Percy Jackson fans already can’t wait to get into the new extraordinary world that awaits for them in Disney+’s upcoming series, based and guided by the franchise’s original creator, Rick Riordan. Readers and fans have already picked up on integral set pieces like Camp Half-Blood, the ghastly Underworld, and even the Thrill Ride O’ Love. However, none seem to be more intriguing than that of the infamous Lotus Hotel and Casino.
For those unfamiliar with the books, the Las Vegas-based Lotus Hotel and Casino was created by the ancient Lotus-eaters to trap anyone who dared entered their halls by enticing them with games, parties, food, and more with the benefit of unlimited money to spend.
However, time elapses much slower in the Hotel as learned with Percy realizes how long others have been stuck inside in Rick Riordan’s first book, The Lightning Thief. Fans may recognize this place from the location’s first live-action appearance in the 2010 film adaptation of the book, but the Disney+ series’ take looks vastly different.
In the Disney+ series’ first teaser, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover were seen entering the Hotel’s pink glass-tinted entrance in a brief shot, which can only hint at so much that’s inside the Hotel. Luckily, there might be some answer as to what the Hotel might actually be like before the show premieres this December.
Building Percy Jackson‘s Lotus Hotel
During this year’s New York Comic Con, I had the chance to ask Percy Jackson production designer Dan Hennah about his process into developing and building the glamorous, yet parasitic trap that Percy, Grover, and Annabeth visit on their way to find Zeus’ thunderbolt.
“The first thing was finding a location that worked and we look a lot of casinos, but we couldn’t find anything that really worked for our story,” Hennah began. “Eventually, we found a disused mall and then the idea was to give this magical feeling. You go into it and you never know what time of day it is.”
Hennah also expressed that the team utilized Industrial Light & Magic’s Volume technology, which has become a staple with the show’s VFX team to blend practical and computer-generated effects, to create the location’s daylight scenes and the time dilation within the Hotel.
“We used a lot of pink on all of our windows, we put pink vinyls, and we’ve got a whole raft of stuff like the machines they have in the casinos,” Hennah continued. “We also had this whole thing about Grover playing on a video arcade game,” costume designer Tish Monaghan added.
“Every part of that place played a different part, but they were all created just for our world, our picture, and also had to have a timeless feel because [Tish Monaghan] gave it the various eras in terms of costuming. As a design piece, it was timeless,” Hennah concluded.
Percy Jackson follows the story of 12-year-old modern demigod Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell) who isn’t necessarily finding his place in the mortal world. However, after being thrown into a celestial mystery involving Greek gods and monsters, divine magic, and Zeus’ (Lance Reddick) missing thunderbolt, Percy sets off on an adventure of a lifetime with his friends, Grover (Aryan Simhadri) and Annabeth (Leah Sava Jeffries), to find it and restore order to Olympus.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians debuts December 20 on Disney+ with a two-episode premiere, followed by new episodes weekly.