The reported Harry Potter reboot TV series will only force the franchise to continue to spoil the magic of the series by delving into its gross world.
It is being widely reported that Warner Bros. Discovery has its eyes on Harry Potter for a reboot television series, covering the events of the original books/movies, and it could not be a worse idea. To paraphrase Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, it is time to let the past die: canceling J.K. Rowling’s latest attempt to revitalize the mega-franchise she created is the only way for it to retain any kind of magic or remaining goodwill. Repeating Harry Potter’s youthful adventures for a lengthy reboot would inherently require the Wizarding World to be explored further, and at this point, it has been firmly established that it does not bear detailed examination.
The Harry Potter franchise is arguably only rivaled by Star Wars in being equally beloved and despised by its own fans. Since the publication of the first book in 1997 and its movie adaptation in 2001, the series has followed a rocky road of both being praised for its epic good vs. evil storytelling and criticized for its use of coded ethnic stereotypes. Over time, the latter criticisms have only grown louder as the spin-off Fantastic Beasts series expanded the scope of the Harry Potter franchise, which is not great news for a reboot.
As the fans who grew up on Harry Potter began to view the Wizarding World with a more mature critical stance, it has become clear that the universe presented in the series was far darker and more unpleasant. The more one looks into and thinks about Rowling’s creation, the more disquieting it becomes; the gold-obsessed goblin bankers echoing anti-Semitic tropes, the Asian woman (portrayed by Claudia Kim in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) who becomes a literally dehumanized slave to a British man, the bizarre detail that wizards before the 18th century literally used to just poop their pants and magic it away. It doesn’t help that Rowling seems obsessed enough with inventing slurs for non-magic users that there are multiple fan Wiki pages about them.
Every attempted expansion of the Harry Potter universe has resulted in weird or offensive revelations about a world that was once a magical place in which brave children fought the most evil man in the world. Much as some fans of the original Star Wars trilogy found Disney’s sequel movies and shows to go against the spirit of the franchise by delving into morally ambiguous topics like war profiteering, a Harry Potter reboot will have to deal with either telling the exact same story the same way or have fans upset that it explores something new.
If Warner Bros. Discovery does risk a Harry Potter reboot that covers the original narrative but expands into full HBO Max seasons (one per book, reportedly), it will have no choice but to explore that world more. You can’t turn a two-and-a-half-hour movie into 10 hours of television and not have to spread out the story a bit more. Unfortunately, in 12 years since the last Harry Potter film, every time we learn more about the Wizard World, it just reveals a world that steals a little bit more of that magic the franchise once had.
It is unlikely that Warner Bros. Discovery will let the Harry Potter IP sit fallow for too long (especially with CEO David Zaslav’s single-minded pursuit of increased profits at the expense of content creation or fan interests), so it is likely the reboot will happen sometime soon. It is sad to say, but, at this point, the only way to keep Harry Potter special and a beloved part of childhood memories might be to just let it go.