Speaking to Variety for a recent interview, ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians” showrunners Jon Steinberg and Dan Shotz touched upon the challenge of honoring Lance Reddick’s contribution to the Zeus role while allowing a new actor to bring their interpretation to it.
The Disney+ series ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ concluded its first season. Regarding the Zeus role, previously played by the late Reddick, Steinberg said the time available before Zeus’s reappearance in the series would provide them with a period enough to look for someone:
“Fortunately, we have a little bit of time. Even once the process gets started, we don’t see Zeus again for a little bit, so we’ll have a minute to try to find the right fit. It’s not ideal, but certainly, I think his mark on that role will be felt by whoever steps into his shoes.
It’s a tall order for anybody to try to live up to the performance of somebody else, and like Dan said, step into a family and not be so haunted by the shadow of this person you’re replacing. It’s a weird vibe. I don’t think anybody’s looking forward to that, to be honest, but we’ll do the best we can to make sure that you feel him in whatever that character is moving forward.”
Shotz then chimed in, saying Reddick’s portrayal of Zeus will be a legacy he left behind:
“What’s nice about what’s gonna happen this week is that Lance Reddick will be immortalized as Zeus. Whatever takes place down the road, we can deal with.”
Is There Going to be a Season 2 For the Percy Jackson Series?
While the second season of ‘Percy Jackson’ has not yet been officially greenlit, Steinberg’s comments suggest optimism, driven by the show’s strong demand and the progress in the writers’ room. The showrunners have not only the task of continuing the story but also the responsibility of deciding who will portray Zeus in the wake of Reddick’s passing.
Based on Rick Riordan’s book series, ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians‘ premiered on December 19, 2023, earning praise for its faithful adaptation. The series’ development began in May 2020, with Jonathan E. Steinberg and Dan Shotz at the helm as showrunners. Filming occurred from June 2022 to February 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The show’s finale revealed some plot deviations, including Percy’s failed quest and a brewing war between Zeus and Poseidon. This adaptation choice, according to Steinberg, aimed to explore Percy’s character beyond his obligations:
“I thought there was something interesting about removing all of Percy’s obligation to do the right thing and seeing him confront that. Even absent this sacred responsibility to move forward, there’s a different kind of responsibility.”
Lance Reddick’s portrayal of Zeus was his final television appearance before his passing from heart disease in March 2023. Following his passing, tributes poured in for Reddick from colleagues across the entertainment industry, including from his ‘The Wire’ co-stars Wendell Pierce and Isiah Whitlock Jr., as well as Keanu Reeves and Ashly Burch.