The Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series is among the pantheon of the most beloved book series of the 2000s. The series first debuted with The Lightning Thief on June 28, 2005, where it went on to release four more books in its first saga. After that, its author, Rick Riordan, created additional supplementary series focusing on the Greek God Apollo, along with stories focused on Egyptian and Norse mythology.
In 2010, the series received a film adaptation of the first book, and, needless to say, it did not do well—it currently sits at a critic score of 49% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 53% by fans. Somehow, it still got a sequel. The final product was a mish-mash Frankenstein of several of the books, which did just about as well as the first one; so not good at all.
Years later, after the author himself was vocal about how much he disliked those adaptations, the series got another chance. In May of 2020, it was revealed that Disney would be producing a live-action streaming series, with the first season covering the first book, The Lightning Thief.
But when can fans expect to see the final product? The current expectation is sometime in 2023. Now, the creator of this series has offered up a new estimate of when season one will be ready for the world's viewing pleasure.
Percy Jackson Receives Release Update
In a blog post on his site, Percy Jackson and the Olympians creator Rick Riordan shared an update on when fans can expect to see the Disney+ adaptation of the book series land on Disney+.
The author is quick to make sure everyone knows that "[his] comments on this blog are [his] own best guesses" and are not official statements or information from the studio or streaming service:
"As always: my standard disclaimer that my comments on this blog are my own best guesses. They are not to be taken as official word from the show, the studio or the streaming service. I’m just doing my best to give you all a glimpse of the process as it looks to me as a first-time participant in TV-land."
Riordan noted how he originally estimated that the project would release "sometime in 2023," but that time frame is likely off. Why? Well, there are tons of different elements of the process to worry about, such as roughly eight months of filming, post-production, VFX, closed-captioning, subtitling, and much more:
"So when will the show be out? I hear there have been some wildly unrealistic dates floating around on social media, so I am here to moderate your expectations. Previously, I have said that my own personal best guess was sometime in 2023. I also warned you that this could definitely change. Now that I have a somewhat better understanding of the work involved, here’s what I am estimating: It’s probably going to take us through December or into January to film all the episodes of season one, which is roughly one month of filming per episode (eight episodes total), though very often we are filming pieces of 101, 102, or even 103 out of order on any given day, depending on what set we are using. That means post-production will begin in early 2023, when the pieces are fitted together, edited and augmented with all the special effects and sound. This process also takes months and months, and that’s not even accounting for closed-captioning, subtitling and dubbing into other languages for our international viewers. That takes another army of people to accomplish."
With all of that in mind, he revealed that his updated estimated release date is "probably... early 2024:"
"Given all this, I think the most likely air date will probably be early 2024. Again, that’s just me guessing. The actual release dates are determined by the studio and the streaming service, and have to take in hundreds of other factors like the release schedule for all Disney+ shows, timing for publicity, etc., etc."
2024 is quite a long wait. While Riordan agrees, he pointed out how "[they've] spent two and a half years working behind the scenes just to get [the] show off the ground... [and waited] over fifteen years for a proper adaptation," so the long wait is absolutely worth it to see a quality product come to life:
"Long wait? Yeah, it is. On the other hand, we spent two and a half years working behind the scenes just to get this show off the ground, and I’ve been waiting over fifteen years for a proper adaptation, so I think we can wait a little longer if it means getting the quality show we will be proud of. Another thing I have said before, but it bears repeating: This show is the most ambitious project any of us have ever done, even for our seasoned and experienced team members. A huge number of sets. Complicated special effects. Young actors leading the show. That all takes time. But the payoff will be worth it. I am confident of that."
But will the show go on for more than one season? The writer admitted that there is "[no] official word on that yet," but that they are "operating on the assumption that [they] will be moving ahead with a second season and are making plans and schedules accordingly.:"
Will Percy Jackson Stick the Landing?
Fans are undoubtedly thrilled to be hearing updates like this from the author. His level of involvement does paint good expectations as to the quality of the upcoming Disney+ product. With the creator being right there in the action, hopefully, everything doesn't go as awry as it did in the original film adaptations.
It's already known that the production is using the famous Mandalorian technology The Volume, which is basically a giant LED screen that serves as a more advanced green screen. In theory, this tool will allow the show's storytellers to do things that simply weren't possible before. If utilized correctly, fans could be in for some stunning set pieces.
The cast of the series includes Walker Scobell as Percy Jackson, Aryan Simhadri as Grover Underwood, Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase, Charlie Bushnell as Luke Castellan, and plenty more talented actors. Fingers crossed that this series will live up to the expectations being set for it by fans—at the very least, besting the 2010 film probably won't be too difficult.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians is expected to air its first season sometime in early 2024 exclusively on Disney+.