The Disney+ Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series Casts Lin-Manuel Miranda As Hermes

Now that "His Dark Materials" is ending, the search for the next title to carry the young adult (YA) fantasy torch is raging on. While we wait for more news about "The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes," Disney+ wants to become the home for second chances at adapting beloved YA books. It recently announced a new "Eragon" adaptation, and there's the highly anticipated "Percy Jackson & The Olympians."

First adapted in 2010 as "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" — a title that simple rolls off the tongue — that movie was a commercial success that was nevertheless heavily criticized for how much it deviated from the books, and for simply having a terrible script. It's a shame, because the books are rather good. Sure, they skew even younger than most YA novels, but they are highly entertaining adventures with poignant messages, and great characters. Author Rick Riordan managed to introduce Greek mythology to a new generation that would have otherwise never learned about Dionysus, or Persephone, or Kronos, boiling down the entire mythology to something children could understand and be entertained by.

Now, "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" hopes to do justice to the books, bringing Riordan himself to co-write the pilot with Jon Steinberg, and to executive produce the upcoming show.

"Percy Jackson" is set to star "The Adam Project" actor Walker Scobell as Percy, who discovers he is the son of the actual Greek god Poseidon, and goes to train at a special camp for demigods before getting involved in a conflict that threatens to start a war between all the gods. The show also stars Leah Sava Jeffries, Aryan Simhadri, Virginia Kull, Jason Mantzoukas, Megan Mullally, and more. Now, the cast has added a new star.

The new Hermes

Deadline reports that Lin-Manuel Miranda is set to join "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" in a guest-starring role as the Greek god Hermes, the herald of the gods and also the god of roads and travelers (and athletes and a bunch of other things). Hermes is meant to be a charismatic and trickster god, a less wild version of Dionysus. In the 2010 film, Hermes was portrayed by Nathan Fillion.

Now, Lin-Manuel Miranda may be a great writer, a charismatic online personality, and the worst singer in every compilation video of people singing "Gethsemane" from "Jesus Christ Superstar," but he is not the most versatile actor. Every time he appears in a movie or TV show, he is mostly playing himself rather than the character. This is fine for a cameo where you want to capitalize on his stardom, but as a part of a larger cast, it can be distracting, as it is every time he showed up in "His Dark Materials." 

Then again, perhaps "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" will surprise us. After all, it can't be worse than the film adaptation.