I know you guy are clamoring for Hollywood updates on #DisneyAdaptPercyJackson, and I get it! You guys started that hashtag on Twitter without me even saying anything last fall, and since then it has been really helpful to get people in the film industry to sit up and take notice that there is this thing called “Percy Jackson” and, huh, maybe it could’ve had a better adaptation. Who knew? So thank you for that. Your voice DOES matter.
The latest news from Hollywood about Riordanverse adaptations is still “I have nothing to announce,” but I figured you all would appreciate the latest, anyway, so here’s what I can say. Since the pandemic hit, we haven’t been able to go out to Los Angeles in person, but rest assured we are still working furiously, remotely, behind-the-scenes, even though I can’t share any details because it is too soon to know what will happen. We are in talks with numerous parties to get something off the ground that I can be proud of and my fans can feel good about. I still have to stress that nothing is certain and nothing is shareable. HOWEVER, I wouldn’t be working this hard on it if I didn’t believe we had a shot at doing something.
Just to give you an idea: Becky and I (who are always full business and creative partners) began working on this project of re-engaging with Hollywood back in October, when it first became clear that maybe the winds had shifted and we saw chance to do something new. This was not my plan before October. Honestly, I had resigned myself to never again working with the TV/film industry. Given my past experience, can you blame me? But I knew it was what you guys wanted and deserved, and I owed it to you to give it another try, so we went in with engines burning at 100%.
In the last six months, Becky and I have:
Made seven trips to Los Angeles.
Done a total of twenty-five in-person meetings with studio execs, agents, producers, lawyers, yadda yadda yadda.
Spent a cumulative forty-two hours on the phone/in video conference with Hollywood folks.
Our film agent, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein at the Gotham Group, has been a relentless champion for us, and has logged in exponentially more hours on the phone than we have. Everybody say, “Thank you, Ellen!”
It’s complicated. There are so many legal issues to figure out untangling the Percy/Fox/Disney situation, plus of course all the creative and logistical issues and finding the right people and getting approvals from the right places. And this is just to get some sort of agreement that we should do something! Then the real hard work would begin of actually planning and making the thing happen. But hey, we are still at it. We have met some cool people who seem genuinely excited and interested in helping. We have waited years for a chance at a reboot, and we’re not going to rush it now. I’m going to make sure that if we can get an agreement, it’s the right agreement with the right team, and with Becky and me as PART of that team, speaking for you, the fans of the books. I’ve done my utmost to make it happen correctly this time. Whether we succeed — again, it’s too soon to tell. The good news: I have a lot more power now (and a lot more of you great fans backing my efforts!) than I did when I first sold the rights back in 2002 and I was an unknown middle-school teacher from Texas!
Of course, once I know more that I can share, I will post again. But it won’t be tomorrow. Or next week. Or maybe not even next month . . . Let’s hope it’s just sooner than another six months. I think we’ll know something solid before then. In the mean time, hey, there are a lot of great books out there to read, including a bunch from our fabulous Rick Riordan Presents authors! And while you’re at it, consider helping us save independent bookstores, who are really suffering during this viral crisis. Indie booksellers are the ones who discover the new series and promote new authors before anyone really knows about them. Without indie bookstores, you never would have heard of Percy Jackson, or a lot of your other favorite series. We need these guys!! Stay well, everyone.