The news of a Harry Potter stage play being in development first broke in December 2013, when Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling confirmed she was developing a prequel to he original novel series - one which would focus on Harry, before he attended Hogwarts.
Plans seem to have changed somewhat since then, however, as Rowling has now confirmed that a new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is not a prequel after all. The new update on the project arrives on the 18th anniversary of the publication date for Rowling's first book about The Boy Who Lived, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" (know as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in the U.S.).
Rowling announced the news via her verified Twitter account, where she announced that Harry Potter and the Cruse Child will enjoy its world premiere at the Palace Theater, London, in Summer 2016. Here's a condensed form of what few details the author/screenwriter had to offer, with regard to this new installment in the Harry Potter franchise:
“It will tell a new story, which is the result of a collaboration between writer Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and myself. I don’t want to say too much more; because I don’t want to spoil what I know will be a real treat for fans. However, I can say that it is not a prequel! I am confident that when audiences see the play, they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story."
Jack Thorne is an English screenwriter and playwright of note, having written for TV shows such as Skins, Shameless and This is England ’86; he is currently adapting Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comic book series for the big screen. John Tiffany won a Tony Award for his direction of Broadway’s Once, and recently collaborated with Thorne on the stage adaptation of Swedish horror book-turned film, Let The Right One In. Rowling will serve as one of the co-producers on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, along with experienced theatre producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender.
Tickets for the show will go on sale this Fall, and demand is expected to be huge. The Daily Mail claims the play will focus on the story of Harry Potter’s parents, Lily and James, before they were killed by Lord Voldemort. If this is indeed the case, we can assume that Harry will only feature as a baby- if at all - since he was only a year old when they died.
This news will be welcomed by fans, who are always eager for more of the franchise since it ended with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, in 2011. The Harry Potter fandom remains strong and is perhaps even more in force than it was when the books and films were actively being released. Rowling, for her part, seems more than content to still discuss the franchise and share character backstories (as well as revealing her thought process behind their creation).
2016 will also see the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, which tells the story of author Newt Scamander in the New York community of witches and wizards, seventy years before Harry Potter and his classmates study his work at Hogwarts. The film was penned by Rowling and will star Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), and potentially, Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will begin its West End theatrical run in Summer 2016.
Source: J.K. Rowling