As a multi-billion dollar media and merchandising empire that’s existed at the very forefront of popular culture for close to 20 years, there’s no chance that Warner Bros. are ever going to give up on the idea of continuing to mine the Harry Potter franchise, especially with HBO Max now actively inviting pitches for TV shows set in the Wizarding World. That being said, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the property as of late.
The Fantastic Beasts series has been the subject of regular rumors that it might not even make it to the end of the planned five-film arc, depending on if next year’s third installment continues on the alarming critical and commercial downward trajectory that afflicted The Crimes of Grindelwald. The fanbase is suffering some internal conflict of its own, too, with the desire to see more from the mythology offset by J.K. Rowling’s cratering reputation given her repeated controversial statements.
As soon was Warner Bros. confirmed that the door was wide open for writers and filmmakers to start throwing their Sorting Hats into the ring for fresh content, though, the rumor mill immediately and inevitably started gathering steam. We’ve heard that an adaptation of stage play The Cursed Child was in the works, Emma Watson could be returning for a Hermione spinoff and the entire original gang might be getting back together, with insider Daniel Richtman now offering up that a Snape prequel is also on the cards.
In terms of standalone Harry Potter films, there are certainly worse ideas out there. Severus Snape is an integral part of the lore that could theoretically bridge the gap between the Fantastic Beasts series and the first eight blockbusters, and he’s got one of the most interesting backstories to boot. The only problem is that nobody could possibly hope to replicate what the late, great Alan Rickman brought to the role.