Rachel Smythe's Eisner Award nominated webcomic Lore Olympus is being adapted to an animated TV series by Webtoon and The Jim Henson Company. Launched in March 2018 on Webtoon, episodes of Lore Olympus are released weekly on Sundays. The story follows Hades and Persephone in a modernized retelling of Greek mythology.
As comic adaptations continually grow in popularity, both on the big and small screens, Hollywood is looking not only to Marvel, DC and even more indie publishers for source material - they're also pulling from webcomic-hosting sites like Webtoon. Earlier this year, Netflix released live-action Korean drama Love Alarm, which was also based on an ongoing, serialized webtoon, though it was published in Korean. In the case of Lore Olympus, it won't be receiving a live-action adaptation, but fans who read the series each week are no doubt excited to learn they'll be able to experience Smythe's retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth in another format.
Now, Deadline reports Webtoon is partnering with The Jim Henson Company to adapt Lore Olympus into a young adult animated TV series. Smythe's Greek myth retelling is the top series on Webtoon, receiving more than a million hits per episode. The official Webtoon series synopsis for Lore Olympus is as follows:
Witness what the gods do…after dark. The friendships and the lies, the gossip and the wild parties, and of course, forbidden love. Because it turns out, the gods aren’t so different from us after all, especially when it comes to their problems. Stylish and immersive, this is one of mythology’s greatest stories - The Taking of Persephone - as it’s never been told before.
It's unclear whether Smythe will be involved in the Lore Olympus TV show, and if so, in what capacity. The Henson Company's executive director of television Ashley Griffis will shepherd the adaptation, saying of the announcement:
At Henson, we love stories that inspire, both artistically and intellectually, and Webtoon’s Lore Olympus does both. Rachel Smythe’s new take on mythology and innovative design, with a unique female perspective, makes this project perfect for today’s young adults. The world of Lore Olympus is a welcome part of the Henson tradition of exceptional fantasy storytelling.
Since Lore Olympus was created by Smythe, fans will no doubt hope she's involved in the television adaptation in some form, especially since the webcomic is still ongoing. Smythe said in Q&A updates of Lore Olympus that she has an end in mind for the series, and a number of storylines planned, it's just a matter of writing and drawing it all. Certainly, with 79 episodes released to the public thus far (82 to those that use Webtoon's Fast Pass), the animated TV series already has a great deal of story to adapt, but bringing Smythe on board would ensure the show stays true to her entire vision.
It also remains to be seen if the Lore Olympus animated series attempts to adapt Smythe's drawing style and watercolor-like coloring of her pages. The style and art are part of the reason Lore Olympus is so beloved by its readers, and they'll likely be hoping Webtoon and The Henson Company maintain those stylized aspects of the series. There's still plenty to be learned about this potential Lore Olympus TV show and, for now, fans will just have to wait and see. At least they still have the weekly episodes of Smythe's Lore Olympus webcomic to look forward to on Webtoon.