According to a report from Bloomberg, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav and HBO chief Casey Bloys have been trying to convince author J.K. Rowling to work on the new show. Two sources with knowledge of the deal say each season will focus on one of the seven books in Rowling’s bestselling series.
Rowling is reportedly expected to be involved in the series, as she was with the films, to ensure it is loyal to the source material. The sources say the author will not be acting as showrunner or creator of the show.
The series is reportedly expected to play a major role in the company’s streaming strategy, which will be announced next week. Warner Bros. is planning on unveiling a slate of upcoming television series and films based on its trove of franchises, and a major name change for HBO Max.
In November, Zaslav expressed the company’s plan to shift its focus to franchises.
“We’re going to have a real focus on franchises,” he said on a Q3 earnings call. “We haven’t had a Superman movie in 13 years. We haven’t done a Harry Potter movie in 15 years. The DC movies and the Harry Potter movies provided a lot of the profits of Warner Bros. Motion Pictures over the last 25 years.”
Warner Bros. previously adapted all seven books of the Harry Potter series into eight blockbuster films. The career-defining films made stars out of their cast of child actors — Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint — as they brought the magical world of Harry Potter to life.
Outside of the films, the Harry Potter series has also spawned amusement parks, video games, the spin-off Fantastic Beasts films, as well as a stage play. Rowling has offered her blessing or expertise to a number of these endeavors, but her continued involvement in the franchise has drawn ire after she published an essay and doubled down on her insensitive remarks against the trans community.
Despite Rowling’s views and controversy, Warner Bros. Discovery has been trying to cash in on Harry Potter and the rest of the company’s library of intellectual property spanning Lord of the Rings, DC comics, HBO originals and more.
While devoting a season to each book will allow more room than the movies to adapt the lore, it begs the question that these franchises seem to be ignoring: do fans even want a Harry Potter remake?
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