The new Percy

The reputation of Rick Riordan’s adaptations and where they’re headed

Walt Disney

Walt Disney


While there’s no shortage of shows or movies centered on young heroes battling villains, there’s one story that continuously captivates

Left: Leah Jeffries, Middle: Walker Scobell, Right: Aryan Simhadri

audiences: “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”. The bestselling series by Rick Riordan expanded from just sharing the story of 12-year-old Percy, son of Poseidon, to growing with him into a spin-off series and countless adaptations. While Percy’s story offers a realistic yet hilarious perspective on child heroes, his presence in these adaptations may not convey the whole picture.

One of the first few adaptations of the “Percy Jackson” series was the movie for “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief”. Made in 2010, t

his movie retains a 49% Tomatometer score and is generally known as the “neglected child” of Rick Riordan’s series adaptations. While it conveys the plot of the first book, no one would claim it was done well or truly captured the energy that fans love about Percy and his friends. The movie in its time of release rose in popularity, but as time went on, the ratings became lower and more fans returned to rereading the books rather than consuming the adaptation.

After the first film, the rights to the next book were bought to create a second film, lining up with the second book “Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters”. If the last film was bad, this one was worse. One would think that after seeing the ratings slip, there would be improvements, especially to provide the opportunity for a third film. However, the production team went with the angle of consistency over adapting to a new opinion in the audience, and oh boy it flopped.

This movie was made in 2013, and received a 42% rating on the Tomatometer from Rotten Tomatoes. Seeing as no more rights were being bought, they decided to condense the entire series into this film. We follow Percy and the trio on their next adventure to rescue Grover, but as they accomplish this goal, the ending takes a surprise turn. Kronos, the titan who wishes to become an all-powerful ruler, comes alive with the help of a demigod.

While this does happen within the series, it takes place in the fifth and final novel within it. There’s build up that is necessary, and the story behind the demigod who assists him is a pinnacle of the journey that the cast takes. Kronos not only rises from the depths of Tartarus (a location deeper underneath the Underworld), but dies all within a 10 minute time frame so the cast can skip back to Camp Half Blood and all is well. Most people are still bitter about this.

In 2017, the “Percy Jackson” fans finally received the adaptation worthy to fulfill their wishes. The musical, “Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief” by Rob Rokicki, was created and made its debut on stage. The songs range in length and offer perspectives of a variety of characters. The songs themselves make a quick and pointed trip throughout the events of “The Lightning Thief”, and feature the unique settings and voices of the cast. Not only does the musical have 19 songs, in certain albums of the soundtrack extra songs are included that were not featured in the musical.

Finally, in 2022, a brand new Percy Jackson adaptation has been announced. Rick Riordan has partnered with Disney Productions to create a TV show that will fully present the environment he intended in the films and the energy of Camp Half Blood. The overall shift in the transparency of behind the scenes content and growth of the show has improved largely. Riordan has posted consistent updates on his website, updates ranging from when he first started outlining the show to the most recent casting update. As far as layout of the show goes, there’s an expected eight episode first season to release in the fall of 2024.

As far as official content from the show thus far, a teaser trailer released to the public featuring a voice over from Walker Scobell with some clips of the Camp Half Blood setting. Not much else has been released regarding the show, nor the actors in their progress other than the first day on set, but Riordan is sure to keep all of the fans in the know about anything new.

While this is not an adaptation, Riordan has said that it could impact the future of the show for the better. Riordan announced a new “Percy Jackson” book in the works, following Percy’s journey to get a recommendation letter from the Gods to attend college. Simultaneously, the beloved trio will venture out to find the Chalice of the Gods (which is also the title it will be published under), and feature more minor gods that haven’t been in the series so far.

The perspective will follow Percy, Annabeth and Grover, just like the original five books. Riordan has decided to write the book in the hopes that the “Percy Jackson” show can last up until then, and add closure to the beloved story.