A Percy Jackson 3 movie following the events of The Titan’s Curse book isn’t in development and never will be. However, Disney+ is rebooting the entire series with author Rick Riordan.
Updated: June 2020 with news about a reboot being in the works at Disney+, July 2020 with more news on when the series will air, and August 2021 with information about the writer’s room and more!
Percy Jackson at Disney+
Percy Jackson is officially in development at Disney+, and the good news is that Riordan appears to be heavily involved in the process. He has made no secret of the fact that he’s been to Los Angeles to meet with Disney and give them his vision for a successful television series. He has also been championing the TV adaptation, which is more than what can be said for his role with the movies.
“We’re in the very earliest stages of #PercyJacksonDisneyPlus. I’m still working on the pilot script outline atm. WAY too soon for info on casting or anything else. BUT I am in the room where it happens, to quote the great @Lin_Manuel, & will do my utmost to make you guys proud,” Riordan tweeted on June 15, 2020.*
We don’t know when the Percy Jackson TV show will begin filming, but we’re looking forward to hearing more developments. Recently, author Rick Riordan shared that they’re still in the early stages of writing for the Disney+ series, and that his “most optimistic guess” is that the show will be here in two years. That means sometime in 2022 if his estimates are correct.
He said, “So it takes me 6-12 months just to write a novel all by myself. Making a TV show is infinitely more complicated, especially w/ unknown factors like the pandemic in play. We are still in the earliest stages of writing, which will take months. Most optimistic guess 2 years? Maybe?”*
More recently, in April 2021, the Riordans announced the Disney+ Percy Jackson TV show has hired Jonathan E. Steinberg to co-write the series, as well as executive produce.
Best known for his work on Black Sails, Steinberg is a great find for the show, even though it will be quite a different tone. However, both series can be described as action adventures, and there’s no doubt that Steinberg and his producing partner Dan Shortz will give it their all.
You can read more about the Percy Jackson TV show’s writer’s room here.
Perhaps even more exciting is the fact that the show has begun its casting search with an open call. “We are looking for the best person who can embody the character we all know and love from the books,” says Rick Riordan.
It’ll be a long time before Percy’s actor is announced, but this is definitely the part of the process you don’t want to rush. Once they find their titular character, everything else will fall into place. While production on the show may feel like it’s coming at a snail’s pace right now, it will undoubtedly leads to glorious things as long as we’re patient.
‘Percy Jackson 3’ movie is never happening
We initially learned that a threequel was off the table back in 2014, when Logan Lerman (who plays Percy Jackson himself) said, “It’s not happening,” when asked about Percy Jackson 3. Lerman has been a champion of both the character and the books in general, stating previously that he loves the Percy Jackson movies and would like to continue in the role.
However, it just wasn’t meant to be. After the first movie, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, tanked at the box office, it was a miracle they decided to give the franchise a second shot. But they did, and it was in the form of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
While Sea of Monsters did much better than its predecessor, at least in the eyes of the series’ fans, it was apparently not enough to guarantee a Percy Jackson 3 movie. Many were hoping a third movie would happen, if only to see how much better they could improve upon the last two movies’ mistakes.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief hit theaters in 2010 and made $226 million worldwide ($88.7 million domestically). The sequel Sea of Monsters debuted in 2013 and made $199 million around the globe ($68.5 million in the U.S.).
The news of no Percy Jackson 3 was certainly disappointing to some longtime fans of the book series, but there is now much better news to look forward to: In early 2020, Disney announced they were developing a Percy Jackson TV show, which will air exclusively on Disney+. And no one is happier than Rick Riordan.
‘Percy Jackson’ movies were despised by Rick Riordan
Author Rick Riordan’s disdain for the movies was initially revealed in 2016, following a tweet from a teacher showing Sea of Monsters in her classroom. Riordan wrote an open letter to all teachers about why they should not, under any circumstance, show the Percy Jackson movies to their students.
“No. Stop. Please. No class deserves such a punishment. I mourn the loss of perfectly good classroom time,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet on March 25, 2016.
In a longer letter, he wrote about some alternative activities that are better than watching the Percy Jackson movies.
Swipes at the movies continued over the years. In June 2020, he once again shared his disdain:
“Well, to you guys, it’s a couple hours entertainment. To me, it’s my life’s work going through a meat grinder when I pleaded with them not to do it. So yeah. But it’s fine. All fine. We’re gonna fix it soon . . . 😀”*
He followed up by explaining that he’s never even seen movies — he’s simply judging them off of the scripts:
“Finally, I still have not seen the movies, and don’t plan on ever doing so. I judge them from having read the scripts, because I care most about the story. I certainly have nothing against the very talented actors. Not their fault. I’m just sorry they got dragged into that mess,” he said.
He added, “I left out a very important word, lol. ‘Trashy scripts can never end up being *great* films.'”*
A couple years ago, Riordan shared extracts from two emails he sent to the producers of Lightning Thief in 2009, in which he gave them suggestions for the scripts. He doesn’t pull any punches.
“So you want to read more about why I was thinking of COMPLETELY HYPOTHETICAL PJO reboots? Well, okay. Here’s some behind-the-scenes info for you from my personal archives!”*
As you can tell, Riordan is—understandably—passionate about and frustrated by what’s going on with the movie. The producers were kind enough to reach out to him for his advice, which he gives plenty of. He is not unreasonable, and in fact states several instances where he knows details in the book must be altered or removed in order to make a better film.
But he also cites plenty of areas where he feels—as both a teacher and a writer—the script is lazy. He even gives them 12 pages of improvements, and offered to handle the re-writes himself. He even said he’d drop his other projects and make the re-write his top priority.
To be fair, the producers and directors likely had their own vision for the movie, and had their own thoughts on what would make it a box office success. Receiving critiques is also never easy. We shouldn’t put down anyone involved in those movies because they all had jobs to do and they did them to the best of their ability. Making a movie is a complex endeavor where you must marry creativity with practicality. It is not easy.
Moving forward, however, it’s promising that Riordan is being brought on in a more integral role with the Disney+ adaptation. He cites Harry Potter’s success in his emails, and it’s clear he thinks keeping J.K. Rowling involved in the process over the course of the franchise was the smart move. Keeping Riordan involved in any future Percy Jackson television show or movie will only help unite the fandom behind the show.
Case in point: The Lightning Thief musical has seen a fair amount of success, and more than just a few tickets were sold because Riordan has endorsed the play.
As excitement over a faithful adaptation continues to ramp up, it would make sense for Hollywood to listen and ensure they develop something that will ultimately please Percy Jackson readers.
Are you excited to find out that Rick Riordan’s characters will live on in a new series on Disney+?
*Many tweets in this article have an asterisk next to them because they have been deleted from Riordan’s official Twitter account. We decided to preserve the tweets to maintain the integrity of the information we’re sharing in this article.