The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany with original Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has been doing rather well, and sales of the printed version of the script have also been extremely healthy, becoming the most pre-ordered book of 2016 so far. The new, original story picks up where the flash-forward at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left off, and features not only the original trio of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, but also focuses on Harry’s son Albus, as well as other main cast offspring such as Scorpius Malfoy, Draco’s son.
Despite Warner Bros. making enough money from the first eight Harry Potter movies to fill Gringotts twice over, the studio remains very aware that the Harry Potter franchise is still highly lucrative, and will soon be releasing a movie adaptation of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, a short book originally written by Rowling for the charity Comic Relief. As such, it wasn’t too surprising when reports emerged recently that the studio was eyeing up Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for the live-action Hollywood treatment.
Now, however, Warner Bros. has released a short statement categorically denying the rumors. The statement simply reads: “‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is a stage play, with no plans for there to be a film.” Whilst the quote seems abruptly clear at first glance, considering how keen the studio are to carry on the movie franchise it is perhaps not something that should be viewed as telling the whole story.
The fact that Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them has been made at all is a testament to Warner Bros.’ desire to keep churning out Potter movies, and the rumors that Fantastic Beasts will ‘do a Hobbit’ and be turned into a trilogy only furthers this belief. After all, the original book upon which it’s based is under one hundred pages long. Perhaps more importantly, there’s little logic to explain why the studio wouldn’t want to adapt The Cursed Child; it is, after all, a direct continuation of the main story, and gives the perfect opportunity to bring back familiar characters who are beloved by fans.
It could be that there are legal issues at play here. With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child still very new to the stage, it has a long and profitable worldwide run ahead of it, and if news of a future movie was confirmed that could deter patrons from paying out big bucks to see the stage version. There may also have to be a renegotiation of rights and royalties, given that The Cursed Child‘s narrative was not wholly written by J.K. Rowling, as has been the case in the past.
Indeed, Warner Bros.’ statement is likely true for now. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a stage play and there may be no concrete plans for a movie version as things currently stand… but it would take a foolish Muggle to maintain that we won’t see a movie adaptation of the stage play at some point in the future. Whether the studio should keep milking the Harry Potter cow is a different question entirely, but there remains little doubt that people will still pay to see the adventures of ‘The Boy Who Lived’.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is out in theaters on 18th November.
Source: Warner Bros. (via LRM Online)