Rumor Says: Warner Bros Thinking ‘Quidditch,’ Too

My memory is just good enough to remind me that way back when dinosaurs walked the earth and we didn’t even know the titles of the last two or three Harry Potter novels, there was a vocal cadre that believed much of that information could be discovered in the trademark application logs at Warner Brothers. My memory isn’t what it once was, but I think their confidence derived from at least one direct hit (Half-Blood Prince?).

These prospectors and internet researchers came to mind today when I read that “some believe” Warner Brothers is considering making a Quidditch Through the Ages film series as well as movies derived from Tales of Beedle the Bard. A story in the UK newspaper, the Independent, ‘JK Rowling’s Quidditch Through the Ages earmarked as next Harry Potter spin-off film,’ contends that Warner is “hinting” as much, based on its trademark filings.

According to website Bleeding Cool, Warner Bros has taken out several trademarks that hint at another film based on JK Rowling’s companion book Quidditch Through the Ages.

The Quidditch companion was originally released for Comic Relief 2001 alongside the fictional Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which Warner Bros is to make into a film.

The studio has reportedly trademarked Quidditch Through the Ages, as well as the name of the book’s author, Kennilworthy Whisp, and the names of the Quidditch teams the Wimbourne Wasps, the Chudley Cannons and the Kenmare Kestrels.

I am not looking forward to the films derived from Fantastic Beasts because (a) I am not a film fan but an iconodule (cinema being the victory of the neo-iconoclasts, alas) and (b) I expect it will be another exercise a la Indiana Jones and the Potter film franchises to reduce even a smart story into a series of chases, fights, and CGI ‘wow’ opportunities for teenagers. But I get the hooks of the Newt Scamander story as it has been sketched and would certainly buy the book if it were written as a novel rather than a screenplay.

The worst parts of the Potter films and the chapters apparently Ms Rowling dreaded writing in the novels were the Quidditch matches. I don’t doubt that stories could be told around conflicts on the Quidditch pitch — Cinderella stories, On the Waterfront remakes, even Rollerball translations — but, outside of the guarantee of a big payday, why would anyone make that film?

Let’s hope that, as with the many titles Warner Brother trademarked a decade ago, that this rush to secure the rights to these titles and names is just for future pinball and XBox games.

Your comments and corrections, please, especially if you’ve got a great story line for a cinematic treatment of Quidditch Through the Ages.


  1. I once a Christianity Today article about Star Trek Into Darkness, and the reason it’s stuck in my mind is because of this one passage:

    “The new generation of watchers isn’t really troubled when we tinker with culturally sacred artifacts, because it is more or less disengaged from them.

    If they do hold any media experiences dear, the affection is much, much more proximate—quick, what’s your favorite movie or television show from the 1990s?—than inherited. Consider that six of the ten highest rated films of all time on IMDB were made in the last twenty years. In today’s Hollywood, all things must be made new or be consigned to some obscure folder at Hulu Plus for historians and eccentric, long-tail consumers.”

    The link for the article in which these words occur can be found here:

    Anyway, those words got me thinking about how people read and watch in this century. I recall trying to draw others into in depth discussions about favorite shared texts and not managing to get much past the “way-it-made-me-feel” stage.

    I honestly hope this doesn’t sum up how the great majority takes in art, whether on screen or book, today. It’s a sinking feeling to think that while people can read, they don’t really internalize what’s happening on the page to the point that they don’t really care one way or another if stories were to vanish off the face of the earth.

    Though if I had to point to reasons for this lack of interest on the part of audiences, it’s have to be the “Franchise Mentality” of places like Hollywood or the publishing industry. An industry capable of looking at stories in any way possible except as stories to be read, watched, enjoyed or experience.

    Such mentality is utilitarian in nature, and the great drawback of looking at stories, or even life, in terms of nothing except pure “use” is that pretty soon everything becomes useless.

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