Along with the Greek-inspired Olympic gods taking the spotlight in Percy Jackson, the series is also confirmed to bring the book's realm of monsters to life, including the minotaur, Cerberus, Medusa, and more.
Speaking at New York Comic-Con 2023, VFX supervisor Jeff White shared that there are "checks and balances" involved with making these monsters, wanting the visuals on screen "to be, like, scary, but not run out of the room, scary for kids."
Fellow VFX supervisor Erik Henry also explained that even while "[taking] away some of the scariness" of the story, there is still enough of the material included "for an older audience" that will understand the essence of what the show is trying to do:
"You know, a person who looks like they lost their life in a skiing accident, a matador, and a person who fell asleep and never woke up, and they're in their pajamas. So you, I think really importantly, take away some of the scariness of it, and yet you still have something that, for an older audience, they get the humor of it. That's kind of one of the ways in which we balance things kind of differently and handle it, I think, in a good way."
Percy Jackson Producer Backs Censorship Choice
Percy Jackson and the Olympians producer Becky Riordan took to her X page to defend the decision to censor certain scary moments from the books.
Confirming that the series was developed as "family-friendly TV," Riordan made it clear that the team looks to satisfy and entertain as many people as possible, especially with what kids will learn from watching it:
"Family friendly TV is supposed to be watched together. The bar is going to be does it satisfy everyone especially when it is on repeat because kids learn by watching shows over and over again. Our hope is it will work for your family or found family."
Thus far, only hints of these monsters were shown off in the first trailer for Percy Jackson as Walker Scobell's titular hero first arrived at Camp Half-Blood.
How Scary Will Percy Jackson Really Be?
Outside of a few R-rated Disney+ additions that have caused a stir from other franchises, the streaming service is consistent with its theme of bringing family-friendly programming to the masses.
Of course, this doesn't mean that Percy Jackson will stray from its roots and completely eliminate the scary elements from the books that fans love, but it's not expected to bring the same gore and frights as other more mature projects.
On the more positive side, fans are already eagerly awaiting the changes that this series will make to the Percy Jackson movies, using its eight-episode slate to dive even deeper into Rick Riordan's lore from the book series.
And with the first seven minutes of footage from the series already recreating moments from the book almost verbatim, it's clear that the Percy Jackson team is looking to adapt the story as faithfully as possible for all potential viewers.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians will debut on Disney+ on December 20.