A live-action Harry Potter TV series is reportedly in the works at HBO Max, trade reports said Monday. (The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news.)
The project is described as in "extremely early stages," with the streamer merely having conversations with writers looking into various ideas. The studio and HBO Max are both outright denying having a project officially in development as of yet.
The situation sounds a bit similar, if perhaps more nascent, with what's going on with Game of Thrones. EW reported last week that HBO and HBO Max are meeting with writers and exploring adding multiple new titles based on author George R.R. Martin's works to the service in an effort to greenlight more than one new title in the world of Westeros, yet that's likewise still in early days.
Bringing Harry Potter to the small screen for the first time would be a pretty dramatic and perhaps inevitable move. The streaming service wars combined with the success and coming expansion of Disney+'s Star Wars series The Mandalorian is provoking a likeminded scramble to mine proven cinematic properties for television. The longtime budgetary and creative distinctions between "TV-sized" content and "big-screen-sized" content has been nearly eliminated as television budgets have increased and special effects have improved.
Harry Potter is perhaps a trickier property to expand than Thrones, however. While Martin has openly expressed his interest in expanding his fantasy universe on the small screen, author J.K. Rowling has seemed reluctant to return to Hogwarts one too many times. The Fantastic Beasts movie prequels – a sort of feathered fish franchise that's morphed into half cute creature story and half World War II allegory – has been on a downward trend at the box office. There has also been a heated online backlash against Rowling over her stance on trans rights issues.
Still, the fandom love of the Wizarding World and the original series of novels and films remains exceedingly high and there are surely many stories that could be told within Hogwarts' classrooms, Great Hall, Quidditch pitch, and all the as-yet-unexplored areas in between.
This story originally appeared on EW.com.
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