movie adaptations of the series' first two books. In fact, fans weren't alone in their disappointment, as Riordan himself expressed severe distaste toward how the movies handled his stories.
Two New Scenes in Percy Jackson Show
In an interview with D23, Percy Jackson and the Olympians book author and show co-writer Rick Riordan confirmed two scenes not from the book that will make it into the upcoming Disney+ series.
He began by saying that the plot from The Lightning Thief book was "stuck to ... very closely," but with the new show, Riordan could explore certain plot threads in more depth.
With that in mind, he described two pieces of "background" new to those "that know the story backwards and forwards" that would be explored in the new show — notably, answers to the questions "How did Sally meet Poseidon?" and "What were Percy’s experiences in school before we see him in the first chapter?:"
"In terms of the plot, we stuck with it very closely. What I will say though, that I found really fascinating, is that we were able to look at the story, which I wrote back in 2005, and say, 'What do I wish I had done at that time? What background can we give people that know the story backwards and forwards, but still have questions like, 'How did Sally meet Poseidon?’ or ‘What were Percy’s experiences in school before we see him in the first chapter?''"
Riordan then explained that they "were able to dive into that and flesh out the history of these characters:"
"We were able to dive into that and flesh out the history of these characters and the chemistry between them in ways that are completely faithful [to the book] but are also new."
Regarding his favorite episode, Riordan remarked that it was "hard to say without giving away too much," but that his favorite moments are "several very important scenes that we adapted from the book that never made it into the movie versions:"
"Oh, gosh. It’s hard to say without giving away too much. I will say there are several very important scenes that we adapted from the book that never made it into the movie versions. Those are probably my favorites in the show because it’s the first time fans will see those rendered for the screen—and I think they will be very pleased."
What Scenes Can Percy Jackson Fans Expect on Disney+?
While the books don't offer concrete answers to the two questions posed by Rick Riordan — hence why their inclusions will be particularly exciting — there are some clues to help fans anticipate what may come.
Fans know that Poseidon and Sally Jackson had a positive relationship with one another, especially as it compares to several other demigod parent relationships. Poseidon broke his oath to have no human children by having a child with Sally. There is likely a strong relationship between the two to warrant the breaking of this oath.
Regarding Percy's school history prior to the beginning of The Lightning Thief, fans don't know much. There are the few field trips discussed at the beginning of the book, the fact that prior to the first book, Percy had never spent more than a year in a single school (a trend that continued with the book's Yancy Academy), a few anecdotes here and there, and the general "troubled kid" description — more detail will be a welcome inclusion.
Additionally, the scenes not adapted in the movies that Riordan is excited about being in the show could be any number of things. There are little things that the movies left out — Percy's signature blue food, for instance — and extended sequences like the beach trip prior to Percy's arrival at Camp Half-Blood.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians hits Disney+ on December 20.