Harry Potter’s Greatest Villain Is Up For Returning

Harry Potter villain Ralph Fiennes would be happy to return as Voldemort in some way.

By Sean Thiessen | Published

It’s been a long time since audiences saw Harry Potter vanquish his nemesis. But he’s returned before. Amid Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s indication that he wants to make more Harry Potter films, Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes has slithered into the conversation. Fiennes told Variety he would jump at the chance to play the Wizarding World’s most formidable foe again.

Whether he would return as Tom Riddle was no question for Ralph Fiennes, whose prestigious acting career takes him to the chef’s table this month in Searchlight Pictures’ The Menu. “Sure, of course,” Fiennes said. “No question about it.” 

harry potter ralph fiennes voldemort
Ralph Fiennes as Harry Potter

Zaslav recently stated that Warner Bros. Discovery wants to focus on franchises, including Harry Potter. While these magical films used to be a large source of revenue for the studio, recent expansions on the Wizarding World have left the Gringotts vault a bit dusty.

Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore debuted last spring with the lowest total of any film in the Harry Potter franchise so far at a disappointing $43 million. The film’s earnings may have been impacted by off-screen factors.

Johnny Depp, who took the resident Evil Wizard position from Ralph Fiennes as the egregious Grindelwald, was replaced by actor Madds Mikkelsen after abuse allegations against Depp tarnished the actor’s name. Franchise co-star Ezra Miller’s erratic behavior and many allegations of misconduct have threatened to put the actor in prison. Then, there’s J.K. Rowling.

Harry Potter fans have a complicated relationship with the author behind the beloved books. For a few years, Rowling has made public and controversial statements about sex and gender. Though Fantastic Beasts has made a noticeable effort at diversity, the complicated remarks remain. Many Harry Potter actors have stood apart from Rowling on the issue, but Ralph Fiennes has condemned the hateful comments targeted at Rowling, warning against the lack of conversation allowed by cancel culture. 

The poor performance of Fantastic Beasts, along with the wealth of controversy enshrouding the films, the future of the Wizarding World feels uncertain. Still, despite Rowling’s combative relationship with fans, Zaslav is open to working with the author on more Harry Potter stories which, if Ralph Fiennes has anything to say about it, could include Voldemort once again.

The idea of Fiennes’ return opens a treasure trove of possibilities for the franchise. Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter for the full eight films (unless you count Polyjuice potion scenes), has not expressed interest in returning to Hogwarts anytime soon. Radcliffe’s saga ends with a very conclusive demise for Fiennes’ character. Does that mean a prequel is on the way?

Not much is known about Voldemort’s first reign of terror. Were Fiennes to return to the role to explore this era in the Wizarding World, fans could also expect the return of characters like Remus Lupin, Mad-Eye Moody, Sirius Black, and even Harry’s parents, Lily and James Potter.

One thing is certain: the world of Harry Potter is a rich one. If and when Zaslav and company decide to continue the legacy of films that began over 20 years ago, there will be plenty of stories to choose from. Thanks to Ralph Fiennes, one more option just joined the list.