Featured in the February 2021 issue of The Rowling Library Magazine.

Our GrangerVision? Everything we know about the rumored Harry Potter TV series

1211 words.
By P. Tarantino. Illustration by Fausto Giurescu.

A Harry Potter TV series is what is missing in the franchise. It is the last thing that the fandom still dreams of. It has been the main topic this month with announcements, rumours, theories, news, denials and even more theories. Here is all we know.

GrangerVision - Illustration by Fausto Giurescu
GrangerVision – Illustration by Fausto Giurescu

Ron Weasley is on the couch eating a sandwich, some crumbs on his robes. There is a Chuddley Cannon pennant on the wall behind him. A door, possibly the entrance to the house, on his right. He is watching a Quidditch game on a magical TV, or at least that is what seems to be. The writers were not convinced to include a TV in the Wizarding World, but they thought, in the end, it wouldn’t affect the canon that much. Then the door opens and Hermione Granger, Ministry of Magic, enters the scene. She is tired. Folders filling her arms. Two kids run towards her. She says a joke and a laugh track is played.

This is our own idea of a sitcom based on the married life of Harry Potter’s two best friends: the adventures of Hermione Granger at the Ministry of Magic, and Ronald Weasley, who runs a joke shop on Diagon Alley. Would it be a copy of WandaVision, Disney+ TV show based on the characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe? A bit. Or a bit too much, probably. But the Harry Potter fandom is at a point where any TV show based on the Wizarding World will be well-received. Especially if the idea does not involve Lord Voldemort or Albus Dumbledore, characters that we’ve already seen in prequels and sequels of the original Harry Potter books.

Harry Potter on TV is a recurrent topic, but at the beginning of the year it was the main topic everywhere. It all started with a piece of news by The Hollywood Reporter: “’Harry Potter’ Live-Action TV Series in Early Development at HBO Max (Exclusive)”. The title said it all, and “Harry Potter” and “TV series” became trending topics on Twitter just after a few minutes.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources said that executives at HBO Max had meetings with writers to explore possible ideas to bring the Harry Potter property to television. The article was not clear if it would be a new story based on the Wizarding World, or just a new adaptation of the books – something that some fans have been asking for years. The dream of having every detail from the books on the screen sounds interesting, at least.

The article, published by journalist Lesley Goldberg, had another paragraph that a lot of people decided to ignore: “There are no Harry Potter series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform,” HBO Max and Warner Bros. reaffirmed in a statement to THR.

Warner Bros was denying any Harry Potter series in that very statement, which was buried in the middle of the article, right after the paragraph that said there was a project in development. Warner Bros. had shared the statement with The Hollywood Report before they ran the article, but the magazine decided to go with their story, in what seemed a weird movement for an online medium who is respected for its seriousness when dealing with exclusive news. After a few hours, and when the news became viral, Warner Bros. asked us to share their official statement, trying to reach more fans with the truth. A hard task after the big news was shared in every country of the planet.

But this is not the first time that Warner Bros. had to deal with something like this. More than a year ago, in July 2019, the website We Got This Covered published a similar article saying HBO Max was working on a Wizarding World TV Show. The studio had to debunk the rumours, that time saying: “There are no plans to develop the Harry Potter stories into a television series, reports to the contrary are entirely conjecture.”

After this latest report this past January, even J.K. Rowling’s website had to be updated with the official statement. But even after all the attempts to clarify what was going on, some fans kept saying it was all a lie: Warner Bros was hiding the truth and they were working on it, but they could not talk about it because this was a leak and accepting it would confirm the news. 

This theory that claimed there was some kind of cover up was based on Tom Ascheim recent promotion on Warner Bros. Ascheim, a television producer and executive, was appointed in the second half of January to a new position in which he will oversee the studio’s Harry Potter franchise and Wizarding World properties. Because he will be working as the nexus between WarnerMedia and J.K. Rowling, some people started to theorize about his new position and how this could affect the Wizarding World.

Ann Sarnoff, chief at WarnerMedia, said “I’m excited for Tom to be leading our efforts and look to him and his team to work across the company to discover innovative and creative ways of keeping the Wizarding World fresh and relevant for years to come”, and Ascheim added “I look forward to going even further in exploring and expanding all of the opportunities we have in this incredible world.” Some fans took this as a confirmation that Warner Bros was pursuing to develop a Harry Potter streaming show, but this was not the case yet. In fact, as Variety reported at the time, the studio didn’t make any concrete plans for the future of Harry Potter in the official announcement.

This does not mean that we are never going to see a Harry Potter streaming show. In my personal opinion, it will happen, maybe sooner than later. WarnerMedia and HBO Max would be interested in a production like that, since Harry Potter is a franchise at the same level as Star Wars or Marvel. But since J.K. Rowling still has the creative control over her creation, they might need to convince her first with a good idea. And if that was possible with Cursed Child, I think it may be possible again.

The Ministress - Illustration by Fausto Giurescu
The Ministress – Illustration by Fausto Giurescu

The Ministress, our own idea of a TV show showing the stressful days of Granger, our most recent Minister of Magic, dealing with the problems at the highest level at the Ministry, and her husband Ron Weasley, would be something interesting to watch. For once, we would like to see a story about the ordinary Wizarding World without Dark Lords trying to rise to power. Just regular wizards and witches living their lives, something we never got to see in the movies.

But unfortunately it looks that it will not happen any time soon. In a recent interview on February 10th, Casey Bloys, the Chief Content Officer at HBO and HBO Max, put the nail in the coffin to close this dream for a few months at least. When asked by Entertainment Weekly about the rumours of a Harry Potter series on the platform, he simply said “There are no deals in place. There are no writers. There’s nothing.”

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