Harry Potter is nearly set to get the reboot treatment over at HBOMax. According to Bloomberg, Potter rights holder Warner Bros. Discovery is close to greenlighting a planned seven-season series based on the beloved book series with each season adapting one book.
Of course, the book’s author, J.K. Rowling, has to sign off on all adaptations of her work per a longstanding deal with WBD, and she hasn’t done that just yet. We do know that she won’t be listed as the official creator or be the official showrunner, but she will be involved in the project.
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WHY REBOOT HARRY POTTER?
Given the extreme cost-cutting measures WBD took last year (which included the cancellation or writing off of several near-completed projects), the company is likely looking to invest in this reboot for the safety net of brand recognition. My generation grew up reading and watching the Harry Potter films and helped make the film series one of the biggest pop culture phenomena throughout its original run from 2001-2012.
Also, given that WBD is about to drop the HBO part of its service name (leaving the platform simply called Max), they’re probably looking for a House of the Dragon-style head-turner to get more people to subscribe to their service, and love it or hate it, the Potter franchise always gets people talking.
What’s strange about this is that the most recent theatrical outing for the franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, underperformed so financially and critically that WBD decided to make the third installment in a planned five-film series the conclusion. For a multitude of reasons, the Fantastic Beasts series didn’t connect with global audiences in the same way the original films had for over a decade.
The studio has shown itself to take audience reactions quite seriously across all its franchises, and with the Beasts franchise falling well below their expectations, it would be reasonable to believe they would wait a few years before starting from scratch. Seven seasons is also a huge investment for any streaming service or television channel and depends on viewers’ interest for it to be profitable. Amazon recently reported that many viewers didn’t complete the first season of their Rings of Power series, which the company has invested millions in for multiple seasons.
THE POTENTIAL POSITIVES OF REBOOTING POTTER
Of course, a reboot of the Harry Potter franchise doesn’t automatically have to smell of the most disgusting flavor of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. While all of the films enjoyed substantial critical acclaim and gargantuan box office returns, longtime fans of the novels took issue with certain omissions from the original text that lead to some storylines and characters being underutilized.
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The films had to be under 3 hours in length (The longest one being The Chamber of Secrets at 2 hours and 41 minutes), but an entire season of television (which typically runs around 8-10 episodes) could allow for the elements neglected in the original film adaptations to get their time to shine onscreen.
Along with this, one must keep in mind that it’s been over a decade since The Deathly Hallows Part 2 debuted, and the younger generation growing up with Fantastic Beasts might not have the same love and appreciation for the Potter films as my generation does. If this series goes well, it could be a new entry point for the current generation and, on the lighter side of things, allow for fun debates about which adaptation was more faithful to the source material in the end, provided the television series has the chance to reach that end.
We obviously don’t have a lot of information regarding this new series right now, but rest assured The Illuminerdi will keep a watchful eye out and let you know of any developments surrounding the rebooted Wizarding World.
What do you think of the Harry Potter series getting rebooted? Would you want to see the story redone or should they leave it alone? What’s your favorite Harry Potter book and film? Let us know on our Social Media.
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