A Harry Potter series is in the earliest stages of development over on HBO Max. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service will be home to a brand new streaming show set in the Wizarding World. There is very little else to go on at this point with the news, but there are actually some fascinating and possibly important pieces of information this news has us parsing.
The biggest element about this Harry Potter series is right there in the name of the franchise. We know that Warner Bros. has been trying to get the core trio of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint back as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. If they are not able or willing to commit to a full feature film production, could a streaming series limit their involvement enough to get them to sign on the dotted line? Would this series be based on the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage production? Or would it be a completely new story that somehow utilized the original cast of characters as either main characters or in supporting roles?
However, this Harry Potter series could go the same route that the Fantastic Beasts franchise went and explore a totally different corner of the Wizarding World. But, it does not look like those movies have been able to capture the same fervor and fan excitement as the original Harry Potter series. The lack of a deep connection to those core characters seems to have hurt that franchise in the long-run. If this HBO Max show decides to deviate into another part of the Wizarding World, will that be enough to grab old and new fans?
Probably the most controversial branch of this Harry Potter series will be how much oversight creator J.K. Rowling brings to the project. Rowling was the sole writing credit on the last two Fantastic Beasts movies and those have not exactly received the warmest critical receptions. Would Rowling exert a similar level of control to this HBO Max series? Would she be contributing as a writer or would her involvement be largely ceremonial? She has a sizable amount of control over the franchise’s direction, but exactly how deeply she decides to embed herself into the series could be a deciding factor for many fans.
No matter what ends up happening with this Harry Potter series, it will be a crucial moment for the franchise moving forward. After the lackluster domestic performance of the last film in the Wizarding World series, this HBO Max show could be a chance to revitalize the brand’s popularity. If it is able to do so, there is a very good chance that the Harry Potter property could see itself enter a second wave of pop culture dominance. With streaming services becoming such a central part of consumers’ entertainment diet, a successful Harry Potter series could be a bigger payoff than another feature film.
No writers or talent have been officially announced for this HBO Max series yet, but we will be on high alert for any pieces of news about this new development.