Over a decade after the first attempt to adapt Rick Riordan’s Greek mythology-inspired story, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, for the big screen screen, Disney+ will try its hand at handing the trident to its hero with a new adaptation taking on The Lightning Thief. After years of development involving the author himself, the streaming series has officially gone into production. Ahead of its premiere, let’s break down the cast confirmed to be in Disney+’s upcoming Percy Jackson show.
With what is expected to be an adaptation much more aligned with the book than the 2010 film starring Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario, Disney+'s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series will reintroduce the demigod and the events of The Lightning Thief. As we await Percy’s first adventure, it’s time to get acquainted with the talent involved.
Leading the cast of the Percy Jackson series is Walker Scobell in the titular role of Percy, who finds out he is the son of Poseidon after living a pretty ordinary life, despite being consistently expelled due to his ADHD and dyslexia. Scobell recently found his movie debut and breakthrough role with the Netflix hit The Adam Project. Scobell played a young version of Ryan Reynolds’ Adam in the 2021 movie, which also starred Zoe Saldaña, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner and Catherine Keener. During his audition for The Adam Project, Scobell dazzled Reynolds with his ability to quote the Deadpool movie word for word, swear words and all. Scobell was announced as Percy Jackson in April 2022 to major excitement from fans. The actor is the perfect age to start the demigod’s journey hopefully with Disney+ adapting all five books.
Percy Jackson is just one-third of an adventurous trio that the series famously follows. Also among the trio is Annabeth Chase, who is a demigod like Percy, but rather than being the offspring of Poseidon, she is the daughter of Athena. Leah Jeffries is set to play Annabeth following an already impressive acting resume. Jeffries has previously appeared in multiple episodes of Fox series Empire and Rel. The actress has also finished production on the upcoming horror movie Beast, where she’ll play the daughter of Idris Elba’s leading character as they find themselves hunted by an apex predator in the African Savanna.
To round out Percy Jackson’s trio, the series, of course, needs a Grover Underwood. Aryan Simhadri will play the satyr and best friend/guardian to Percy in the series. Aryan Simhadri has an extensive acting career already, especially having been a Disney Channel star in originals such as Just Roll With It and Spin. The teen actor was also recently in the Cheaper By The Dozen remake alongside Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union, and has done voice work in The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run, Mira, Royal Detective and Adventures in Wonder Park.
Percy Jackson’s mother, Sally Jackson, will be played by Virginia Kull, per Variety. Sally is a human woman who fell in love with Poseidon and had Percy with him, but with his birth, the god broke an oath and he was forced to return to sea. Sally spends her life trying to protect Percy from his lineage, but he learns the truth within the series. Virginia Kull is mainly a television actress who has played significant roles in Big Little Lies, The Looming Tower, Sneaky Pete and NOS4A2. She follows Catherine Keener, who previously played Sally in the movies.
Timm Sharp will play Percy Jackson’s abusive and despicable stepfather Gabriel "Gabe" Ugliano in the Disney+ series. In The Lightning Thief, Sally is married to Gabe, who is described as having a pungent odor, earning the secret nickname of "Smelly Gabe," and he has a contentious relationship with both Sally and Percy. Sharp has held numerous roles over the years since getting his start in the early ‘00s. He is known most for his comedic roles such as in Fox series ‘Til Death, the short-lived Showtime series Blunt Talk alongside Patrick Stewart, and HBO’s Enlightened with Laura Dern.
Playing Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and ecstasy, in Percy Jackson is Jason Mantzoukas. In the Rick Riordan books, Dionysus is one of Zeus’ sons, is known as Mr. D and serves as a camp director at Camp Half-Blood. The character in the books is comical, making Mantzoukas a great fit for the role, along with the actor and comedian being of Greek descent himself. Jason Mantzoukas is a frequent character actor in the comedy genre, with memorable roles in The League, The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Additionally, he’s provided his voice in animated shows like Star Trek: Prodigy, Big Mouth and Invincible.
Also among the cast thus far is Glynn Turman, who is set to play another Camp Half-Blood director. Turman will play Chiron, an immortal centaur who is the son of Kronos and Oceanid Philyra, and famously a trainer of heroes like Jason and Achilles. Early in The Lightning Thief, Chiron poses as a teacher at Percy’s human school of Yancy Academy as Mr. Brunner. Glynn Turman is a seasoned actor well known for his roles in Peyton Place in the ‘60s, the NBC sitcom A Different World from the late '80s to '90s, The Wire and House of Lies. The actor most recently starred in the Netflix movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
The actress cast as Clarissa LaRue, the daughter of Ares (the god of war) and the bully of Camp Half-Blood is Dior Goodjohn, per an official announcement. Goodjohn is a 16-year-old American actress who starred in the 2021 HBO Max comedy series Head of the Class and Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark? Clarissa is a key character throughout the Percy Jackson series and her father is of especial importance in The Lightning Thief.
13-year-old Olivea Morton has been cast as Percy Jackson’s nemesis at his mortal school of Yancy Academy, Nancy Bobofit. The character is not recurring in the entire book series, given Clarissa takes over the role of Percy’s bully, but she is important because she is the first trigger to the demigod using his powers for the first time. Percy Jackson will be Morton’s debut TV credit.
The actor officially revealed to be playing demigod and son of Hermes, Luke Castellan, is Charlie Bushnell, who has so far been seen in the Disney+ series Diary of a Future President. Luke is an especially important character to The Lightning Thief because he trains Percy in sword combat, provides the moral support he needs as the new kid at Camp Half-Blood along with having an especially important storyline later on.
Rounding out the cast for now is Will & Grace actress Megan Mullally, who will play Mrs. Dodds in the Disney+ series. In The Lightning Thief book, Mrs. Dodds is Percy’s pre-algebra teacher-turned-Fury at the start of his adventure. Mullally is well known for playing Karen Walker in sitcom Will & Grace, but she is also the voice of Gayle (among other characters) in Bob’s Burgers and Tammy Swanson II in Parks and Recreation.
There are many other actors for Percy Jackson that will need to be cast in Percy Jackson, such as Ares and Medusa to name a couple. We’ll keep this list updated as the Percy Jackson cast list grows.
YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
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