Poseidon Crashes the New ‘Percy Jackson and The Olympians’ Trailer
Waiting for you, seaweed brain!
Over the past year, we’ve been hearing more and more news about the new adaptation of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson saga. It’s the first new take on everyone’s favorite Greek demigod since the two movies released in the 2010s: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters.
… Two movies that weren’t exactly accurate and that have always stirred up very mixed responses within the fandom, which is why fans everywhere rejoiced when Riordan first announced that a television show is in the works.
The official confirmation from Disney+ arrived at the beginning of 2022, and since then, there have been several updates about this exciting new adaptation. Here’s a breakdown of everything we know about Percy Jackson and the Olympians so far.
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians teaser is here!
After a bit of a wait since the series’ announcement and the first brief teaser, we finally got a fuller trailer on September 19, 2023, ahead of its December 20, 2023 release date—when we will get the chance to see the show’s first two episodes.
And if those episodes are anything like this trailer, I think we can all agree we’re in for quite the ride. Granted, it doesn’t reveal much in terms of plot—even though the hints are all there for those who know the story well, from Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt to Sally being taken to the Underworld—but the atmosphere is perfect. I love how everything feels exactly as I imagined it when I was first reading the books when I was a teenager; like the atmosphere of Camp Half-Blood, for starters, crowded with kids in the iconic orange T-shirt just like the packed Hermes cabin in which Percy is first housed.
Speaking of Percy, I can tell that the new trio—Walker Scobell as Percy himself, Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase, and Aryan Simhadri as Grover—has really done their work with understanding the characters and their dynamic. Or maybe I’m just biased because these twelve-year-olds actually look like 12-year-olds and in this house we love age-accurate casting.
And the trailer too!
There was one thing notably missing from the first teaser for Percy Jackson and The Olympians, and that was a glimpse of Poseidon—god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses, and Percy’s divine parent. And well, the longer trailer for the show, released on November 16, 2023, finally delivered.
As a Black Sails enthusiast first and human being second, I have to admit I kind of screeched during that half-second that showed us Toby “Captain James Flint” Stephens in his Poseidon getup. But Poseidon’s first apparition is only one of the many gems hidden in the trailer that is sure to have all fans, me included, check their calendars to see just how long it is until the show’s premiere on December 20.
Set once more to the amazing cinematic remix of Vance Joy’s “Riptide”—a song that couldn’t fit the saga better, considering how Riptide is also the name of Percy’s sword—the trailer covers pieces of Percy’s quest that are very easy to recognise, from his arrival to Camp Half-Blood to him battling fearsome creatures from Greek mythology. Of course, it also sums up the show’s driving conflict once more—Zeus’s master bolt has been stolen, and Percy must find it before the gods plunge the world into war over it.
But there were so many details to love, like Annabeth disappearing thanks to her baseball cap, Percy duelling Ares and the trio getting welcomed by Hermes, as well as the true perfection that is the trailer’s opening line—a brief summary of the life of the mythical Perseus that also fits very well for the demigod named after him.
What is the new Percy Jackson series about?
First things first: the plot. This one is fairly easy since the plot of at least the show’s first season will follow the storyline of the first book and therefore the first movie, Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief. Perseus “Percy” Jackson, a seemingly normal New York City tween, discovers that not only is he the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, but that he’s also the subject of a divine manhunt: He’s accused of having stolen the all-powerful lightning bolt that belongs to Zeus, Poseidon’s brother and king of the gods.
This series of literally world-shattering discoveries leads Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a very particular summer camp where demigods can train and be protected from the monsters that are constantly chasing them. And it’s in the iconic Camp Half-Blood that we meet most of the series’ main characters.
Who’s starring in the new Percy Jackson series?
Of course, the most important characters are the protagonist trio—because we all know that every fantasy series needs a good trio to start with. Percy Jackson himself will be played by young actor Walter Scobell, who also starred in Netflix’s The Adam Project and was selected after a year of casting. Then there’s Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, who will be played by Leah Sava Jeffries. Rounding out the trio is actor Aryan Simhadri as Grover, Percy’s satyr protector.
The casting news was generally met with positivity by fans—except for, you know, the obvious—especially because of the ages of the actors, who are much closer in age to the characters in the book than those chosen for the movies. We love age-accurate casting that leaves room for the actors to grow with their characters as the series progresses.
Then there are the adults that roam around Camp Half-Blood and beyond—the first round of announcements started with the truly inspired casting of Jason Mantzoukas as Mr. D, a.k.a. the Greek god Dionysus, forced into the role of camp director as punishment by Zeus. Five more Olympians were announced in subsequent rounds of casting and are already listed on the series’ IMDb page.
Timothy Omundson (Psych) will step into the shoes of Hephaestus, god of the forge—even though he honestly could have also been a spectacular Zeus. Then there’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, who will take on the role of Hermes, the messenger of the gods. In another bit of inspired casting, Adam Copeland of WWE fame will appear as Ares, the god of war. The first of the Big Three—the most important deities of the Greek pantheon, as they’re called in Percy Jackson’s world—to be announced was Hades, who will be played by Jay Duplass (Transparent).
At the end of January 2023, the other two gods of the Big Three were revealed to the public. The role of Zeus, king of the gods, has gone to Lance Reddick, known for his roles in Bosch and Fringe.
As for Poseidon, the god of the sea and Percy’s divine parent, the casting announcement confirmed rumors that had begun flying around in the weeks leading up to it. On the one hand, I can’t help but feel a little bit sad that Logan Lerman, whose own birthday cake hilariously paid tribute to the “white boy of the century,” will not be the one playing Poseidon in the show.
On the other, I can’t say I’m unhappy with the person who will—none other than Toby Stephens, of Captain James “How I’m Defeating England With the Power of Incredible Violence” Flint fame. Seriously, if you haven’t yet seen Black Sails, one of the best television shows ever created, take this casting announcement as your sign from the universe that you have to do so ASAP.
And then there are the other figures, mythical or otherwise, who surround Percy and the rest of the demigods:
- Virginia Kull as Sally Jackson, Percy’s mom
- Timm Sharp as Gabe, Percy’s stepdad
- Glynn Turman as Chiron, the centaur instructor of Camp Half-Blood
- Jason Gray-Stanford as Maron, a Satyr Elder
- Megan Mullally as Alecto, a fury
- Dior Goodjohn as Clarisse La Rue, daughter of Ares
- Charlie Bushnell as Luke Castellan, son of Hermes
- Olivea Morton as Nancy Bobofit
- Suzanne Cryer as Echidna, mother of monsters
- Jessica Parker Kennedy as Medusa
Medusa, one of the three Gorgons, infamously has snakes for hair and the power to turn anyone who looks into her eyes into stone. She is one of the first major challenges Percy faces during the course of The Lightning Thief—an echo of what actually happens in the myth, where Medusa is defeated by Percy’s namesake, Perseus.
Actress Jessica Parker Kennedy recently shared, in an interview with Cageside Press, some very tiny details about her time on the Percy Jackson set: “Parts of the scenes we did [were] with some prosthetic snakes, so that was very cool. Other stuff I had the little mo-cap on my head, which is a very ridiculous, horrible looking little cap that doesn’t flatter anyone,” she said. “I was doing this regal part with that on. You really just have to deep dive into character and do the best that you can, but it’s easy because the writing is really wonderful in the show. I think people are going to love it”. God, the way in which I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on this series.
When will the new series premiere?
Last September’s D23 Expo gifted us with our very first look at Camp Half-Blood, complete with demigods in orange shirts ready to play capture the flag and the imposing Poseidon cabin, of which Percy will be the sole resident. All the while, Percy himself narrates the famous opening of The Lightning Thief pretty much verbatim, warning us that being a demigod isn’t all fun and games and that it’s actually better, maybe, if you ignore the warning signs telling you that you might be one.
Still, we’ll probably have to wait a while before we even get a premiere date announcement—principal photography is still underway, and according to Collider, it’s expected to wrap at the end of January 2023. Considering how extensive the post-production phase will be—what with all the monsters and wondrous powers that will need to pass through the visual effects department— Percy Jackson & The Olympians will premiere on December 20th, 2023, and drop the first two episodes together on Disney+.
Do I need to read the Percy Jackson books before watching the series?
In the meantime, there are plenty of books in the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles saga to keep you entertained and help you freshen up—or catch up—on Riordan’s lore. You can start with the first series in the saga, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which includes the first five books following the adventures of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover as they deal with the consequences of the theft of Zeus’s lightning bolt: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
Then you can move on to the second series, The Heroes of Olympus, which considerably expands the world with yet another five books: The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, and The Blood of Olympus. And then of course there’s the whole Trials of Apollo series, as well as a wide selection of companion books—more than enough to tide you over until we get that oh-so-anticipated release date and we can start counting down the days on our calendars.
(featured image: Disney+)
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