Harry Potter Star Says JK Rowling Was Barely Involved In The Movies

Harry Potter star Tom Felton says JK Rowling was rarely on set during the production of the movies.

By Matthew Creith | Published

British author J.K. Rowling conceived the novels in the Harry Potter book series, which were adapted by Warner Bros. into an eight-part film series, becoming one of the highest-grossing media franchises ever recorded. Rowling is also well-known for fanning the flames of transphobia on Twitter and other social media platforms since the films’ release, marking a dark time for the author and much of her work. Recently, it was confirmed by Harry Potter actor Tom Felton that Rowling was not as involved in making the film adaptations as most people believed she was, detailing to The Independent that Felton thought he only saw Rowling on set maybe “once or twice” over the course of eight films and a decade of movie making.

Tom Felton, who is best remembered for playing the character of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series of films, is currently promoting his memoir, which showcases much of the behind-the-scenes actions while starring in the unbelievably popular media franchise. Starring alongside fan favorites like Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint, Felton joined the cast of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001 and its subsequent seven sequels that ended their run in 2011 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

Tom Felton

With J.K. Rowling being criticized for her comments on social media by LGBTQ rights organizations and other activists, Warner Bros. and many of those involved in making the Harry Potter films have attempted to distance themselves from the author entirely by making no mention of her in interviews and Harry Potter related events.

Even if Tom Felton describes J.K. Rowling’s involvement with the Harry Potter franchise as minimal, the same cannot be said for the author’s stake in the latter part of the franchise with the Fantastic Beasts films.

She is credited as the sole screenwriter on 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them starring Eddie Redmayne and its sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, while she shares the writing credit on 2022’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore with Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Steve Kloves. Kloves is famous for penning the screenplay for all but one of the Harry Potter movies, as well as writing and directing The Fabulous Baker Boys starring Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Prior to Tom Felton’s memoir on his time making the Harry Potter films, J.K. Rowling’s social media comments had already gotten her in enough hot water over the years to have most of those involved in the franchise not want to work with her again. In addition to Felton’s assertion that Rowling wasn’t present for most of the initial eight films in the series, she was also not invited to participate in HBO Max’s 20-year anniversary reunion special that took place in January of this year.

The reunion special involved many of the actors from all eight movies coming together after many years apart, interviewing one another, talking to Harry Potter directors like David Yates, and significantly playing down Rowling’s involvement by merely showing archival interview footage of the author.