There's a 'Harry Potter' TV Series Reportedly In Development at HBO. But Not Everyone's Happy.

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Brady Langmann
·4 min read
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Photo credit: Elaine Chung
Photo credit: Elaine Chung

From Esquire

Listen up muggles: A new Harry Potter TV series might be on the way. This morning, both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter both broke the news that a series set in the wizarding world is in "early development" at HBO Max. Before we get into the implications of the news, know that HBO Max and Warner Bros. issued a statement to both publications denying the news, writing, "There are no Harry Potter series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform."

Even with the statement, you should know that fans aren't holding back from sharing their feelings about the mere hint that we might have more Harry Potter in our future. Including: speculation as to when this thing could even take place. (Or, if HBO Max and Warner Bros. are just going to play it back on another faithful adaptation of the books.) Plus, given her track record of transphobic opinions, many are upset about author J.K. Rowling's likely involvement in a potential TV series. (Rowling still controls the rights to the property along with Warner Bros.) Here's everything we know about the project—and the reaction to it—so far.

What Would a New Harry Potter Series Even be About?

Well, that's the million-galleon dollar question. There are, presumably, centuries of unexplored wizarding life and nearly countless established Harry Potter backstories to fill in. Really: you can let your mind run wild on this one. That said, there's a Harry Potter video game in development called Hogwarts Legacy, which will explore 19th-Century life at the school. Then, there's the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which would be an enticing option to adapt, given the possibility of stars like Daniel Radcliffe joining in.

Of course, there's the big-screen Fantastic Beasts series, which follows a Harry Potter deep-cut reference (Newt Salamander's conquests) adventuring around the 1920s-era magical world. All of that? Doesn't include the possibility that we could something entirely new set in the world of Harry Potter. Last possibility: HBO and Warner Bros. could always reboot the universe, recast the main players, and adapt the books for TV. That's something Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe believes will happen someday.

"It will be interesting to see how long those films stay… it feels like there’s a sacredness around them at the moment, but that’ll go, the shine will wear off at some point," Radcliffe told IGN. "It’ll be interesting if they reboot them and just do the films again or do a series; I’m fascinated to watch."

What Are Fans Saying About the News?

Since Rowling's contract demands that she has a say in just about everything Harry Potter, she'll most likely have a hand in any sort of HBO Max series. But some fans aren't too happy about that. In December 2019, the author was criticized by LGBTQ rights groups after she supported a researcher whose views on transgender people were described by a court as “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.” Later on, in June 2020, Rowling tweeted an op-ed column that discussed “people who menstruate,” and wrote in the tweet, "I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" After people criticized Rowling for her implication that trans women aren't women, she clarified in a series of tweets, that, "I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them." She followed this with a larger statement on her position on trans rights, which detailed “five reasons for being worried about the new trans activism." All of that said, with today's news, some people are saying that Rowling shouldn't be allowed to profit from a potential TV show.

When Will the Show Hit HBO Max?

Considering that HBO and Warner Bros. are denying reports of the show in the first place, we're still a long ways away from hearing any release date news. Here's hoping we won't have a Cyberpunk 2077 situation and we'll at lease see the video game in the not-too-distant future.

Photo credit: Esquire
Photo credit: Esquire

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