After the failure of the Fantastic Beasts film series, Warner Bros. Discovery is reportedly looking to move forward with a movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
The Wizarding World has experienced its own ups and downs through the years, but its momentum slowed down after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ended Daniel Radcliffe's on-screen adventure as the titular wizard in 2011.
Although the Fantastic Beasts movies did return to Hogwarts and even feature Albus Dumbledore in a significant role, some fans pointed out that it didn't have the same magic that the Harry Potter films translated on-screen despite it managing to expand its world and history.
Now, amid the promising news that plans for a small screen expansion for Harry Potter's adventures to continue, a new update about a potential Harry Potter 9 emerged online.
Harry Potter 9 In Sight at WB
Puck's Matt Belloni shared that his source revealed that the current plan to expand the Harry Potter franchise is for Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and movie executives Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy to "go hard" after a movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which would effectively be Harry Potter 9.
The Cursed Child is an original story adapted as a theater play written by Jack Thorne that is set 19 years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. While the play follows Harry's son, Albus Severus Potter, as its protagonist, it still managed to include the main trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) alongside Draco Malfoy with significant roles.
Despite that, Puck noted that there are zero Harry Potter movies or TV projects in development. Even if Zaslav closed a deal with J.K. Rowling soon, no project would release until 2025 or later.
However, the Wizarding World property is thriving, with books still selling as well as the upcoming launch of Hogwarts Legacy in next-gen consoles. In addition, Warner Bros. Discovery also profits from the Potter areas in the Universal theme parks. It's clear that the demand for more Hogwarts-related content is still there, and the studio is aware of that.
Puck's sources revealed that Warner Bros. Discovery has full adaptation rights for the seven Harry Potter books, meaning that Zaslav has the opportunity to develop remakes of those movies with brand-new actors.
The outlet also unveiled that veteran filmmaker Steven Spielberg was initially interested in directing The Sorcerer's Stone, but he stepped down. Instead, what's not known from that development, as Puck notes, is that the studio saved hundreds of millions of dollars since Spielberg would have required them to share the franchise with him, similar to the deal he made with Universal on the Jurassic Park movies.
Still, remakes would mark as a desperate move for the studio, and doing so without Rowling's approval could risk their relationship. Belloni noted that Warner "needs" the notable author, with the franchise's future being highly dependent on its creator who has a complicated public persona.
Another potential setback would be Neil Blair, who is Rowling's veteran agent and close business partner, is described as someone who "keeps everything super controlled" with his celebrity-author client. The report believed that it's unclear to Warners' executives whether Rowling gets the messages sent for her, or how those are even relayed.
Puck's source even noted that it is a "suicide" attempt to go around Blair.
In light of this news, Zaslav teased during the company's earnings call that new Harry Potter movies could be on the way, with the studio's clear emphasis on "franchises" moving forward.
Will J.K. Rowling Approve The Cursed Child Adaptation?
Although it's clear that demand for new Harry Potter-centric content is high, this latest report managed to shed some light on how complicated it is for Warner Bros. Discovery to move forward with a fresh take on the Wizarding World.
At this point, it seems that a live-action adaptation of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is the best route if the studio really wants to continue telling stories about the beloved characters that fans know and love. Still, the reality is there are a lot of moving parts in play, such as the actors' willingness and availability, scheduling conflicts, and ultimately, J.K. Rowling's approval.
It is unknown if Rowling is willing to give the go-ahead for a potential reboot, but it's likely that the author could approve a The Cursed Child movie adaptation.
Continuing the story of Harry, Ron, and Hermione would be an instant boost for the franchise, especially now that there is a renaissance of nostalgia for well-loved franchises like Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones. Seeing these characters again could be a massive win for the studio, but it would eventually boil down to how they would honor the story on the big screen.