Accio, backlash! “Harry Potter and The Inevitable Streaming Service Cash-In” is reportedly a go.
A live-action TV series based on J.K. Rowling’s seven fantasy novels is in “extremely early stages” at HBO Max, according to multiple outlets.
Executives at the recently reinvigorated streamer have “engaged in multiple conversations with potential writers exploring various ideas that would bring the beloved property to television,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, which was first to break the news.
It’s currently unclear exactly how the project will go about adapting the series, which has, of course, spawned a multi-billion-dollar film franchise. Only “broad ideas have been discussed as part of the early-stage exploratory meetings,” THR reports.
But when contacted for comment, both HBO Max and Warner Bros. flat-out denied talks of an adaptation. “There are no Harry Potter series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform,” they said in a statement to THR.
Spin-off series of beloved franchise properties have recently proved to be successful, with “The Mandalorian” bringing in “Star Wars” fans old and new to Disney+, while a “Lord of The Rings” series set before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy is arriving on Amazon in 2021.
Despite the public disavowal by Warner Bros., news of a potential “Harry Potter” series stirred up some strong reactions on social media.
While some Potterheads welcomed the idea of seeing the epic story play out on their TV screens, others balked at the idea of further lining Rowling’s pockets with more galleons following her string of anti-trans statements.
Rowling has repeatedly made headlines over the past year for her transphobic rhetoric on social media and in a lengthy essay in which she doubled down on her belief that trans women do not actually qualify as women and should be barred from single-sex spaces.
Her unwavering stance sparked an immediate backlash from the “Harry Potter” fan community, with former franchise stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint publicly condemning her comments.
But plans for expanding the “Harry Potter” universe have seemingly remained unchanged, as the third film in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, which has faced its own fair share of controversy, is currently scheduled to open in theaters on July 15, 2022.
“Hogwarts Legacy,” an upcoming open-world, action RPG video game set in the “Harry Potter” universe during the late 1800s, is also coming to a slew of gaming platforms in 2022.
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