Warner Bros. Wants to Make More ‘Harry Potter’ Movies
You do not need me to tell you that the word that drives all of Hollywood movies these days isn’t even a word. It’s two letters: IP. No franchise is ever truly dead so long as there is more money to be made from it.
For example, the Harry Potter story was always intended as a finite one, which concluded in both J.K. Rowling’s novels and the movie adaptations with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The wizarding world has been expanded in different ways since then, like the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies and the Harry Potter stage play, but Rowling hasn’t written a new Harry Potter novel in well over a decade.
But that isn’t stopping Warner Bros., the studio that produced the Harry Potter franchise, from looking for ways to start it back up again. During a call with investors this week, the head of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, said that his company‘s focus is “franchises” — including, potentially, Harry Potter. As he put it:
We haven’t had a Superman movie in 13 years. We haven’t done a Harry Potter in 15 years. The DC movies and the Harry Potter movies provided a lot of the profits for Warner Bros…over the past 25 years.
Zaslav’s numbers aren’t quite right. The last solo Superman movie, Man of Steel, came out nine years ago. And the final Harry Potter film was in 2011. (Dating the series end to “15 years” ago also, quite interestingly, ignores the fact that since then the company has released three Potter prequels in the form of the Fantastic Beasts series. That probably tells you a lot about how well those movies have done for the company.) Zaslav said WBD is very intent on making new films “if we can do something with J.K. on Harry Potter going forward.”
That would seem to be a not insignificant if, since Rowling has so far resisted the pressure to write a new Harry Potter novel (and continues to make enormous amounts of money from the merchandising and licensing of the ones she already did write). The ball — or I guess the Golden Snitch in this case — is in her court.