A Harry Potter TV series is officially coming to Max (previously known as HBO Max) with JK Rowling as executive producer. Just a week ago, we reported that a new Harry Potter series was in development, but at the time, it wasn’t greenlit, mainly because they were still waiting on JK Rowling.
Other than Rowling having control of the franchise, Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) wanted her to be involved as an executive producer. WBD CEO David Zaslav wanted her to be part of the development since they value her input regarding the world that she has created. It was revealed that they wanted a retelling of the Harry Potter books, but they wanted to be as close as possible to the books or as close as JK Rowling would want it to be.
For some years now, there were reports that WBD has been working on making a series, but none of it has really come to fruition. Especially with the cancellation of Fantastic Beasts, it’s most likely that many ideas of continuing the original franchise were abandoned. Instead, the franchise will see an official reboot with the original creator involved.
JK Rowling Joins The Harry Potter Series As An Executive Producer
A report from The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the series is moving forward on WBD’s streaming network Max. In other words, Rowling has agreed to be part of the show. Not only that, but David Heyman, who has produced all the Harry Potter films, is currently in talks to produce the new series.
The show is described as follows:
The stories from each of Rowling’s Harry Potter books will become a decade-long series produced with the same epic craft, love and care this global franchise is known for. The series will feature a new cast to lead a new generation of fandom, full of the fantastic detail, much loved characters and dramatic locations that Harry Potter fans have loved for over 25 years. Each season will be authentic to the original books and bring Harry Potter and these incredible adventures to new audiences around the world, while the original, classic and beloved films will remain at the core of the franchise and available to watch globally.
As we’ve said before, the plan is for each book to be one season of the show. The long format will allow the show to be more detailed than a movie can ever be.
Casey Bloys, who is the chairman and CEO of HBO & Max content, has said:
We are delighted to give audiences the opportunity to discover Hogwarts in a whole new way. Harry Potter is a cultural phenomenon and it is clear there is such an enduring love and thirst for the Wizarding World. In partnership with Warner Bros. Television and J.K. Rowling, this new Max Original series will dive deep into each of the iconic books that fans have continued to enjoy for all of these years.
JK Rowling also followed up by saying:
Max’s commitment to preserving the integrity of my books is important to me, and I’m looking forward to being part of this new adaptation which will allow for a degree of depth and detail only afforded by a long-form television series.
The new series will have an estimated budget similar to House of the Dragon, which is around $125 million. But WBD is willing to adjust depending on the needs of the show. Bloys added:
[It] will be that scale or higher. Whatever it takes to make a quality show.
The Harry Potter Max Series Will Dive Deeper Into The Books
Although it is undoubtedly exciting news that there is finally a new direction for the Harry Potter franchise, the main question that arises is whether people are actually interested in seeing a fresh take on the Harry Potter main series.
Are the fans ready to see new actors portray Harry Potter, Ron Weasely and Hermione Granger? Nevertheless, fans would be happy to see a more proper retelling of the books. No more skipped chapters just to keep the pacing fast.
The approach being taken with Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney Plus is similar to what is being done with Harry Potter, as both book series is being adapted into a television series with one season per book.
However, the notable difference between the two is that Percy Jackson did not achieve the same level of success as Harry Potter, despite the fact that the first Percy Jackson film was directed by Chris Columbus, who also directed the first two Harry Potter films.
It’s obvious that the brand is still strong. A game called Hogwarts Legacy was released just this February. There were campaigns to stop the release of the game because of JK Rowling, more specifically, because of her comments regarding transgender issues.
Regardless, the game sold 12 million copies in two weeks. Making it one of the best-selling games of 2023, and it’s only April. While the game has been released on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S since February, an Xbox One version and PlayStation 4 are still set to release on May 5 and a Nintendo Switch version on July 25.
Casey Bloys was asked about JK Rowling regarding her controversy and being involved in the project has said:
J.K. is an executive producer, and her insights will be helpful. We are in the Harry Potter business. The TV show is new and exciting, but we’ve been in the Harry Potter business for 20 years; this isn’t a new decision. We’re comfortable being in the Potter business. J.K. is a very online conversation … it’s very nuanced and complicated and not something we’re going to get into. Our priority is what’s onscreen. The Harry Potter story is incredibly affirmative and positive about love and acceptance, and that’s our priority, what’s on the screen.
The new series will not stop other Harry Potter projects from being developed. David Zaslav has said:
We’re free to do anything we want. Some areas we need to do with J.K., other areas we have the full ability to go forward. This is a full deployment on Max of Harry Potter. We can still develop other properties.
What do you think of the new Harry Potter series being developed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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