Percy Jackson & the Olympians began as a series of five prose novels by Rick Riordan. Set in the early 21st Century, the story follows the young eponymous hero as he discovers he possesses divine heritage and subsequently attends Camp Half-Blood, a Long Island facility for training demigods. After being accused of stealing Zeus’s Master Bolt, Percy’s mother is kidnapped, the catalyst for a journey across the United States to rescue her from the underworld. This leads to Percy and his friends becoming increasingly embroiled in the world of the Greek gods.
With two movies having been released in a unfinished Percy Jackson film series and an upcoming Disney+ adaptation, determining how the onscreen interpretations of the story fit together can be a daunting prospect. Whether you’ve read every one of the books by Riordan or if you’ve just been introduced to the story, here’s how to watch Percy Jackson in release and chronological order.
Percy Jackson in chronological order
Here’s how to watch Percy Jackson in chronological order:
And on a separate timeline, the two Percy Jackson & the Olympians movies:
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
- Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) (2013)
Note that the Disney+ series has been placed earlier than the movies on the chronology. This is because the 2010s movies aged the main characters up to 17 years old, when compared to their age of 12 in the source material. In the Disney+ adaptation, the heroes are younger, as in the novels by Riordan.
Percy Jackson in release Order
Here’s how to watch Percy Jackson in release order:
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
- Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Disney+ series, December 2023)
Originally, the 2010s film series from 20th Century Fox was intended to continue. Plans were made for a third movie in the series, based on the third Percy Jackson novel, The Titan’s Curse. However, the third film was never produced, and the film series ended with Sea of Monsters.
After Sea of Monsters was released in 2013, the next major development for Percy Jackson adaptations came in 2019. In that year, the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney took place, which included the rights to the Percy Jackson novels.
The first two episodes in the Disney+ adaptation of the series will be available for streaming beginning on Wednesday, December 20th, 2023.
Percy Jackson on Disney+
As mentioned above, Percy Jackson was one of the properties Disney acquired with 20th Century Fox. As such, both The Lightning Thief (2010) and Sea of Monsters (2013) are currently available for streaming on Disney+.
Beginning on December 20, 2023, the first two episodes of the 2023 Percy Jackson and the Olympians series will also be available for streaming on Disney+, with new episodes released on Wednesday on subsequent weeks.
What is the difference between the movies and the TV series?
There are many, many differences between the 2010s big-screen adaptations of Percy Jackson and the forthcoming 2023 Disney+ series. In part, this is because the Disney+ series aims to be a much more faithful adaptation of the source material than was managed by the 2010s movies. This includes casting actors who are closer in age to the characters in the opening volume of the Percy Jackson series.
Why the drastic difference between the Percy Jackson reboot and the earlier 2010s adaptations? In 2018, Riorden shared a blog post that recounted his frustrations with the process of seeing the series adapted, but not in a manner that comported with his vision for the series. Riorden shared emails (with individual names redacted) that revealed his pleas to be involved with the creative process behind the 2010s adaptations.
However, Riorden’s request for the opportunity to rewrite the movie scripts was never granted. Ultimately, “for [his] own peace of mind, [Riorden] never saw either of the movies in their final form.” While the movies received mixed critical reviews, fans of the book series remain disappointed at their vast departures from Riorden’s novels.
Fortunately, the Disney+ adaptation of Percy Jackson and the Olympians will be much more closely aligned with Riorden’s artistic vision. This is thanks to the fact that the author serves as executive producer for the show, as well as co-writing the pilot episode.
What is the enduring appeal of the Percy Jackson franchise?
Fans have responded to many elements of the Percy Jackson franchise, including both the genre elements and the story’s sense of humor. However, two elements of the series have proven especially appealing to fans of Percy Jackson.
The first is the inclusion of classical mythology in a manner that makes it accessible to young readers. By combining these mythological characters with a modern-day setting, Percy Jackson offers a modern myth that’s accessible to the whole family. Furthermore, many young readers of the series and introduced to and subsequently more deeply explore Classic mythologies as a result.
The second is the depiction of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. In the Percy Jackson franchise, the majority of demigod characters have both ADHD and dyslexia. Riordan’s son, Haley Riordan, who has both ADHD and dyslexia and for whom the story was originally intended, inspired this inclusion.
How vast is the potential Percy Jackson franchise?
There is immense potential in the development of the Percy Jackson franchise. The Camp Half-Blood Chronicles now extend well beyond the five books in the original Percy Jackson & The Olympians series (which has a sixth entry, The Chalice of the Gods, scheduled for publication in September 2023).
Since The Lightening Thief was first published in 2005, the series has developed multiple spin-off series. These include The Heroes of Olympus, The Kane Chronicles, Demigods and Magicians, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, and The Trials of Apollo.
Expanding the aperture to include deities from more mythologies, but still set in the world of Percy Jackson, each of these spin-offs includes multiple additional stories with the potential for adaption. And since they are all published by Disney-Hyperion Books, the rights for adaptation to Disney+ for any of the spinoffs should be comparatively straightforward.
Learn everything these is to know about the upcomingPercy Jackson Disney+ series here.