The Council is Complete (For Now)

Hello, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I know. We took a break for the holidays . . . Well, I say break, but it was more of me going back to full-time book writing mode as I wrap up Percy Jackson and the Chalice of the Gods. Now I am back in Vancouver, where we are only days away from completing principle photography on season one of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. We typically wait to announce our cast until they are done with their filming, and since these two actors were the last major characters to appear in the season, it took a while to get to these announcements. But at last, I am delighted to introduce Zeus and Poseidon!

Lance Reddick — Zeus

(Photo credit: Storm Santos)

King of Olympus, god of the sky, Zeus is the Deus Optimus Maximus of the Greek pantheon, and Lance is the perfect actor to channel his personality. Lance has appeared in numerous projects, from The Wire to Law & Order to my personal favorite: Bosch, in which he plays Chief Irving (Immovable Object) to Titus Welliver’s Detective Bosch (Unstoppable Force). Lance is also well known as Charon the hotel manager in the John Wick movies, and it seems a natural promotion to go from Charon to Zeus!  In all his roles, Lance projects an aura of authority and power that makes him perfect for the king of Olympus. As I told him when we met, he has so much gravitas he could pull planets out of alignment, and when he makes his displeasure known to Percy Jackson . . . wow, wait until you see that scene. If you were Zeus, king of the gods, and you could be anyone you wanted, you would definitely choose to be Lance Reddick. (I’m pretty sure he’s Zeus’ favorite actor irl.) Nobody would dare mess with you, except maybe . . .

Toby Stephens — Poseidon

(Photo credit: Sarah Dunn)

An unstoppable force in his own right, Toby Stephens was riveting as John Robinson, the family patriarch in Netflix’s Lost in Space. Before that, he played a different sort of sea god as Captain John Flint, the swashbuckling pirate lord in Black Sails. He is British acting royalty, and has done everything from Shakespearian drama to playing Rochester in Jane Eyre to voicing James Bond in a series of audio dramas. When we finally meet Poseidon toward the end of season one (just as we do in the book), Toby is incredible on screen. When he delivered some of Poseidon’s iconic lines, I got chills. And seeing him and Walker together, you can absolutely believe they are father and son. Not many actors have the sheer power to stand toe-to-toe with one another and convince you they are the manifestations of the sky and the sea, about the tear one another apart. Lance and Toby absolutely have that godly aura.

We have done almost all the photography for our eight episodes. Right now, we are just doing some pick-up scenes to fill in different angles and expand some of the sequences. I have seen early director’s cuts for episodes 1-6 and all the dailies for episodes seven and eight, so I am now confident in predicting . . . yeah, if you’re a fan of the books or even if you just love a good adventure, you are going to love this show. We still have months and months of post-production work to do, but the team is wrapping up in Vancouver with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Yesterday I got to sit with our three main actors, Walker, Leah and Aryan, for a behind-the-scenes interview. (Not sure when that will air or in what format, but it’ll be a while.) It was so great to check in with them and chat about how far we’ve come, and to express my admiration and appreciation for how hard they’ve worked and how much they’ve grown, both literally and as actors!

This concludes the casting announcements for season one. If you haven’t seen a particular god or demigod announced, that’s because they don’t appear in the season and won’t be cast until we start the subsequent seasons, which means any of those announcements are probably at least a year away. More later, demigods, but I am pleased to tell you we are in a very good place as we look ahead to a (not-yet-greenlit-but-fully-anticipated) season two!

(Photo Credit: Disney/David Bukach)

Rick Riordan