Disney’s new live-action series based on Rick Riordan’s fantastical book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, is well underway with casting and pre-production. The show has now cast its lead with Walker Scobell (The Adam Project) in the role of the eponymous Percy Jackson.
Disney+ announced this week that Walker Scobell will star in the upcoming show in the titular role. The new television series is based on and aligned with the Disney Hyperion best-selling book series, which was first published in 2005 with Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
WALKER SCOBELL CAST AS PERCY JACKSON FOR THE UPCOMING DISNEY PLUS SERIES
The upcoming show is currently in the works, with 20th Television heading up production. Principal photography on the new television series is expected to start later this summer.
Disney+’s press release describes Percy Jackson as a “smart and compassionate kid with a sharp sense of humor.” Percy often views himself as an outsider due to how he sees the world through ADHD and dyslexia. While he can be quick to anger when he views the situation as unfair to him, he is deep down a loving son to his mother and a loyal friend who just wants to do the right thing and help those he cares about. Percy is looking for a place where he can fit in.
The upcoming show will follow the story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson, who learns about his lineage related to the Gods of Olympus. Jackson must ultimately come to terms with his newly discovered supernatural abilities after he’s accused by the sky god Zeus of stealing his master lightning bolt. To clear his name, Percy must journey across America to find the lightning bolt and restore order on Mount Olympus.
Disney+ announced the series order for the planned show earlier in January. Notable for the casting of Percy Jackson is Walker Scobell’s age. Based off Scobell’s casting, it appears that 20th Television will hue more closely to the ages of the characters at the start of Riordan’s book. At the start of the book series, Percy Jackson is 12 years old. So, it appears the series, at least where casting is concerned, is going for a more faithful adaptation.
The previous live-action theatrical films for Percy Jackson cast older actors in their late teens and early 20s for the lead roles. Star Logan Lerman was about 18 years old when Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief was released in theaters. For the previous live-action films, the kids were aged up to high school teens within the narrative, rather than middle school level.
Walker Scobell made his onscreen debut with this year’s hit Netflix feature, The Adam Project. He portrayed the role of Young Adam opposite Ryan Reynolds, who played his older self. He’s already received the stamp of approval from Rick and Rebecca Riordan, who got to break the news to Walker Scobell on his casting earlier this year.
Rick Riordan and Jon Steinberg are serving as co-writers for the show’s pilot episode. James Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, Dora and the Lost City of Gold) is attached to direct the pilot episode. Steinberg will oversee the show alongside producing partner Dan Shotz, with both also executive producing the series, along with fellow executive producers Riordan, Rebecca Riordan, Bert Salke, Monica Owusu-Breen, and Jim Rowe. Meanwhile, Jeremy Bell, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, and D.J. Goldberg are overseeing the show for The Gotham Group.
What do you think about Walker Scobell’s casting as Percy Jackson? Is this a step in the right direction after the mistakes of the past two live-action films? Let us know what you think on Twitter.