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‘Harry Potter’ May Be Getting a Reboot (But Does It Need One?)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

My introduction to the wizarding world was ABC Family’s Harry Potter marathon, which would play on every possible occasion. It just wasn’t Halloween, Christmas or New Year’s without almost 20 hours of magical mayhem the movies encompassed.

The movies have an iconic place in pop culture history, among other titles like Star Wars or Twilight. It is, after all, an adaptation of one of the most successful series of children’s novels. The franchise even has a theme park area in Universal Studios and, most recently, inspired the video game Hogwarts Legacy. Many fans, however, have disconnected the author J.K. Rowling from her work due to controversy.

Despite all of these factors, the reports of an HBO series reboot of the franchise was met with conflicting opinions on the matter.

A large number of replies to the tweet consisted of similar out-cries along the lines of, “Why do we need another Harry Potter?” And that’s with good reason.

The Harry Potter movies surpassed what we thought they could have ever done for a book adaption, let alone a children’s series. The movies are generally well-loved. They did a pretty good job of adapting the source material, aside from the “Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire” incident, there was little complaint from fans.

To attempt and recreate the magic of the original movies has been the franchise’s fatal flaw, as seen with the spin-off series of films. Harry Potter needs to learn to let good things be as they are.

Do you know who probably deserves (and is getting) a reboot? The Percy Jackson franchise. Also from a children’s book series, Percy Jackson got a film adaption and a sequel. The fans, me included, have agreed to pretend it’s not connected with the book series. It’s an okay film duology on its own, but it fundamentally didn’t attempt to adapt the novels for what they were.

Many complaints were about aging up the 12-year-old protagonists to teenagers, attempting to speed run the plot, and butting heads with the original author. After the failed attempt of the films, fans have continuously pleaded for another shot at adapting this beloved book series. After all these years, a series is set to be released on Disney+ in 2024 with an age-appropriate cast, a season-per-book timeline and a collaboration with the author. Finally, the fans are getting what they want.

So, if none of the Potterheads are asking for a reboot, or think it necessary, who is this new series for?

Fans would probably want an expansion of what content they already have. But in Harry Potter’s case, there’s already the website Pottermore. Perhaps, a better-suited approach would have been a prequel series surrounding the marauders, an underexplored side of the original story with its own parallel fan base. The other aspect this new adaption could appeal to is being more faithful to the books. After all, there are whole subplots and characters that were cut from the films to cut down on the runtime. But just like Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, while unfaithful to the source material but more well known, faithfulness doesn’t equate to a good adaptation.

For this new show to stand on its own, it has to be its own take on the story we already know. It can’t be made for nostalgia’s sake. It would have to breathe life into the characters and compete with the already-established films. There needs to be a reason as to why this would be made other than as a cash grab.

And while I may be excited to see how this show turns out, I won’t feign surprise for the many that see this as unnecessary.

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There are two things to know about me: I love staying busy and have opinions on everything. I have an insane amount of hobbies like sewing, painting, writing, playing the guitar (not very well), reading, and shopping. My four-year-old cat is named Oberon, although everyone calls him something different. I watch video essays at least an hour long, even if they are on topics I never thought to entertain. I have started three grease fires trying to make popcorn on the stove. I am no longer allowed to make popcorn, for everyone’s safety.