Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is clear in his intention to have his studio focus on creating new, original content to drive movie revenues. Aside from the DC Extended Universe of superhero movies, WB’s most successful film franchise has been J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter movies, which have generated more than $9 billion in box office. In a recent CNBC interview, Zaslav lamented the fact that more than 15 years have passed since the last Harry Potter film opened in theatres. There now seems to be a new opening to reboot the Harry Potter franchise, with the success on stage of J.K. Rowling’s HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD in London, New York and other major markets.
The five-hour play is set 19 years after the conclusion of the last Harry Potter book, with an opportunity for the original cast to reprise their roles. While this brings obvious appeal to Warner Bros. studio execs, it’s a bit more complicated for the story’s creator J.K Rowling and the original cast. Rowling is known for being a difficult negotiator, and may not agree to an adaptation of the play into a feature film. Rowling has also become embroiled in controversy over her stance on transgender issues, which could limit the appeal of the project to stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. If they decline to reprise their roles, the project overall would lose much of its appeal.
The demise of the FANTASTIC BEASTS spin-off movies has left fans hungry for the return of the original. As is often the case, money may do the talking and Warner Bros. may be eager enough to find the funds to make the reboot worth everyone’s while.