The extended Harry Potter franchise is one of Warner Bros.’ two most marketable assets alongside their roster of DC comic book characters, and those brands alone account for sixteen of the studio’s twenty highest-grossing movies ever. Having just launched their own in-house streaming service, you’d imagine that WB would be keen for both the Wizarding World and the DCEU to be focal points of the lineup, but it isn’t that simple.
All eight Harry Potter blockbusters were briefly available on HBO Max, presumably to help draw in the first wave of subscribers, but they soon disappeared entirely at the end of August. The reason for this is that Universal currently own the streaming rights to the series, and with the rival company also having recently launched their own platform, the movies can now be found exclusively on Peacock.
However, NBCUniversal’s option expires in 2022, and you can guarantee that Warner Bros. will be doing everything in their power to reacquire the rights to what still remains one of the most popular properties on the planet. Not only that, but insider Grace Randolph claims that HBO Max could also be looking to develop a slate of TV shows set in the vast and expansive mythology, which We Got This Covered first told you last year.
Had a source reach out to me re my #HBOMax video…
Universal has the streaming rights until then, but WB is trying to cut a deal to end it earlier… pic.twitter.com/Eks7SOlGnZ
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) September 19, 2020
This a no-brainer on WB’s part, as any prospective small screen outing set in the same world as Harry Potter is almost certain to generate huge buzz and a subsequent spike in subscriber numbers. The Fantastic Beasts spinoffs might be running out of steam already, but if handled correctly, the idea of multiple shows set in the Wizarding World has almost unlimited potential when it comes to mining the source material for further adventures.