Harry Potter Television Series Deal? Credible Rumours Suggest It is Coming

It’s another week, and another rumour of a Harry Potter reboot! The timing, consistency of reports and clarifications from a trusted source indicate that this time there may be at least some truth to the story.

Find out all the details of the supposed deal after the jump!

Earlier this week Bloomburg reported that Warner Bros were nearing a deal for a new Harry Potter television series.

HBO is close to a deal for a Harry Potter TV series based on the best-selling young adult books for both cable and streaming, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Each season of the series will be based on one of JK Rowling’s seven books, said the person, who asked not to be identified since the deal hasn’t been announced, suggesting years of fresh TV fare from the popular stories…
…The author will be involved in the series to ensure it remains loyal to her original material but will not run the show day to day or serve as its primary creator, the person said. She has at times generated controversy with remarks viewed by some as trans-phobic.
With Deadline reporting that Rowling will join the project as producer:
Warner Bros is in talks with Rowling to join the project as a producer, Deadline has confirmed. Once she comes on board, the project, which is in nascent stages, is expected to look for a writer. 
This the latest in a series of rumours seemingly emanating from Warner Bros / HBO in recent years helpfully organised for posterity by harrypottertvseries.com here. If these rumours have been floating around for years without confirmation, why should we pay any attention now?
Well we have several reasons to speculate that, this time, at least from Warner Bros the intention to progress this project is very serious indeed.
  • The Rowling Library noticed that Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer at HBO, liked the tweet the Bloomberg journalist sent announcing the scoop:

  • The Rowling Library (which is invariably reliable) has a source that has corrected some aspects of the story:

  • Warner Bros has an investors call Wednesday 12th April next week, where it is expected to announce a new streaming service to feature exclusive content under the name Max.

It now seems, if not likely, then at least possible that Warner Bros have a contract proposal pretty near completion, but they haven’t yet got it signed by J. K. Rowling. As to whether she will, that will be answered on Wednesday. The online press reaction has been in line with the digital reaction to Hogwarts’s Legacy, almost universally negative, but, as Hogwarts’s Legacy has shown us, that is not necessarily an indicator of either fan reaction or monetary success.

 

The question remains – what is in it for Rowling Inc? A mountain of cash for sure, but that may not be such a great motivator for J. K. Rowling herself. This is likely much more of a motivator for her people at Blair Partnership. The risks for Rowling will be to damage the legacy of a wildly successful film series, with an uncertain future as a television series. Imagine for a moment if the series is cancelled after only one or two seasons. No matter how lightly she is shown to be associated with the production, the producers, staff and young actors will be subjected to a barrage of online activism.

I’m not a huge fan of either film or television, but what I’ve taken from the illustrated books is that more than one vision of what the story looks like is a good thing. Another version of the Harry Potter story will only help to weaken the film and theme park vision of Rowling’s story. And that can only be a good thing for the imagination.

 

Comments

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says

    With “more than one vision of what the story looks like is a good thing”, I would agree as far as my experience of Shakespeare and Stoppard and Gilbert and Sullivan and various operas and indeed Jane Austen and Charles Dickens dramatizations – and so on (despite the egregious ones!). On the other hand, the Jackson Lord of the Rings was followed by the Jackson Hobbit – what a difference, what an aggravating disappointment… And then there’s already Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I only know – and am led to avoid – by reputation. So, it could go well or ill with those different visions and versions, but… we shall see (or not).

    I wonder what a Rowling-written radio-play series of Fantastic Beasts prequels would be like? I’d certainly be interested in finding out!

  2. Nick Jeffery says

    I agree David. I grew up listening to radio plays on the BBC, and with Rowling’s gift for dialogue, a play for voices would be wonderful!

  3. Greetings on the Feast!

    This is fascinating news, Nick, and I’m with you and David in being indifferent with respect to the medium (well, I’m actually hostile) but enthusiastic about this project. Anything that serves as a wedge to displace Daniel-Emma-and-Rupert from the Hogwarts Saga’s central players in the popular mind will be a good thing, not the least of which will be what this potential disassociation will mean for them.

    Here’s hoping that the production values are excellent, that the casting is carefully done, and that Rowling plays a significant part in the adaptation of the work for the little screen. If only Bronte Studio had the necessary chops with CGI etc to take on this project…

    All that to say, thank you, Nick (and TRL), for a story that for the first time since The Great American Dream Machine has me excited about a teevee program.

  4. Nick, D.L. Dodds,

    You might just be on the right track in mentioning the BBC radio adaptations of classic literature. I may be from the States, yet I’ll still swear the dramatizations of works by Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers are perhaps the closest anyone could ever get to a definitive dramatization. Therefore I wouldn’t mind at all if they decided to produce a radio series of the “Hogwarts” novels.

    That said, what I’m really curious about right now is how come no one has thought to bring the “Strike” books to the radio, as that would be the most natural adaptive home for the series, as far as I’m concerned. Especially is play script is well written.

  5. David Llewellyn Dodds says

    ChrisC,

    A very good thought – radio mystery/detective plays seem a great, and varied, tradition, to my mind – how many Christie and Sayers – and others, including Sherlock Holmes – I have enjoyed! The Strike books have not tempted me (though the discussions of various details here do fascinate me!) but radio plays?, I would give them a try!

Speak Your Mind

*