Reports began circulating recently that Warner Bros. was in the very early stages of talking to writers about a Harry Potter series, and it didn't take long at all for Warner to deny that any such thing was in development. Still, with the production company making a concerted effort as of late to greenlight series based on some of its most popular franchises, it wouldn't be hard to believe that something is being discussed but not ready to announce yet.
If any talks are happening now, I can't help but feel a need to push this out into the universe. The perfect Harry Potter series, in my eyes, is one that doesn't include any of the main cast or Hogwarts as the main setting. I can't express how bad an idea this is compared to the value of giving viewers something new, even if there's evidence to point to the contrary. Here's why.
A Series Set At Hogwarts Could Feel Like Harry Potter 2.0
If you were to look at the Harry Potter books on paper (as most of us did growing up), they'd make the perfect series for streaming. Suspense builds throughout the school year, there's a slot for a holiday episode midway through, and the most action typically happens right at the end of the school year. It's a tempting formula any show could capitalize on, but in doing so, you're essentially creating Harry Potter 2.0.
While Harry Potter's adventures are about all we have to go on when it comes to the typical Hogwarts experience, it should be stressed that his experience was anything but typical. I have to imagine out of the centuries it has been a school, scores of students went through classes and graduated without catastrophic incident or mass casualties. You'd have to believe the return of Voldemort certainly led to extenuating circumstances, most of which wouldn't have occurred in a normal school year.
And yet, audiences would probably expect a Hogwarts series to have those same beats. So a writer is tasked with delivering an entertaining story that isn't derivative of the original story, or run the risk of writing a series that people think is "boring" or doesn't live up to the hype and intrigue of Harry Potter. I don't think any series will be able to fully escape comparisons to Harry Potter not setting the series at Hogwarts (see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them), but I also think it removes some pressure from trying to outdo what the original books and movies did.
We Already Know A Lot Of What The Main Characters Did Post-Voldemort
As far as catching up with old characters from the original story, we already know the most interesting beats of what happened. Ginny and Harry got married, Ron and Hermione got married, and they all ended up sending their kids to Hogwarts despite the harrowing experience they shared. In fact, the story even goes further if you consider The Cursed Child canon, which author J.K. Rowling does. Many will remember reception to that story is polarizing, to say the least, and should be evidence alone why a follow up with these characters isn't necessary.
The Wizarding World should be just that: the Wizarding World. For me, it's consistently frustrating that a franchise that is comprised of a whole world of wizards continually finds ways to tie in key characters from the original stories and make them integral to the plot. Granted, Star Wars does it, but Star Wars also does a lot more with television, books, and comics than Harry Potter has ever done.
Would it be cool to see a Draco Malfoy series that goes the direction of Cobra Kai and humanizes the villainous kid even further? I can't say the idea doesn't interest me, and I'd jump at about any chance to see Tom Felton in a series since I loved his time on The Flash. Again though, we already know a decent chunk of what happens to him after Harry Potter, so I struggle to find the value that brings. Ultimately, something new gives fans a chance to fall in love again and keeps the series from becoming another divisive Cursed Child that unintentionally causes division in the fandom.
The Wizarding World Needs To Expand
If a series set in the Harry Potter universe is on the way, I think it should be working on further expanding the Wizarding World rather than re-treading familiar ground. There are supposedly wizarding schools all around the world, and while it may be a pain in the ass to find another castle to film in, I'd like to see them. Show me something I haven't seen, like how the magic world competes with the magic of smartphones! Seriously, would any wizard teen today send an owl when they could email infinitely faster?
There are some pretty awesome Wizarding schools around this fictional world. The selfish American in me wants a series based around Ilvermorny (the American school), but there are plenty of other suitable schools way different than Hogwarts worth exploring. For example, the Uagadou academy is located in Uganda and encourages students to practice spells without a wand. I can't think of anything as far removed from Hogwarts as that, and I'd certainly like to know more about that section of the Wizarding World.
Or, what about a school like Mahoutokoro, which is not a boarding school? I always wondered why Hogwarts didn't have an option for kids to commute, as I definitely wouldn't have wanted to live at my school 24/7. Honestly, I don't even need this series to be set at any school, but having one without a boarding requirement would allow fans to see other parts of the magic world. There's just a lot of territory and opportunity in a Wizarding World series, and I would hate for the opportunity to learn something new to be squandered rehashing all the stuff we already know about the franchise.
Once again, though, the official stance of Warner Bros. is that no such series is in development. Even if that is the case, that doesn't mean we aren't free to discuss our hopes and expectations for a series in the Potter-verse, so feel free to share what you'd like to see in the comments. For more on Harry Potter, check out why Ron actor Rupert Grint decided to speak out against author J.K. Rowling's transgender comments.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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