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Disney+ has found its Percy Jackson. The streaming service announced Monday that Walker Scobell, fresh off his breakout role in Netflix's The Adam Project, will play the title character in the new adaptation of author Rick Riordan's bestselling Percy Jackson and the Olympians novels.
The series was officially greenlit at Disney's streaming service earlier this year, after two years of development which followed a two-film series based on the novels the launched back in 2010, and a stage adaptation that began its off-Broadway theatrical run back in 2017. Riordan, who became one of the bestselling authors in the world on the strength of the series and its follow-ups, will co-write the pilot episode and serve as an executive producer on the series.
First introduced in the novel The Lightning Thief in 2005, Percy Jackson is a 12-year-old boy who discovers that he is a demigod, the son of the Greek God Poseidon, and therefore capable of some extraordinary supernatural feats. In the novels, and in the first film, he deals with this revelation, in part, by journeying to a special place for fellow young demigods dubbed "Camp Half-Blood," but it sounds like Disney+ is leaning more into the "thief" aspect of The Lightning Thief for the adaptation. Here's how the streamer describes the launching point of the show:
"Percy Jackson and the Olympians tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson, who's just coming to terms with his newfound supernatural powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. Now Percy must trek across America to find it and restore order to Olympus.
"Percy Jackson is a smart and compassionate kid with a sharp sense of humor. He's always seen himself as an outsider, in no small part because of how the world sees his ADHD and dyslexia. He's impulsive and rambunctious and is quick to anger when things seem unfair to him. But beneath his cynicism is an affectionate son and loyal friend who just wants to do right by those he cares about. If only he could find a place where he fits in."
No other cast members have been announced, but Disney expects production to start this summer, so we expect more Olympians will follow Scobell. The young actor made his film debut earlier this year in The Adam Project, playing the young version of Ryan Reynolds' title character, a role he won in part by memorizing all of Deadpool 2 to prove he could imitate the older movie star. Now, he'll get a chance to make a name for himself as a beloved genre character in his own right.
In book form, Percy Jackson and the Olympians spans five novels and two companion books, so if the series takes off, Disney+ will have plenty of places to take this epic adventure.