The Harry Potter And Lord Of The Rings Reboots Are Great News Because They Will Fail

The Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings reboots are overall good news, because they will help hasten franchise fatigue.

By Michileen Martin | Published

harry potter

If you’re one of the many people who want nothing to do with the recently announced reboots of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, don’t worry: it’s just a sign that your brain is functioning correctly. Considering these do-overs are coming from the reign of David Zaslav, whose tenure as Warner Bros. Discovery CEO would be a great subject for John Mulaney’s “Horse Loose in a Hospital” bit, the failure of both reboots seems inevitable, which is why I am optimistic about them. I don’t have any interest in the reboots, but I am hoping the very notion of redoing these stories on the screen will hasten the arrival of franchise fatigue.

By every metric, the so-called “superhero fatigue” filmmakers like James Cameron were praying for years ago has finally arrived. Superhero movies are making less money and both critics and fans are less friendly toward them. But Cameron didn’t want superhero fatigue to arrive to make way for cult indie hits, but to weaken the competition to big budget franchises like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and of course Avatar.

avatar 2 underwater blockbusters

Many of us like to repeat complaints about Hollywood reboots, remakes, prequels, sequels, and the like. But when push comes to shove, the numbers show studios keep going back to those wells for good reasons.

Only three movies broke the $1 billion ticket sale mark last year; none of them were superhero movies, but all three hail from decades old film franchises. The winners were Top Gun: Maverick (from a 37 year old franchise), Jurassic World Dominion (30 years old), and Avatar: The Way of Water (14 years). We may be tired of superheroes, but we aren’t tired of blockbusters that cost hundreds of millions to make from stories older than many of the people in the audience.

The ridiculous notion of rebooting Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings has the potential to finally cripple Hollywood’s dependence on franchises and open the doors for more original ideas. Everything we know indicates these projects will fail, and when they become undeniable disasters, they may finally convince executives like David Zaslav to invest in ideas younger than the Declaration of Independence.

The lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring

How do we know the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings reboots will fail? How could they not? Aren’t we talking about the same studio that’s had the most well known superheroes in the world in their stable for decades but haven’t been able to not make a mess of their adaptations since Christopher Nolan finished his trilogy?

Setting aside Harry Potter for the moment, how could a Lord of the Rings reboot possibly succeed? Twenty years later and the stars of Peter Jackson’s trilogy like Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, and Orlando Bloom are still — for better or worse — seen as utterly inseparable from their Tolkien characters. Memes based on not only Jackson’s movies, but even just the behind-the-scenes material, are still some of the most popular online.

And you’re going to reboot those films? You’re going to get fans on your side for reboots that replace their favorites? Consider the fan reaction to Amazon‘s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power — remember that doesn’t even reboot anything from Jackson’s movies — and tell me again the reboot will succeed.

Of course the notion of rebooting Harry Potter faces a challenge Lord of the Rings doesn’t have to contend with: the dive-bombing reputation of creator JK Rowling.

jk rowling

Think about it: who will sign on to this new Harry Potter series Warner Bros. Discovery wants to make, knowing what being associated with Rowling will do to their reputations? Hogwarts isn’t exactly going to get the cream of the crop this time around; its teachers will be played by the most desperate adult actors the studio can find, and its young heroes will be played child actors whose parents are as concerned with their future as JK Rowling is of trans people.

Not to mention that the very notion of a Harry Potter reboot series boils down to: Take eight beloved and still well remembered movies, tell the exact same stories with less talented actors, and make each story five times as long.

If you really do want Hollywood to come up with “new ideas,” the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings reboots may finally prove to be the calamities that make it happen.