‘Percy Jackson & The Olympians’: New York Comic-Con Footage Description
In exactly two months, Disney’s long-awaited adaptation of Percy Jackson and the Olympians drops on Disney+.
While the first teaser and trailer have only given the general audience a small taste of what’s to come, a panel at New York Comic-Con provided fans in attendance the opportunity to see so much more.
Now, I actually managed to snag a seat at the packed panel – it was one of the few that reached capacity over the course of the weekend. And although I knew everyone would get treated to something exclusive, I did not expect this much. And I say this, because I took some notes and I’m going to describe all the footage shared over those exhilarating 60 minutes.
If you have never read the books, or do not want the series spoiled for you in the slightest, this is your warning. Turn away before it’s too late.
Firstly, you should know that there were a total of 3 clips shown. The first clip was literally the first seven minutes of episode one!
Here’s what happens:
The series opens in medias res, with a voiceover from Walker Scobell’s Percy Jackson. It’s dark and it’s raining. He’s talking about how he got to the ominous situation he’s currently facing. The first shot of the show is a blur, with Jackson walking closer and closer to the camera until his entire face is in focus. Then the title sequence comes up.
Next, it’s daylight we cut to an adult man running down a long corridor towards the camera. The next shot is the same man running up a staircase to the roof of a building. When he arrives, he sees a little boy on a ledge – it’s Percy when he’s younger. Although Percy looks like he’s about to jump, as his voiceover clarifies, he’s always seen things. Just as the adult man (who, by now is presumed to be a teacher) pulls him away, the camera remains on a building Percy was staring at. In the distance, on top of that building, a mythical creature reveals itself.
Through a brief montage, we see Percy getting older. He explains via voiceover that after that initial incident, he was forced to get help. He was told that if he ever saw something ever again, he should tell an adult. On at least one more occasion in the flashback, we are shown that Percy is not crazy. Still, as time passes, he feels like he has no one to talk to…then Grover (played by Aryan Simhadri) arrives.
He talks about how Grover just showed up in his life and automatically understood him.
There’s a brief clip of the two playing cards. Grover pulls out what looks like a Minotaur wearing underwear. The two laugh because the idea seems ridiculous.
Some more time passes and we are now in the present. Percy, Grover, and the rest of their class are on a trip at New York’s The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the Museum, Percy is caught gazing at a statue of Perseus holding the head of Medusa. He has a brief flashback to when his mom took him to see the same exhibit. She explains why she decided to name him after the statue.
Percy is brought back to reality by a bully named Nancy. He’s annoyed but is talked down by a chaperone named Mr. Brunner (played by Glynn Turman). He is then rushed to the next exhibit by one of the trip’s chaperones, Mrs. Dodds (played by Megan Mullally). As Percy gets ready to leave the statue, Mr. Brunner encourages him to fill out his assignment for the trip. He then gives Percy a pen and tells him it’s “a powerful instrument.”
The next scene is Grover and Percy sitting near the water fountain outside of the museum. Percy is venting to Grover about how he wishes he could get revenge on Nancy. Grover tells him that he should never stand up to bullies. Before Percy can tell him how much of a ridiculous statement that is, a sandwich is thrown at Grover’s face. Without hesitation, Percy stands up and sees Nancy laughing. He takes one step towards her and she flies into the water fountain.
The clip ends abruptly.
The next clip picks up at what looks like the end of the first episode. That was not confirmed during the panel, but the dark, rainy backdrop looks identical to the one we meet Percy under at the very beginning of the episode.
It begins with Percy’s mom driving frantically, almost as if she is running away from something. Percy is in the passenger seat. Grover is sitting in the rear.
By now, it seems like Percy is aware of his fate. Grover tries to come clean to Percy about being planted in his life to protect him. He explains that he was sent to protect Percy until he was prepared for the “camp.”
When Percy asks what “camp” Grover is talking about, Percy’s mom says she hasn’t had a chance to explain that part to Percy yet.
Grover mentions that usually Olympians are able to see mythical creatures coming; however, whatever is chasing Percy seems to be protected by something or someone strong because. he hasn’t been able to see any of it coming.
Soon after, something manifests behind the car. (It may have spawned as a result of a lightning strike. That part I do not recall). Through the rain, Percy says that it looks like a minotaur behind them. And it is. Funny enough, it’s a minotaur wearing underwear similar to what Percy and Grover were laughing about in the first scene. Grover says something about it not being a coincidence. He says he was trying to subtly prepare Percy for things he might see.
The minotaur speeds up towards the car, bashes the driver side window and hooks his horn into the steering wheel. Percy’s mom sees a car in oncoming traffic and tries to separate from the minotaur before it causes a chain reaction crash. She ultimately does detach from the minotaur, but the car still spins out of control…
But the screen cut to black before we can see anything else!
Now, it originally seemed as if that would be all the footage we got to see at the panel. But then Rick and Becky Riordan showed up and surprised everyone with one more clip.
The sequence opens with Luke Castellan (played by Charles Bushnell) meeting up with several other camp members in a wooded area, as they play some amped up version of (as the Riordans called) Capture the Flag. Castellan tells the other members how badly he wants to get Percy. It’s implied that they are rivals. He believes that Percy is hiding away in the woods planning a secret attack.
Then there’s a hilarious cut to Percy standing around clueless in the middle of the woods flossin’. He then lays down, waiting, bored. Just as he lets his guard down, several of those campers (wearing special armor and sporting sharp weapons) appear. They strike.
He manages to fend them off for a bit. Until the daughter of Ares, Clarisse La Rue (played by Dior Goodjohn), appears. She also has some sort of vendetta against Percy. After knicking him a few times, she makes it clear she wants to maim him.
It’s worth noting that a vast majority of the sequence is filled with incredible fight choreography, even for a show with mostly teens. The only thing more incredible than the choreography is how good Percy gets as he goes along. You can see him almost realizing his potential with every strike and dodge.
To Clarisse’s surprise, he begins to fight back harder. In the process, he breaks her weapon – a sharp staff she is clearly very attached to.
Just as she finally corners him – she gets Percy with his back against a shoreline – Percy’s team emerges from the woods and declares victory. The game is over. Annabeth (played by Leah Sava Jeffries) also emerges from the woods. She walks over to Percy slowly, seeing him all bloodied up from his fight. She apologizes to him. He thinks it’s because she wasn’t around to defend him. But it’s actually a preemptive apology for what she does next.
Annabeth pushes him into the nearby body of water. Percy emerges pretty pissed, but not before realizing that the water heals his cuts. The scene ends.
Now, if you weren’t already excited for the series, hopefully you are now. The countdown is officially on!
Percy Jackson & The Olympians tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson, 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 trek across America to find it and restore order to Olympus.
Directed by James Bobin, Anders Engström, and Jet Wilkinson, the series is produced by Quaker Moving Pictures, Co-Lab21, James Bobin, Inc., Moorish Dignity Productions, The Gotham Group, 20th Television, and Disney Branded Television.
Walker Scobell stars as Percy Jackson, alongside Leah Sava Jeffries and Aryan Simhadri. Virginia Kull, Glynn Turman, Jason Mantzoukas, Megan Mullally, Timm Sharp, Dior Goodjohn, Charlie Bushnell, Adam Copeland, Olivea Morton, Suzanne Cryer, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jay Duplass, Timothy Omundson, Lance Reddick, and Toby Stephens will also star.