If you guessed that the Harry Potter buzz would die down in the years following the release of the final movie, you'd be wrong. In fact, J.K. Rowling's beloved book series and the films that followed seem to be experiencing a resurgence of interest these days, likely due at least in part to the attention generated by the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando and the opening of a similar park at Universal Studios Japan. From the sound of it, Warner Bros. is looking to push forward in expanding and promoting the Potter brand, and that apparently includes getting organized.
Variety reports that Warner Bros. Entertainment has put together a "Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team," which will be based out of London and Burbank, with the goal of developing and executing "a high-level strategic vision for the Harry Potter Brand and its ancillary businesses." That may or may not translate to "more Harry Potter" in general. At the very least, it sounds like WB is aiming to get organized with the Harry Potter franchise in an effort to maximize its presence across the globe. As Variety notes, this move follows last year's announcement that WB had formed a creative partnership with J.K. Rowling.
This update gives us the opportunity to take a look at what's happening and what's ahead for the franchise, including the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies, which are expected to be a trilogy. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is writing the screenplay for that.
On the tourism side, there's the mentioned Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions in both Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Japan. There's also the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter, and also set to take place in the U.K. is the stage play, which is expected to focus on Harry Potter's early life, and is set to open in London's West End in 2015. Variety also mentions "a suite of Harry Potter digital services, and products including J.K. Rowling's own initiative, "Pottermore."
The Pottermore website grabbed a lot of attention earlier this month when Rowling offered fans an update on the status of her beloved characters through an article written by fictitious gossip writer Rita Skeeter, reporting from the Quidditch World Cup. The end of that article noted that Rita's new biography: Dumbledore's Army: The Dark side of the Demob would be available at Floursih and Blotts -- the Diagon Alley bookstore -- on July 31. That's tomorrow. So we're hopeful that's a clue that there's something else coming from Rita Skeeter, and the timing would be perfect, as tomorrow just so happens to be Harry Potter's birthday. The character would be turning thirty-four.
And speaking of birthdays, we'll close this update out with a shoutout to another Gryffindor character.
Happy birthday, Neville Longbottom!
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