The upcoming “Percy Jackson & The Olympians” Disney+ series is slowly yet surely coming along. Last month, it was revealed that the writer’s room began and it was announced that Jonathan E. Steinberg, who is also a writer on the series, and Dan Shotz (Black Sails, Jericho) are on board as showrunners.
Additional writers include Daphne Olive, who has worked with Steinberg and Shots on Black Sails, Monica Owusu-Breen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Alias), and Joe Tracz (A Series of Unfortunate Events). Also part of the mix of assistants are Xavier Stiles (Hemlock Grove), Zoë Neary (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency), and Stewart Strandberg (The Old Man).
Rick Riordan, who is the author of the book series, recently provided another update on his blog.
We have a fabulous writers’ room. We have amazing show runners who know exactly what this show needs to be and how to make it. We have an excellent group of producers who have decades of experience in TV. We are close, I think, to locking in a great director, though that deal is not quite finalized. And of course, we have the author of the source material fully on board . . . oh, wait, that’s me! We have a clear plan, a solid approach, and we are ready to get going. However, we are still waiting for the green light, without which we do not have a budget to get going. The conditions for that green light are a moving target, and there are still many layers and levels of approval we have to get through.
He went on to add that they have an important meeting with the top executives at Walt Disney Studios in the coming week.
Keep us in your thoughts this coming week, as we have an important meeting with top execs at Disney Studios (a tier of folks we’ve actually never talked to directly before). We will need to make our best case — one more time, with feeling! — for what this adaptation should be, why it is important, and why it is a win for all those involved.
He also addressed why movement on the series was taking so long.
Why is it taking so long? you are asking. Yeah, believe me, I feel that. I’ve put all my plans on “pause” for the last two years so I could devote myself entirely to wrestling with this project. Part of the issue is that Disney is a massive corporation with many moving parts. The company’s expansion is great in some ways. For instance, when they bought Fox, that opened up the possibility that we could do Percy again through Disney, since Disney now owns the rights. On the downside, this means that the company is still in the process of changing and restructuring. There are a lot of people either shifting jobs or new to the company, and the various divisions don’t always know what the other divisions are doing. (That is simply my subjective impression, as an outside observer.) To give you an idea what we’re up against: Last spring, after doing months of song and dance about how popular Percy Jackson was and how many copies it had sold for Disney Publishing, etc., etc., we scored a lunch with some big execs from the TV side of Disney.
The team is still waiting for an official order from Disney+ which should come shortly and they are currently on the hunt for a director. Once the series is greenlit, production and casting will begin soon after.
The Percy Jackson series is set to follow the storyline of the five books starting with The Lightening Thief which centers around a teenager who discovers that he is a descendent of a Greek God. The series will then take on a new book for every season.
A release date has not been announced yet, but Season 1 which will consist of 8 episodes is expected to debut on Disney+ sometime in 2022.