With Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them emerging as one of 2016’s biggest global moneymakers, Warner Bros.’ plans for a new five-film prequel extension of its Harry Potter brand – one which is expected to delve heavily into the backstory of Albus Dumbledore – seem to be right on target.
Yet, just as the franchise begins exploring the past, rumors of a film trilogy based on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child surfaced.
Theme park historian Jim Hill name-dropped the two-part play – which had its London premiere last summer – on a recent episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast as a future project which might impact Universal theme parks. Despite this latest fuel to longtime rumblings about a film adaptation, J.K. Rowling herself took to Twitter to address rumors Cursed Child (on which she receives story credit) would be heading to a theater near you.
I know a lot of people are looking for reasons to be cheerful today, but there is NO TRUTH to the rumour about a #CursedChild movie trilogy!
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 20, 2017
The author’s sly reference to the divisive political landscape aside, her words are just about as clear as one could hope for. If Rowling’s tweet is accurate, then the Cursed Child chatter might be nothing more than the fan community casting its hopes out into the ether, in spite of the mixed response the play and its companion book earned from fans and critics.
Still, it isn’t hard to believe that Warner Bros. may be evaluating the long-term future of its flagship franchise, even if it doesn’t have said plans in the works at the moment.
After all, Cursed Child takes place 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ends.
Once audiences tire of the Fantastic Beasts series in a decade or so (the first sequel is set for a 2018 release), Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and the rest of the original cast will be roughly the right ages to reprise their roles anyway for Cursed Child, which focuses on Harry’s son Albus.
With sequel and reboots like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Creed proving studios can have the best of both worlds, Warner Bros. likely won’t let the Harry Potter series’ best opportunity for that approach simply slip away unexplored.
Robert Yaniz Jr.
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