Disney+ has cast actor Walker Scobell in the titular role in its upcoming Percy Jackson and the Olympians television series. The casting news comes after the show adaptation of Rick Riordan’s best-selling book series was ordered by the streaming service in January, Variety is reporting.
The live-action show tells the tale of the eponymous 12-year-old modern demigod, who’s just coming to terms with his newfound supernatural powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. Now Percy must travel across America to find it and restore order to Olympus.
Percy is described in the books as being smart, compassionate and loyal to those he cares about. But he has also always seen himself as an outsider, however, in part because of how the world views his ADHD and dyslexia. He can also quickly become angry when things seem unfair to him.
Riordan and Jon Steinberg are writing, and James Bobin will direct, the pilot for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which is scheduled to begin production this summer. Steinberg and his producing partner, Dan Shotz are overseeing the series.
The duo is also serving as executive producers on the show with Bobin, Riordan, Rebecca Riordan, Bert Salke, Monica Owusu-Breen, Jim Rowe, and Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell and D.J. Goldberg. The producers are receiving studio support from 20th Television. Salke originally put the show into development while he formerly served as the president of Touchstone Television.
The Percy Jackson book series is comprised of The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian. Riordan has also published the companion book The Demigod Files, as well as The Demigod Diaries.
Both Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters were previously adapted into feature films. Logan Lerman played the titular protagonist in the movies, which were released in 2010 and 2013, respectively. The two films, which were popular among fans of the book series, grossed over $425 million combined worldwide.
Scobell made his movie acting debut in the Netflix sci-fi-adventure film, The Adam Project, which premiered on March 11. He stars alongside Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldaña, Jennifer Garner and Catherine Keener in the drama, which was directed by Free Guy helmer, Shawn Levy.
Riorda, who will be more involved with the Percy Jackson television show than the movies, also shared the casting news this morning on his website. “Walker Scobell is an incredibly talented young man who blew us away with his audition tapes for the role of Percy. Many of you recently discovered how great Walker is when you watched his movie The Adam Project, in which Walker lit up the screen as a younger version of Ryan Reynolds’ character,” the author said.
“We were fortunate enough to audition Walker months before that movie came out, but the film only confirmed what we already knew about his talent. It was obvious to me and the rest of the team that Walker had the perfect mix of comedic timing, sweetness, rebelliousness, snark and heroism to embody our hero Percy Jackson,” Riorda added.
Scobell will next be seen in the Paramount Pictures film, Secret Headquarters, alongside Owen Wilson. The superhero movie is set to be released in theaters on August 5.