With franchise creator J.K. Rowling and "Fantastic Beasts" star Johnny Depp (now "ex-star") finding themselves wand-deep in self-inflicted controversies over the past several months, is a fresh return to the wizarding world a smart move right now? WarnerMedia's streaming service HBO Max is apparently willing to take that chance, with Variety reporting that a "Harry Potter" series is currently in "very early development." To be honest, it's very early- as in, no writers or talent attached, no idea on what the focus of the show would be, or what part of the "Harry Potter" timeline it would focus on. Oh, and HBO Max and Warner Bros. have currently not responded to reports.
That said and even with the controversies in play, the "Harry Potter" franchise is like a magical bank account for WarnerMedia. The seven-book series is one of the most popular of all time, having sold over 500 million copies worldwide and adapted into a hit eight-film franchise (grossing nearly $8 billion worldwide). The prequel spinoff "Fantastic Beasts" has offered two films so far with the third of the five planned films set for 2022. And let's not forget the stage sequel to the book series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
As more and more multimedia companies look to their IP libraries to see what can be revamped, reimagined, rebooted, restarted, equalized, or "prequalized," it felt like it was only a matter of time before the "Harry Potter" universe would get a look from the streaming side. Considering how well Disney is doing by expanding into more shared universes and spinoff series for Marvel, "Star Wars," and Disney and Pixar Animation worlds, one can safely assume that even some IP we never thought would see the light of day may be resurrected (which means we're keeping the candle burning again for a Friday the 13th sequel/restart series).