Yer a TV series, Harry. On April 12, HBO Max (henceforth known as just Max) confirmed reports that the magical Harry Potter book series by controversial author J.K. Rowling is being adapted for television.
Rumors have been floating around about an HP series since January 2021, but it looks like it’s finally happening. “Your Hogwarts letter is here,” the streaming service tweeted on April 12. “Max has ordered the first ever #HarryPotter scripted television series, a faithful adaptation of the iconic books.”
Your Hogwarts letter is here.
— HBO Max (@hbomax) April 12, 2023
So what, exactly, does a “faithful adaptation” look like? Here’s everything we know so far.
What do we know about the plot?
Well, have you read the books? “This new Max Original series will dive deep into each of the iconic books that fans have continued to enjoy for all of these years,” the chairman and CEO of HBO & Max content said on April 12 during a Max streaming event, per Deadline.
If you somehow don’t know, the Harry Potter series follows a young boy who discovers he’s a wizard after his 11th birthday. Years after the tragic deaths of his parents at the hands of an evil wizard, Harry Potter (originated onscreen by Daniel Radcliffe) juggles learning magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with protecting the wizarding world from Voldemort and his Death Eaters. There’s also a wizard sport that takes place on brooms called quidditch. It’s important you know that.
How many seasons will there be?
Earlier in April 2023, Bloomberg reported that HBO Max was in talks with Rowling to produce a multi-season TV series wherein each of the seven Harry Potter books would have its own season. However, now that the adaptation has been confirmed, it looks like the one-book-per-season report was not quite accurate. “For 10 consecutive years, people will see Harry Potter on [Max],” Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said.
Considering the films, which began with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001, split the seventh book into two movies, it’s quite possible the Max series will take a similar approach.
J.K. Rowling will be heavily involved in the series.
In recent years, Rowling went from a beloved author to a divisive figure following a series of controversial statements. After Rowling did not return to Hogwarts for the film series’ 20th anniversary special, many fans hoped she would be kept away from the television series. This is not the case.
“J.K. is an executive producer, and her insights will be helpful,” Bloys said on the subject, per The Hollywood Reporter. “We are in the Harry Potter business. The TV show is new and exciting, but we’ve been in the Harry Potter business for 20 years; this isn’t a new decision. We’re comfortable being in the Potter business. J.K. is a very online conversation…. It’s very nuanced and complicated and not something we’re going to get into. Our priority is what’s onscreen. The Harry Potter story is incredibly affirmative and positive about love and acceptance, and that’s our priority, what’s on the screen.”
In her own statement, Rowling said, “Max’s commitment to preserving the integrity of my books is important to me, and I’m looking forward to being part of this new adaptation which will allow for a degree of depth and detail only afforded by a long-form television series.”
What do we know about the cast?
Per Variety, the series will feature an entirely new cast, though it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Beyond the golden trio, it will be incredibly difficult for any actor to follow Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange, the late Alan Rickman as Professor Snape, or the late Robert Coltrane as Hagrid, just to name a few of the iconic performances from the films.
There’s a rumor going around that Tom Felton (who originated the role of Draco Malfoy) will return to the franchise to play Draco’s father Lucius Malfoy. This is far from confirmed but definitely an entertaining thought.
When will the first season air?
According to Deadline, we’re probably looking at 2025 or 2026.
There could be other spin-offs coming. “We’re free to do anything we want,” Zaslav said in April 2023, per Deadline. “Some areas we need to do with J.K.; other areas we have the full ability to go forward. This is a full deployment on Max of Harry Potter. We can still develop other properties.”
Originally published on Glamour.com.