The Fancasting Room | Casting the ‘Percy Jackson’ Reboot for Disney

Percy Jackson is a perfect IP for Disney to revamp–the perfect kind of story to transform into their very own Harry Potter-esque franchise that they can expand out for years to come.

The thing about the Harry Potter series that resonates well with audiences was its ability to allow the audience to grow with the characters throughout their adolescent lives along with the natural changes teenagers go though coming of age.

While the magic, wizard, and witch aspects obviously wouldn’t be there, those can be easily replaced with the Greek mythological aspects of the stories that are equally as interesting and yes, educational.

Now that makes learning fun and relatable.

The previous Percy Jackson films did an absolutely awful job of adapting the beloved source material based on the best-selling novels by Rick Riordan, who coincidentally posted a tweet inside the Disney offices after a “meeting.” The novels developed a creative away to implement Greek myths into modern society. This is a series that, if done right, could see Disney having another huge franchise on their hands.

Now, let’s get into it. It’s time to cast the reboot!


Asher Angel, ‘Percy Jackson’

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Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

There might not be a more perfect candidate to take on the role of Percy Jackson than Asher Angel. A relatively unknown commodity, up until his starring role in DC’s light-heated, kid friendly Shazam! Angel plays Billy Batson who was chosen by the wizard Shazam to carry on his mantle and protect the world from forces that could only be kept at bay by the wizard’s champion.

Angel was, by far, the breakout the actor of the film. He showcased his ability to exude a proper amount of childlike humor but also held his own opposite established actors like Mark Strong and Djimon Hounsou.

At 17 years old, the studio would be able to lock Angel down for multiple years and release each following films coinciding with the rate at which Angel would naturally grow up so the actor would grow at a reasonable pace with character himself. Match made in heaven.

Kiernan Shipka, ‘Annabeth Chase’

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Credit: Marcus Yam/LA Times

Kieran Shipka is quickly becoming America’s Sweetheart on and off the screen. Getting her start in Mad Men as the daughter of Jon Hamm’s Don Draper, she then took her talents over to Netflix where she played a starring role in their film, The Silence. She also took on the titular role of Sabrina Spellman in the Netflix hit series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Shipka has proven a wide range of talents in her roles. Her role as Sabrina has her best prepared to take on the role of Annabeth. Similar to the Harry Potter series, the trio of friends would be helpless without the female member of the group, except instead of Harry and Ron needing Hermione for her wit and smarts, it would be Percy and Grover needing Annabeth for her sheer strength and “badassery.”

Shipka is fantastic as Sabrina and more than proves with that role she can certainly pull off this kind off with ease.

Caleb McLaughlin, ‘Grover Cleveland’

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Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Coming hot off Stranger Things, Caleb McLaughlin’s star has risen drastically ever since he first appeared Netflix’s ’80s themed, supernatural ratings giant. The role of Grover is a crucial one becoming our protagonist’s first friend and sidekick in the series. Grover is basically Percy’s guide in this new world, who is a satyr (half-man, half-goat) living in this world his whole life.

McLaughlin, 18, doesn’t have an extensive acting resume but his performance as Lucas in Stranger Things has more than showcased his talent and potential. That show lives and dies by the performances of its young group of friends. It could be argued McLaughlin is one of the most talented of the group. He is young enough to play the role for years to come, and with Season 4 of Stranger Things on the way, his star will only continue to rise.

Millie Bobby Brown, ‘Thalia Grace’

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Credit: Scott Baumgartner/Yahoo

While the character doesn’t appear until the third book in the series, Thalia Grace becomes a main character immediately following her introduction. As the daughter of (Spoiler)….Zeus, Thalia becomes equally important to the prophecy as Percy Jackson. Percy is thought to be the child in the prophecy … that is until Thalia comes around. Thalia is, for lack of better words, a complete and total badass.

I can’t imagine any other actress in this role than the great Millie Bobby Brown. Already accustomed to playing bad-ass characters, like Eleven in Stranger Things, this role would be an absolute breeze for Brown. Transitioning from the superpowered Eleven into the powerful daughter of Zeus seems like a natural progression for her. At just 15 years old, Disney could lock her down for years to come in this role. And let’s face it, Brown is already one of the most popular young actresses working today.

Cameron Monaghan, ‘Luke Castellan’

5th Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards - Arrivals
Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Cameron Monaghan is an actor whose star power has steadily increased over the years. Ever since his breakout role as Ian on Shameless, we watched his role expand throughout the seasons, solely because of Monaghan’s performance and acting ability. He made the character more popular with his performance, which demanded more screen time.

He would be perfect in the role of Luke Castellan, who is a few years older than our trio of friends, so casting someone a few years older makes perfect sense. Monaghan, 26, could easily pull off a character younger than himself. Castellan is deceptive, cocky, and arrogant, which puts himself as the antagonist for much of the series. The antagonist role is something Monaghan has experience with after playing Jerome on Gotham.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, ‘Chiron’

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Credit: Albert Ortega/Getty Images

Going a little outside of the box on this one, Chiwetel Ejiofor is such a phenomenally talented and versatile actor. He has charisma and serious emotional range with his acting. While he hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar, he has been nominated for plenty of awards throughout his acting career. His roles in films like 12 Years a Slave, American Gangster and The Martian have all really showcased his serious acting chops.

Recently, he’s started to finally become more mainstream, getting roles in films like Marvel’s Dr. Strange as Karl Mordo and Scar in Disney’s The Lion King. These roles have gotten his name out there to a much wider audience, which has increased his star power and expanded his brand awareness as a box-office draw. Chiron is essentially Percy’s mentor in the series. As a centaur (half-man, half-horse), Chiron is also a formidable warrior in the books. The role of mentor and warrior is something right up his alley!

Luke Evans, ‘Zeus’

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Source: Getty Images

Luke Evans as Zeus? Hmmm… now this sounds familiar. Where have we seen this before? Oh that’s right! Evans has already played the King of the Gods in 2011’s Immortals. So to say this role would be right in Evans’ wheelhouse would be the understatement of the year. There’s really no need to try to sell you on his acting ability. Everyone knows what a seriously talented actor he is. With him already playing this character once before, it seems like a no-brainer!

Evans is also no stranger to franchise affairs having starred in the last two films in The Hobbit series as Bard the Bowman. He’s also had a recurring role in the Fast & the Furious franchise in which he started off as a villain, but his character has since undergone some growth and changes. Evans and Disney already have an established working relationship after his starring role in the adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

James McAvoy, ‘Poseidon’

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Credit: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

James McAvoy is another actor that I really shouldn’t need to sell you on. The guy is unbelievably talented and versatile. Now that Fox has been purchased by Disney and the X-Men are being rebooted for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, McAvoy may find himself with a more wide-open schedule as he won’t be playing Charles Xavier/Professor X anymore. Getting McAvoy to come aboard to play the God of the Seas and our hero’s biological father would be absolutely huge for the series.

While the Gods themselves don’t necessarily have enormous roles throughout the books, having established names in these roles would market themselves. McAvoy’s résumé speaks for itself with roles in the X-Men series, Split, and most recently in the second installment of the IT film series, but one thing we’ve yet to see him in is a family-friendly franchise. He also recently added novel adaptations to his resume with his recent role in HBO’s His Dark Materials, so he can now check that box off on his resume.

Jake Gyllenhaal, ‘Hades’

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Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Last but not least, we have the role of Hades, brother of Zeus and Poseidon, and king of Hell. This role needs to go to someone who can handle being dark, intimidating, and mischievous. Enter the fantastic Mr. Jake Gyllenhaal.

Like I said, getting big-named actors to fill out these roles of the Gods is huge. People love star power to influence audience’s decisions on what they see in the theater. Jake Gyllenhaal puts butts in seats, that’s for damn sure. People will go see a film just to see him in it.

The reason I think Gyllenhaal would be great for this role is because of his most recent performance as Quentin Beck/Mysterio in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. The role of the antagonist was new to Gyllenhaal and audiences. We had never seen him play the bad guy, but people know how incredibly talented he is so the casting was met with very little backlash and for good reason because he absolutely crushed it! He turned in one of the best villainous performances in the entire MCU, hands down. Lock him in for a great performance as Hades!

 

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