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It's almost time for Percy Jackson and the Olympians to hit our screens - and the bosses behind the series have revealed the one dealbreaker that would have meant the series wouldn't have been made.


The Disney Plus series stars a trio of young actors - 14-year-old Walker Scobell as Percy, 14-year-old Leah Jeffries as Annabeth and 17-year-old Aryan Simhadri as Grover - and it was key that the actors' ages matched up with the characters.

Comparing the show to the original film series, which starred a 17-year-old Logan Lerman as Percy, producer Rebecca Riordan exclusively told "We wanted to not have it aged up, and so that was very important.

"I think, really, we would not have done this if we had been told we had to hire 18-year-old actors to play these parts.

"Because it's not that story. You know, it's a story of a young boy, you know, finding who he is, discovering who he is and how he can work with his friends to achieve a goal."

Author and series creator Rick added: "You can't really do a coming of age story with magic and mystery, and all of that wonderful sort of tween sort of angst and energy, if you're working with 25-year-olds who are pretending to be 18, as Hollywood so often loves to do - it's just, it has a totally different tone."

Walker Scobell as Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson and the Olympians holding a sword
Walker Scobell as Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Disney/David Bukach

But it wasn't exactly easy to find their magic trio. Asked about the audition process, Rebecca admitted: "It was hard."

"Exhaustive," Rick added. "It was thousands and thousands and thousands of audition tapes and so many talented young actors.

"But, you know, it was a question of finding the right voice, the right personality and the right energy, and also to find three excellent actors who worked well together. And that was a whole different challenge.

"So we had tapes, we discussed it with the production team. We had in person auditions."

However, it certainly paid off, with Rebecca recalling: "When I saw Leah Jeffries’s tape, I fell in love with her immediately."

Rick recalled: "And then we had chemistry reads in person with the actors together. But I mean, these three, they rose to the top pretty decisively."

As for Scobell himself, he revealed to that, while he hasn't met Lerman in person just yet, the older actor has shared some messages and tips.

He added of his version of Percy: "We stayed as close to the books as possible while making it entertaining and adding characters, so I think the biggest difference between the book and the show is that it’s not from a specific point of view."

Percy Jackson and the Olympians premieres on Disney Plus on Wednesday 20th December 2023. Sign up to Disney Plus for £4.99 a month or £79.90 for a year.

Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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