Author and creator of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians novels, Rick Riordan, has been keeping fans updated on the upcoming Disney Plus adaption of his work. On his blog, Riordan has been chronicling the various stages of pre-production for the series, including announcing their lead actor, Walker Scobell, playing Percy Jackson. Many will recognize Scobell for his role as a young Ryan Reynolds in Netflix’s recent smash hit The Adam Project.
In discussing his new lead, Riordan informed fans on his personal blog that the other major roles were close to being finalized as well, writing,
“we’ve gotten to see Walker do numerous chemistry reads with candidates for our other two leads, Annabeth and Grover, and while I’m confident those two roles are getting very close to being finalized and announced, I felt like the time was right to let you meet our Percy!”
Riordan’s wife, Becky Riordan, posted a tweet thanking fans for waiting, but that it is currently Scobell’s time to shine.
Annabeth and Grover are Percy’s closest friends in the novels. Annabeth is a smart and fearsome demi-god, daughter of Athena, and Grover is Percy’s oldest friend, a satyr who is originally tasked with helping and guiding Percy to Camp Half-Blood. In the film adaptions, these characters were played by Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson.
There were many criticisms of the movie adaptions, including from Riordan himself, who felt the films deviated too far away from the books. Another criticism launched at the adaptions was that the cast was far too old to be playing the characters who start at 12 in the books and grow up through their teens, much like in the Harry Potter series, but were aged up to 16 for the films.
It seems that Disney is keen not to make these mistakes again, casting more age-appropriate actors and involving Riordan in every aspect of the show. Filming is due to start on June 1.