Warner Bros. Discovery has confirmed that it’s developing a live-action Harry Potter TV series.
The company says this will be a seven-season series, with each season focused on one of author J.K. Rowling’s seven novels. As a result, a new, younger cast will be featured, rather than the now-adult actors who starred in the Daniel Radcliffe-led films. Altogether, Warner Bros. says this will be a “decade-long series.”
News of the series surfaced earlier this month but is only now being confirmed by Warner Bros. Discovery. As that original report stated, Rowling will remain involved as an executive producer, giving her some degree of creative control, although an actual showrunner and writer have yet to be hired. Additionally, Warner Bros. is in talks with David Heyman, the producer of the eight Harry Potter films, to serve as executive producer on the series.
An estimated release window for the first season of the series was not provided. Given that the series is being produced for Max — the just-announced rebranded service that’s a combination of HBO Max and Discovery+ — in the U.S., it’s likely that it will stream on Crave in Canada.
For years, there have been many rumblings about how Warner Bros. would continue with the mainline Harry Potter series after 2011’s The Deathly Hallows — Part 2. While there’s been speculation that the company might want to adapt the sequel The Cursed Child play with the likes of Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, nothing official was ever confirmed.
Your Hogwarts letter is here.
Max has ordered the first ever #HarryPotter scripted television series, a faithful adaptation of the iconic books. #StreamOnMax pic.twitter.com/3CgEHLYhch
— HBO Max (@hbomax) April 12, 2023
Instead, the company has released three spin-off prequel films in the Fantastic Beasts series — all of which have been written or co-written by Rowling — between 2016 and 2022. However, reception to the Fantastic Beasts series has been middling, with last year’s Secrets of Dumbledore even garnering negative reviews and becoming the lowest-grossing movie in the entire ‘Wizarding World’ franchise.
Given that this will be the first attempt to adapt Harry Potter’s story without Radcliffe and co. playing the beloved characters, it remains to be seen how audiences will receive the series. Additionally, Warner Bros. Discovery has to navigate the ongoing controversies surrounding Rowling herself.
Since 2019, the author has made repeated comments about transgender people that have been condemned for helping to spread hatred and abuse toward an already marginalized community. Members of the LGBTQ+ community have criticized Rowling for her anti-trans rhetoric, as have Harry Potter cast members like Radcliffe, Watson and Grint. Most recently, Rowling led many to call for a boycott of Warner Bros.’ best-selling Hogwarts Legacy, a video game based on the Wizarding World, due to the fact that she would ultimately profit from its success.
Image credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment