The Boy Who Lived could live again on the silver screen, if the price is right. It was the role of a lifetime, but Daniel Radcliffe is done playing Harry Potter... for the time being. The talented actor brought JK Rowling's famed wizard off of the pages of her award winning novels, which powered eight fantastic (and financially successful) feature films. But even though Rowling isn't finished telling stories in that world, Radcliffe has since moved on. The question now becomes, "For how long?"
*UPDATE: *Warner Bros. has provided CinemaBlend with a statement regarding a possible Cursed Child movie, saying: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a stage play, with no plans for there to be a film."
*From Earlier: *Over in the UK, the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is packing in theater audiences on a daily basis. Written for the stage by Jack Thorne (from a story by JK Rowling), Cursed Child takes place long after the events of the book, and finds an older Harry -- in his late 30s or early 40s -- pulled into a new adventure as his children attend Hogwarts. No plot details will appear here, for those who are waiting to either read the stage play or, better yet, see it live. But the NY Daily News today runs a blind item quoting anonymous sources stating that Warner Bros. wants very much to push forward on a big-screen adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and they're willing to throw Gringotts vaults of money at Daniel Radcliffe to return to the role that made him famous.
So, let's put on a Sorting Hat and sort these rumors out.
There is no definite movement on a film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And adaptations of successful stage shows -- be it West End or Broadway -- tend to take a very long time because producers don't want to stop people from buying (expensive) tickets to the plays or musicals, if a movie version exists. This is part of the reason why Wicked has taken so long to become a movie, or why talks to turn The Book of Mormon into a comedy often stall. The shows are still packing them in. Why give audiences a cheaper alternative?
Also, Warner Bros. currently has a trilogy with Rowlings' blessings in the works, and that's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The first story in that new franchise drops on November 18, and the studio already has circled a date for a sequel. If audiences love the wizarding world of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), that gives Warner an open door to explore passages in the Rowling universe without having to dig up Harry Potter and his cohorts.
Then there's Daniel Radcliffe, who, since leaving the series that gave him professional notoriety, has been successful in distancing himself from Harry and establishing himself as a credible acting talent. So far this year, he has played a farting corpse (Swiss Army Man), a world-class illusionist (Now You See Me 2) and an undercover cop committed to taking down a group of white supremacists in Imperium. Radcliffe can't be typecast because he's taking on daring roles. Why would he run back to Harry Potter?
That being said, I do think Daniel Radcliffe eventually does return to the role of Harry Potter when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child finally makes it to theaters... only, I don't think it's happening any time soon. For the reasons mentioned above, I'm willing to bet that Cursed Child stays in its current stage form for several years, entertaining the West End before hitting the road to play New York, Los Angeles, and points in between. On the movies side, Warner Bros. will explore Rowlings' stories via the Fantastic Beasts franchise for the next few years. However, once that trilogy has run its course, they'll approach Radcliffe and see what it would take to get him to return to the series.
Movies like Mad Max: Fury Road (also at Warner), Jurassic World, Creed, and Toy Story 3 have proven that you can go back to the well, even after a lengthy break. I don't think you can properly tell Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on the big screen without Radcliffe's eventual support. Fortunately, for WB's sake, I don't think they'll have to try.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.