Harry Potter And Fantastic Beasts Won’t Be On HBO Max At Launch


HBO has a complicated ownership history. The network was owned by Time Inc., until the latter merged with Warner in 1989. Just over 3 years ago, Warner then became the pawn in this Agar.io like accumulation of capital, when bigger fish AT&T devoured them for a handy $108.7 billion. What does any of this have to do with Harry Potter, though?

Well, glad you asked. You see, AT&T’s Warner acquisition has seen the entertainment subsidiary of the company, WarnerMedia, spearhead a new streaming service under the name HBO Max. In the fashion of rivals Disney with their Disney+ platform, HBO Max is being marketed as the place to go for all your Warner Bros. content. Their catalogue includes The Dark Knight trilogy, the DCEU films and the aforementioned Potterverse. You’d assume getting the content they own onto the service would be a doddle, then. But no.

In 2016, months before AT&T announced their intention to assimilate the company, boffins at Warner Bros. signed away their broadcasting rights for the entirety of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, including spinoff Fantastic Beasts, in an exclusive access deal running until 2025. Whoops.

Fast forward to 2020 and the market shift towards streaming has been so pronounced that it’s unthinkable a major studio would agree to that kind of a deal. As it stands though, there’ll be no Potter on HBO Max when the service makes its bow in the Spring. Thankfully, there are currently talks going on to bring the boy who lived home “Those discussions will continue. You can’t have our experience without Harry Potter,” HBO Max’s chief content editor Kevin Reilly stressed. Execs were also keen to point to the 500-strong film library they’ll have ready to go at launch. It just remains to be seen whether Harry Potter will be one of them.

Source: Deadline