The most magical news of the year for Potterheads was revealed earlier this year in April. Max (formerly HBO Max) has announced a new Harry Potter series that is in the making.
This is the first time that the beloved wizarding world of J.K. Rowling will be adapted for the small screen. While some fans have expressed their excitement about the series, others consider a new adaptation too soon and unnecessary at this point. Nevertheless, the announcement of the show has been one of the most discussed topics in the world of entertainment.
The story of Harry Potter is not unknown to anyone. The series tells the story of a young boy who discovers he is a wizard and joins a magical school, where he makes friends, learns spells, and battles the evil Voldemort.
It is a tale of adventure, friendship, and courage that has captivated generations of readers and viewers. As Potterheads, we all have our own views about the series. But before you make up your mind, let’s find out what we know about the series as of now and what it plans to achieve.
So, here’s a complete guide for all Potterheads about the upcoming new Harry Potter series on Max. Lumos!
1. Harry Potter TV Show Release Date
Max has not yet announced any official release date for the newly announced Harry Potter TV show. Considering the vast premise of the show, it will take at least a few years for the show to release on the platform.
HBO is known for its high-quality television shows, especially for its popular franchises. However, this quality comes with a long production time. For instance, the gap between the finale of Game of Thrones and the premiere of House of the Dragon was three years.
Game of Thrones is a useful case study for estimating the Harry Potter TV show release date. The series started development in January 2007 and only premiered in April 2011.
That is four years. A more recent example of HBO Max’s production timeframes is The Last of Us, which was announced for HBO Max in March 2020 and premiered on January 15, 2023. That is a nearly three-year span. Based on these examples, we can predict the likely release date for the Harry Potter TV show.
The HBO Max Harry Potter TV show will likely have a large scale and scope, implying a long production time. Therefore, the network may not be ready to premiere the series for several years.
A possible comparison is Game of Thrones, which had a similar production time. This means that Harry Potter fans may have to be patient. However, there could be a silver lining: the show could premiere in 2027, marking the 30th anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
2. Harry Potter TV Show Cast
The cast of HBO Max’s Harry Potter TV show has not been announced yet, but there will be a lot of interest in who will play the roles in the Harry Potter remake.
The movies featured many renowned English actors, such as Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Domhnall Gleeson, and Helena Bonham Carter, to name a few.
These actors have won various awards for their performances in the films. Given the popularity of the source material and HBO’s tendency to reuse the same actors, the show is expected to have some prominent names in its cast.
The roles of the main characters in Harry Potter are closely associated with Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint, who became famous for their portrayals. They were fortunate that the child actors Warner Bros. cast for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone matured into skilled and dedicated young adults who embodied their characters.
The Harry Potter TV show will need to find similar talent if it follows the books, as it will require multiple child actors who can perform consistently and commit to the project for several years. Harry Potter has a vast and loyal fan base who care deeply about the characters, so choosing the best actors will be crucial for HBO Max’s success.
3. HBO’s Confirmation Video for the Harry Potter Series
HBO Max announced the official confirmation of the Harry Potter TV show on April 12, 2023, on their official social media handles. Their tweet included a short video that showed the magical floating candles from the movies, which lit up Hogwarts’ Great Hall and spelled out “Harry Potter” in the distinctive font of the series.
The video also revealed the image of the iconic magical school in the background, with the Max Original logo above the title. Check out the video here:
This is Max’s first official confirmation of the Harry Potter TV show, but it was not a surprise for many. Despite the controversy around the author, Warner Bros. was reportedly close to a deal with Rowling. Warner Bros., who owns HBO and Max, also produced and distributed the movie adaptations, so a series deal would likely be finalized.
4. The Challenges of Recasting Characters
It goes without saying that casting for this series will be extremely difficult. It has only been around 12 years since the Harry Potter film series came to an end. The audience hasn’t forgotten the excellent performances that the original film cast delivered in the series.
It is hard to imagine anyone else playing Severus Snape the way Alan Rickman did, Sirius Black the way Gary Oldman did, or even Minerva McGonagall the way Maggie Smith did. I will specially talk about Alan Rickman’s performance as Professor Snape and Helena Bonham Carter’s performance as Bellatrix Lestrange.
Both Rickman and Lestrange immortalized their respective characters, and it hasn’t been long since we witnessed their performances on the big screen. No matter who the makers now cast in the series, they will always be judged on the basis of the high standards set by their predecessors.
Coming to the casting of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, it will again be difficult for Potterheads to accept any other actor in these roles. The main problem is that it hasn’t been too long since the movie series came to an end (a couple of decades cannot be considered too long in this case). Remakes and numerous adaptations of a piece of literary work are possible and common, but there should at least be a certain gap between two remakes.
Nevertheless, while it will be difficult to accept new actors so soon, there is no reason why the new cast will not be able to win over the audience. When Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson were cast in their roles, no one knew if they could deliver and match up to the massive expectations. But they did. So, let us all give the new cast a chance before coming to any conclusions.
5. Daniel Radcliffe on the Harry Potter Show
Since the confirmation of the Harry Potter TV show in April, HBO has not shared much information about the project. However, Daniel Radcliffe, who played the original Harry in the movies, has faced many questions about his opinion on the reboot. In an interview with Variety, the actor said:
I’m excited about it as a viewer. I’ll be able to enjoy it with everyone else, possibly, with a slightly different perspective. It’s a nice thing that a whole new generation is going to get introduced to the stories in a new way. They’ll see it as a TV series, so they’ll probably have time to go into all the things. So, for the people that were angry about things that were cut from the film, hopefully, they will finally be able to see the full version they wanted.
In another interview, the actor hinted that he will not be a part of the new Harry Potter show as it will be strange. Check out the quote here:
“I certainly haven’t. I mean, I don’t; I think it’s very much like they’re going for a new series, and it would be, there would be somebody else playing Harry. So I think it would be very weird for me to show up. I’m very, you know, I’m very excited to see what other people do with that. And I think the thing, you know, the comparison I’ve made is like to a story like ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ You know, it was always gonna; I think the Potter series of books was always going to be bigger than one interpretation or one franchise. So it’ll be cool to, like, see the, the torch gets passed on,”
While Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have all denied being a part of the series, it will not be surprising if they feature in a cameo or a special appearance in the series. There were rumors that Tom Felton (who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films) would play Draco’s father, Lucius Malfoy, in the new series. But there has been no confirmation regarding the same.
6. Why the Harry Potter Show is a Good Idea
While it is true that many have different views regarding the Harry Potter show, we should consider both sides.
The Harry Potter movies are extremely popular even today. But if you’ve read the books like me, I’m sure you had certain problems with the movies. Most importantly, the movies could not do justice to the vast setting and the complexity of the plot of the books.
The movies also removed many characters from the films, and many important scenes from the books were not a part of the films. Peeves the Poltergeist is one of the recurring characters in the books who does not appear in the films. The entire plot related to the prophecy and Neville being the Chosen One was not explored. Most importantly, Voldemort and Dumbledore’s backstories are not touched upon properly.
So, a web series would probably do more justice to the vast premise of the books and its characters. If one season with around 10-12 episodes is dedicated to each book, perhaps all characters will find some space in the adaptation. We will also be able to understand the characters in greater depth.
Moreover, a 2023 adaptation will perhaps keep the idea of inclusivity in mind, and the casting choices will be a little more diverse than the predominantly white cast of the films.
Considering these factors, a Harry Potter web series is perhaps not a bad idea. But there’s always another side to it, so there are also many reasons why some fans are not keen on this show.
7. Why the Harry Potter Show is Not a Good Idea
While it is true that the Harry Potter films do not do justice to the films, they are still considered iconic, and the actors have already become synonymous with the characters they’ve played. It is difficult for the same generation to accept another cast so soon.
Viewers will be biased while watching the series; therefore, the series will not be judged fairly. The actors will be constantly compared to their counterparts in the movies, and even if one delivers a good performance, it will not receive enough recognition due to the existing bias towards the movies.
I also can’t help but wonder about the theme parks and studios that exist all over the world to give a glimpse of the world of Harry Potter to the fans. The Warner Brothers Studios, the Harry Potter Studios in the UK, and many theme parks over the world are based on the Harry Potter films only. The sets where the films were shot are iconic, and similar sets and theme parks are visited by millions today.
Creating a new show with new sets and premises will greatly harm these theme parks and studios. Moreover, it will leave the audience confused as future generations will no longer be able to relate to the existing parks and studios.
Lastly, though the Harry Potter films left out significant details, it is not a big deal as most book adaptations have to consider doing so to adapt the story to another medium. The makers did a good enough job, so why fix something that is not broken?
We should also consider J.K. Rowling’s controversial comments regarding the transgender community in the last few years. Many aspects of Harry Potter have not aged well, and the series being adapted for the digital medium again does not look like a good idea to me.
Nevertheless, if you still hold the Harry Potter franchise close to your heart and it reminds you of your magical childhood, give the new cast a chance. After all, whether we come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome us home.
8. About Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a film series based on the eponymous novel series by J. K. Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films, beginning with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and culminating with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
The film series follows Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, and his journey to take down the evil wizard Lord Voldemort and save Hogwarts, the Wizarding School he attended, with his best friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
The series was mainly produced by David Heyman, and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson as the three leading characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger.