Percy Jackson and The Olympians was inspired by authors dyslexic son

Percy Jackson and The Olympians: Official teaser trailer

Percy Jackson and The Olympians drops on Disney+ this week and the true story behind its creation is warming fans’ hearts.

Fans of the original children’s book series have been eagerly waiting for the new adaptation to make its way to the streamer since it was first announced in early 2022.

Young demigod Percy Jackson was last seen in 2010 – when actor Logan Lerman portrayed the teenager in the movie Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief – though it didn’t go down too well with everyone.

Now, 13 years later, Percy is back but this time on Disney+ with the first two of eight episodes now ready to watch.

But the story of Percy Jackson came long before this new series, and was actually brought to life thanks to the author Rick Riordan’s son Haley.

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The 59-year-old first came up with the plot of Percy Jackson for his son as a bedtime story when he was just nine years old.

Due to having dyslexia and ADHD, Haley didn’t like reading and hated going to school, so much so that he would “sit under the table and cry”, according to The Guardian.

However, Haley did have a fascination with Greek myths, so Rick would talk about his favourite ones before bed.

When Rick ran out of new stories, Haley went on to suggest to his dad: “Why can’t you just make one up?”

And so Percy Jackson was created and, much like Riordan’s son, his character has dyslexia and ADHD.

Talking about the neurodivergence and disability representation in the new show to, Riorddan said: “We went into it with Percy Jackson’s mission, as it’s always been, that anyone can be a hero.

“It’s very important to us that people be able to see themselves and know that they’re valued and they belong at Percy’s camp.”

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“Percy has changed my life,” Haley told The Guardian back in 2010.

“You read a lot of books and none of them have a hero who is ­dyslexic or has ADHD – it’s always perfect people in a perfect world ­doing perfect things.

“Percy is, in fact, very flawed and he has to fight against that and at the same time fight monsters.”

Rick added: “There are so many other ­children out there like my son who are ­struggling with these issues and feel there is something wrong with them, and there’s not.

“It’s simply a different way of processing information.”

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Rick, who is a father-of-two, studied English and history at the University of Austin, Texas, before becoming a teacher.

He had been writing since he was 13 and published his first novel aged 29, Big Red Tequila, which revolves around a private detective in San Antonio.

This was the first book in his Tres Navarre mystery series and so he continued to teach and write one book a year until he gave up his job in 2005, having sold the Percy Jackson series.

Percy Jackson and The Olympians is available to watch on Disney+.

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