As someone who is a loyal potter lover but far less of a J.K. Rowling admirer, I think there are many shared conflicted feelings of excitement around recent rumors of HBO max discussing a live action series, set in our beloved world of Harry Potter. However, the only thing we know is that this is in the earliest stages of discussion, with no current names or stars attached to the project; it is evidently going to be a while before we know anything for certain.
The original books and films hold massive nostalgia for myself and many others, which is why I think pottering around within the world of Harry Potter is so dangerous. I think whatever you try adding onto the franchise will need to meet the huge expectations of the lively fan base. Nonetheless, we have seen the production of Fantastic Beasts set in the same universe, which personally, dare I say, I did not enjoy. Likewise, despite not owning either a PlayStation or Xbox I remained very intrigued by the Hogwarts Legacy game trailer, which is seemingly an RPG game based at Hogwarts, interestingly set in the 1800’s.
Even though part of me wishes that the world of Harry Potter would be left untouched in all its glorious nostalgia, I won’t deny the plethora of magical possibilities that could be had within the world. But what direction HBO plan to take remains a mystery. Personally, I think many Potter fans wouldn’t say no to a series about the Marauders, though needless to say, getting the correct casting would be crucial. Alternatively, a series based on the Aurors’ work within the potterverse, I imagine would fulfil a lot within live action. Otherwise, maybe even a villain origin story could be interesting? One thing I really hope HBO do not attempt is a retelling, or re-boot of the originals. I can see this happening in the future, but surely it’s way too soon to attempt that at the moment. Though, I suppose recreating the originals would allow them to alter current problematic aspects such as the lack of diversity and fatphobia evident within the original films and books.
Nonetheless, like many people on Twitter, my excitement remains hugely conflicted. I think everyone is aware of the palpable transphobic comments made by creator J.K. Rowling, which as a fan left me undeniably frustrated and overall disappointed. This sparked debates around whether we can truly separate the art from the artist. Even though I love Harry Potter with all my heart, this doesn’t blind me to the horrible comments made by the author, which make me hesitant and unwilling to support such a person in the future. Thereby, whatever excitement I feel is evidently dampened by the controversy around the creator- as long as she is involved and profiting from it, I remain cautious to support it.
I think whatever HBO Max decide to produce will be held to great scrutiny and expectation by potter fans. Regardless, it could be questioned whether J.K. Rowling has already killed the future franchise by her insensitive online comments in the past year.
Words By: Eleanor Milner
Edited By: Tamikka Reid