The 20th Century Fox movie adaptations of the series disappointed many fans. Photo [CC BY 2.0] by gracewells533.
Fountain Valley High School

Rick Riordan updates fans on upcoming Disney+ adaptation of ‘The Lightning Thief’

Disney+ is adapting author Rick Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson and the Olympiansseries into an animated show. Uncle Rick, as Riordan is dubbed by fans, publicly announced this last year on May 14, promptly taking the Internet by storm. He updated fans about the show on his website on Jan. 5.

Fans were disappointed by 20th Century Fox’s two-part film adaptation of the series in 2011 and 2013. The first movie was based on the first book in the Percy Jackson series, “The Lightning Thief.” It wasn’t faithful to the original and aged up the main characters from 12 to 16.

The second movie, “The Sea of Monsters,” had the same title as the second book in the series, but attempted to cover books two through five in one hour and 47 minutes of screen time.

However, fans are hopeful that the new show will exceed their expectations.

“Uncle Rick actually has a say in the creative process this time,” Fountain Valley junior Isshu Sugimura said.

Riordan confirmed that he is the full producer of the Disney+ show in “The First 2021 Report” on his website. While he will be involved in all decisions, he doesn’t have sole control and final decision-making power over everything.

Sugimura hopes Disney includes a diverse cast for the show to properly represent the book characters.

“[Riordan] has fit in gay characters, African American characters, Native American characters, Latino characters and Asian characters [in his ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ and ‘The Heroes of Olympus’ series],” Sugimura said. “That doesn’t even cover the biracial protagonists of ‘The Kane Chronicles’ and the gender-fluid, Muslim, and deaf characters in the ‘Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard’ series.”

“The Kane Chronicles,” another series by Riordan, is also being adapted by Netflix. Regarding the upcoming “The Lightning Thief” adaptation, Riordan confirmed that development has not been green-lighted just yet. He and the show’s team are still revising the pilot script before sending it to top Disney executives for review.