From Disney+ and original book series author Richard Riordan comes Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Watch the teaser.
The gods work in mysterious ways—as evidenced by the new trailer that just dropped for the upcoming Percy Jackson and the Olympians series on Disney+ today. It’s oddly fitting, and feels perfect to say as much, given the meaning that this franchise is coming to have for me personally.
Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with ADHD. One of the things I have struggled with, not realizing there was a reason, was my inability to sit down and read. Some call me a bibliophile, others a biblioholic. In either case: I love to read, a lot — and the inability to sit down for any length of time and focus on a book I didn’t have to read or wasn’t on a subject I was obsessed with was a cause of endless, terrible frustration and depression. When you can’t do something you love, escape to the one place in the world you love best — the realm of literature — it hurts.
Recently, I became friends with Emily, a fan of the Percy Jackson books penned by author Rick Riordan. Originally recommending them to me because, like any fan, she wanted to recruit someone to her passion, there was a detail she was keen to point out when she learned about my diagnosis: the books were not only written for young people with learning disabilities, but feature said disabilities very prominently—and in very positive fashion.
So, of course, when I told Emily I had a chance at this assignment, the edict was clear: you have to do it. Here I am, and I can honestly say, as someone with ADHD, having seen this trailer?
I get it.
One of the very first things we see in this trailer is Percy struggling with dyslexia while a voice over discusses his identity as a troublemaker. Labels like that are often applied to children and even adults with those afflicted with ADHD due to its hyperactive components as well as its inattentive presentation. Author Rick Riordan’s son suffered from both ADHD and dyslexia, but had a passion for Greek mythology. So, when Rick ran out of bedtime stories from history and his son asked for something new? The Lightning Thief, the first Percy Jackson book was born.
This trailer appears to be covering the plot of the first book, with mentions of the titular thunder bolt of Zeus being stolen. However, given that this is a series and not a two hour movie, there are clear signs that the story is receiving more detailed treatment. Sally, Percy’s mother, features prominently in the trailer, there are beautiful breadcrumbs dropped about the special bond between Percy and Grover, Percy’s his satyr protector, Grover, and this one minute-plus glimpse we are given into the series seems to focus quite heavily on the themes of the story like faithfulness and identity.
In addition to a promise of depth and nuance that were denied the 2010 films based on the books due to time constraints, the trailer delivers for those who are new and just looking for an exciting viewing experience. There is some stunning CGI shown when the Fury, Alecto, attacks Percy, incredible scenery shown during the montage of Percy’s quest, and already the casting promises to be a treat with the appearance of Haven, Vikings, and WWE veteran Adam “Edge” Copeland.
The two-episode premiere of Percy Jackson and the Olympians lands December 20th. I know I’ll be watching…and in the meantime? I’m going to hit the bookstore. I have some reading to do.
It’s worth noting that this new Percy Jackson series looks so much better than the movies did, and that a huge part of that is that Richard Riordan is large and in charge with the new Disney series. He is serving as executive producer on the series, and as writer. He was very unhappy with how the movies butchered his story, and from what we’ve seen things are looking up. — ed.
Liz Carlie (she/her/he/him) is a regular book, TV, and film reviewer for SCIFI.radio and has previously been a guest on ‘The Event Horizon’. In addition to being an active member of the traditional fandom community, she’s also an active participant in online fan culture, pro wrestling journalism, and spreading the gospel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She resides in Southern California with her aspiring superhero dog, Junior, enjoying life one hyperfixation at a time.