Movies & TV

A Harry Potter TV Show Is Actually Happening, Potterheads

Time to stock up on school supplies at Diagon Alley.
IMAGE Warner Bros.
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HBO solemnly swears that it is up to no good.

According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), a Harry Potter TV series is coming to HBO Max. Apparently, studio executives have already met with writers to figure out how to bring the Harry Potter franchise to television and streaming. It’s still in its early stages, so nothing is final yet and HBO Max and Warner Bros. have refused to confirm whether a project is even in the works.

But keeping in mind that the Harry Potter film franchise is one of Warner Bros’ most valuable pieces of intellectual property, we can assume that the show will be finalized soon enough. The original film series includes eight films that have grossed over $7 billion worldwide, and that’s not including the money coming from the Harry Potter theme park and the Fantastic Beasts prequel series, which is set to release its third film.

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A Harry Potter show will undoubtedly be a moneymaker, and HBO and Warner Bros. are in desperate need of just that.

Will J.K. Rowling Be Involved?

That’s where things get complicated. Is it possible to love the series while despising its creator? Fans of the Harry Potter books and films have turned on author J.K. Rowling after her transphobia was made public last year, triggering backlash over her comments that pitted “real women” against transgenders. It was a messy ordeal, but it was enough to turn her most loyal fans against her.

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Prejudice isn’t taken lightly in 2021, and Harry Potter fans are urging studios to not let J.K. Rowling profit off the new series. But that’s a tricky thing to do considering that J.K. Rowling has control over her books, the films, and anything that has to do with her intellectual property.

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Do People Even Want More Harry Potter Content?

That’s up for debate. We Potterheads say keep the content coming. But others believe that this franchise has run its course and it might be time to put the spotlight on other books and adaptations worthy of the same attention. Case in point: The Percy Jackson series by fan-favorite author Rick Riordian.

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What Will the Show Be About?

The reports are unclear if the show will be a remake of the original film series, which is considered sacred to fans. Could you even imagine anyone else playing Hermoine Granger but the estimable Emma Watson? Or someone replacing the iconic performance of Alan Rickman as Professor Snape? We think not.

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So, instead of a television remake, we’re banking on the series exploring stories in the Harry Potter world, of which there are many. Fantastic Beasts is already exploring the backstory of the Albus Dumbledore, Gellert Grindelwald, Newt Scamander (whose descendent marries Luna Lovegood, by the way), and a wizard school across the pond: Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which was founded by a long lost (not evil) descendent of Salazar Slytherin.

What else could the TV series explore? Well, a lot.

1| The Tales of Beedle the Bard

If they’re planning on a prequel, nothing could quite beat the origin story of the Deathly Hallows. The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of five children’s stories in the Wizarding world. The last story in the book, The Tale of the Three Brothers, dives into legend surrounding the not-so-mythical existence of the Deathly Hallows and the three Peverell brothers who first owned them. We’ve actually already seen a brief animated clip of their story in The Deathly Hallows films.

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The other stories follow a magical fountain, a tragic romance, a healing cauldron, and a magic-hungry king. All together, the five stories could make for a curious television series in the same vein as Once Upon a Time or The Witcher.

2| Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs

The adventures of Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and James Potter would make for great television. In their youth, the four Gryffindor classmates were notorious for breaking the rules in Hogwarts, and a show about the four would bring fans back to life at Hogwarts. Much of the magic of the Harry Potter series was thanks to Hogwarts, its fantastical classes, and the curious rooms, moving staircases, and house ghosts that populated the grounds.

Of course, we all know how this story will end, with James’ tragic death, Sirius’ imprisonment, and Peter’s betrayal. But it won’t hurt to go back to a time before the First Wizarding War.

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Should the show follow this storyline, well then, mischief managed.

3| The First Wizarding War

Should a prequel actually happen, we’re guessing they’d want to explore stories outside of Voldemort’s story arc. But for the sake of it, we’re including the First Wizarding War on this list because of the mystery that still surrounds it.

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The first war follows the events that led up to the death of Lily and James Potter and the survival of baby Harry Potter. In relation to the OG film series, it will definitely feel like a longer version of The Deathly Hallows films with more darkness and battles than the first Harry Potter films (that were certainly more child-friendly). We’d get to see the torture of Neville’s parents, the defection of Regulus Black, and most important, a young Severus Snape, Bellatrix Lestrange, Lucius Malfoy, and more.

4| The Founders of Hogwarts

Who wouldn’t want an origin story of Hogwarts? We’d get to see the lives and friendship of Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin, as well as the moment Slytherin broke away from the school. Now, this would be a treat for those who believe that Hogwarts was the best “character” in the series.

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Of course, these are only theories, and the TV executives could go on an entirely different route. Maybe they’ll adapt The Cursed Child, which is still largely considered not canon by Potterheads. Or even remake the entire OG film series, which we still hold sacred. Or maybe they’ll create an entirely new story similar to how they made Fantastic Beasts.

Who knows. We leave it in the hands of HBO.

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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