“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” Look Ahead to Season 2 During TCA Press Conference

“We all feel the demand and response for people wanting to see more of this,” Percy Jackson and the Olympians co-creator and executive producer Jonathan E. Steinberg said during a press conference at the TCA Winter Press Tour. It’s been a little over a week since the season finale streamed on Disney+, and the series has already racked up some impressive streaming bragging rights with over 110 million hours streamed and a hashtag with over 1 billion views on Tick Tock. Disney was quick to order a second season, and while it’s still in pre-production, the creative team and core cast shared their excitement for diving into the next story in Rick Riordan’s popular book series. “We want to do it right and make sure that the second season of the show lives up to or surpasses the first.”



“People are obviously very excited that we’re keeping very true to the books and honoring Rick’s work,” added executive producer Dan Shotz about feedback from the first season. “At the same time, they’re as excited about all the new things that are being brought to this, which is really rewarding for us that they’re excited that we’re opening up the world.”

“Something that I didn’t see coming [was] that whole part with Augustus that we added in the Lotus Casino,” shared Aryan Simhadri, who plays Grover Underwood and revealed that he started reading Riordan’s books in the third grade. It’s a moment that strayed from the novel but added a lot of value to his character. “It's nice that he gets a figure like Ferdinand that could be there for him, but almost in the same way that Ferdinand can't be there for him, Augustus isn't either. He misleads Grover, and he leads him with these false hopes of finding Pan. It just adds to Grover's story. It adds to the idea that there are so many satyrs out there still looking for Pan, lost or alone.”

Feeling lost, alone, or like an outcast is part of the reason why generations of kids have deeply connected to the Percy Jackson book series. "Percy Jackson, I feel like that kind of molded who I am now,” revealed Walker Scobell, who portrays the title character in the series and was a fan of the books before this role came his way. He knows what this character means to fans, and he doesn’t take it lightly. “[You] feel responsible for kids growing up now because this is a show that a bunch of kids are watching… You feel responsible for doing the right thing.” As fans of the Percy Jackson books and the God of War video games, Walker and Aryan both have a dream casting choice in mind to play Atlas, who was introduced in the third book, The Titan’s Curse. They’re hoping for Christopher Judge to land the titan role. “Zendaya for Athena,” Walker added. “Sam Claflin would be a cool Apollo.”

Speaking of casting, there is a role that sadly needs to be recast after the passing of Lance Reddick, who played Zeus (the season finale was dedicated to his memory. “We recently got a text from his wife who said how proud he would have been of seeing it, Dan Shotz shared. “It was really a rough situation, and we miss him very much.”

Looking back to the beginning of this journey, Leah Sava Jeffries shared that she had conversations with Rick Riordan to make sure she was portraying his vision for Annabeth Chase. “He was like, ‘Just be yourself,’” Leah revealed. “‘Whatever you think Annabeth should be, there you go.’ When he told me that, my whole face lit up, and I was like, ‘Okay. I won't let you down, sir. I will do it’” Like Aryan and Walker, Leah came to the project as a fan of the books. “While reading the books, it seemed like Annabeth was always the mother of the group. So, even out of set, [I’m] like that.” While Leah naturally related to Annabeth, the role was still a departure from herself. “She's very straightforward, and I feel like I was that for a long time, and it was very hard to get out of it.”

With the first season adhering to the story beats of The Lightning Thief, the creative team is approaching the follow-up in a similar fashion, basing it primarily on Sea of Monsters. “Having Rick and Becky [Riordan] in the room with us at all times, it's really fun to be back in the writers' room in this way and be building this story going forward,” Dan Shotz shared about where Season 2 stands right now. A handful of scripts have already been written, and one of the opportunities with this season’s adaptation is to pull some elements from later books forward. “These books weren't written all together, Jonathan E. Steinberg added. “One of the opportunities with the show is to have each one of these stories take advantage of the material that was arrived at afterward. So, it all kind of feels like it's cut from the same stone.”

Stay tuned for news about Season 2 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians as it becomes available.

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).