As a brand that’s dominated the pop culture landscape for 20 years and sold hundreds of millions of books, spawned a multi-billion dollar movie franchise and been adapted across almost every conceivable form of entertainment from theme park rides and studio tours to video games and everything in between, you’d have thought the news that HBO Max are inviting pitches for episodic Harry Potter shows would have gone down a storm with fans.
Unfortunately, though, the elephant in the room is the creator of the Wizarding World herself. J.K. Rowling controls the rights to anything Potter-related and ended up as a billionaire for her troubles, but there’s been a constant wave of backlash against her over repeated accusations of transphobia, and any time she responds, the hole she’s digging for herself only gets that little bit deeper.
Of course, it’s always important to separate the artist from the art in these scenarios, but the fanbase still aren’t pleased with her continuing to profit from the continued expansion of the mythology. After all, Harry Potter is such a lucrative cash cow that even if they never made another live-action project ever again, Rowling would still continue to make serious bank from tie-in merchandise and royalties alone.
Inevitably, there’s going to be a slew of speculation about what HBO Max are potentially cooking up, and one interesting theory that’s gathering some traction online is that it’ll be a Marauders prequel, and that makes total sense. After all, it could be set in and around Hogwarts to tick the iconography box, while the central quartet all have direct ties to the events of the seven-book series.
A Wizarding World mystery thriller with young versions of James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew taking center stage is definitely worth exploring, and there’s no doubt at least one enterprising writer somewhere in Hollywood preparing a pitch as we speak.