Hollywood has never been shy when it comes to remakes and reboots, milking franchises dry for as much money as possible. And now, it seems that the next franchise to fall prey to this ubiquitous practice is Harry Potter.
Rumours have been circulating that Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) are considering rebooting the beloved and record-setting Harry Potter series with an entirely new cast.
These rumblings are hardly new, as the WBD CEO David Zaslav indicated during the company’s 2022 Q3 earnings call that he wanted to pursue the Harry Potter franchise. However, several months after this call, new goss is coming to light, specifically from known leaker WDW Pro, who posted the following on Twitter:
“WBD is reportedly looking to reboot the Harry Potter film franchise, including recasting, in the next 3-5 years.”
WDW Pro went on to post the following on Valliant Renegade’s channel: “It now seems extremely likely that the Harry Potter universe, which I think internally is called The Wizarding division, it is receiving a reboot in the future in terms of the movies. And that may also include recasting some of the roles that have become iconic inside the Harry Potter universe with the major actors and characters.”
Valliant Renegade made things clearer, buy stating that it would be a new adaptation of the first seven Harry Potter novels: “You’re looking at that original cast: Harry, Hermione, Ron. New cast. Starting over.”
As much as the Wizarding World can be in uproar over this news, this is hardly surprising. A reboot of Harry Potter was always inevitable, especially considering the money the Harry Potter franchise has brought in over the years.
According to Statista, the franchise has hauled in $25 billion in revenue since 1997 – $8.5 billion at the box office (if you include worldwide revenue from The Crimes of Grindelwald), $7.7 billion in books and another $9.3 billion from toy and DVD sales.
Warner Bros. were always going to seek out new fans now that the Harry Potter fandom is aging out. Plus, with the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series failing to live up to expectations – and is all but dead and buried, following multiple recasts, scandals, and dwindling audience numbers – the studio needs a fresh start and a neat way to distance themselves from the controversy surrounding the pre-existing franchise – exemplified by Daniel Radcliffe calling out author J. K. Rowling and her transgender comments.
But does that make a reboot a good idea, especially since the ever-growing rumours all seem to point in the direction of a full recast of legacy characters played by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint?
Yes, it’s been more than 10 years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 came out, but isn’t this all a bit too soon for comfort?
Wouldn’t a Harry Potter TV series that distances itself from Rowling’s source material be a better option and allow for more character development?
What’s certain at this point in time is that no franchise, even one of the most revered ones in cinema, is safe.