Disney has a Christmas surprise for Rick Riordan fans: “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” has launched on Disney+ and Hulu early, one night ahead of its scheduled Dec. 20 premiere.
This is the second update Disney has made to the show’s release strategy: Last week, it was announced that the first episode of the series would debut on Hulu as well as Disney+ and would remain streaming through Jan. 31. As such, the first two episodes are now available on Disney+ while the first episode is available on Hulu. New episodes will drop weekly on Disney+ until the Season 1 finale on Jan. 31.
“We’re so grateful for the amazing and dedicated Percy Jackson fans who have enthusiastically supported this project from the very beginning,” said Pamela Levine, head of marketing at Disney Branded Television and National Geographic Content. “They’ve been counting down the days, and as a special thank you, we wanted to let our fans enjoy the first two episodes a bit earlier than expected.”
The series has been long-awaited within the Percy Jackson fanbase. Rick Riordan published the first of five “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” books in 2005, and though 20th Century Fox adapted the first two books into movies in 2010 and 2013, plot changes and Riordan’s disdain for the films rendered them unpopular. The final three books of the series have never made it to the screen.
By contrast, Riordan is a writer and executive producer on the Disney+ series, for which the intention is to release five seasons based on each of the five books.
Speaking to Variety for a Percy Jackson cover story in October, 20th Television president Karey Burke said that the studio wants “all” of the books Riordan has written in Percy Jackson universe, which expands far beyond the original five. “In spite of the movie experience that he had before, he’s an expansive thinker about his work,” she said. “He doesn’t have a rigid interpretation of it. The other series that he’s created that live in this world are all part of our universe that we can adapt.”