Hermione Granger looking annoyed Harry Potter

David Zaslav Makes It Clear J.K. Rowling Is Very Much Still Involved in Max’s Unnecessary ‘Harry Potter’ Series

They're just "thrilled" to be working together.

It’s been a while since we heard any news regarding Max’s extremely questionable Harry Potter TV series but it looks like it’s still happening, and even has a release date target on the books.

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Max announced the series in April of 2023, detailing plans for a “decade-long series” based on J.K. Rowling’s novels, while sidestepping concerns about the author’s history of transphobia. Per the original announcement, “Each season will be authentic to the original books and bring Harry Potter and these incredible adventures to new audiences around the world, while the original, classic, and beloved films will remain at the core of the franchise and available to watch globally.”

Chairman and CEO of HBO and Max’s content, Casey Bloys, said at the time, “We are delighted to give audiences the opportunity to discover Hogwarts in a whole new way. Harry Potter is a cultural phenomenon and it is clear there is such an enduring love and thirst for the Wizarding World.” Here’s everything we know about the new Harry Potter series so far.

When will the Harry Potter series be released?

We don’t have an exact release date but in Warner Bros. Discovery’s Q4 earnings call on February 23, 2024, it was announced that the series will hit Max in 2026 and is slated to run seven seasons, with each book being adapted into an entire season.

Will J.K. Rowling be involved in the new Harry Potter series?

Yes, she will. Regarding the new adaptation, 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.”

In that same Q4 call where the release window was announced, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav did a bit of gushing over his partnership with the out-and-proud transphobe and letting everyone know she’s very much involved in this project.

“We spent some real time with J.K. and her team,” Zaslav said, according to Variety. “Both sides are just thrilled to be reigniting this franchise. Our conversations were great, and we couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead. We can’t wait to share a decade of new stories with fans around the world on Max.”

Rowling will executive produce alongside Neil Blair and Ruth Kenley-Letts, while David Heyman, who worked on the films, is set to return as well. There is currently no showrunner.

Rowling’s involvement in the development and production of the controversial reboot will only add to its increasingly negative legacy. The author has not been quiet about her transphobia and many Potter fans have turned away from the Wizarding World because of it.

During a presentation for members of the press, Bloys deflected a question about Rowling’s transphobia, saying, “No, I don’t think this is the forum [to discuss that]. That’s a very online conversation, very nuanced and complicated and not something we’re going to get into.

“Our priority is what’s on the screen. Obviously, the Harry Potter story is incredibly affirmative and positive and about love and self-acceptance. That’s our priority—what’s on screen.”

Who will be in the cast of the new Harry Potter series?

There’s no word on who will play the Golden Trio or any of their friends or enemies just yet. It’s not known if any of the original cast members—led by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint—will be involved at any point, though the cast has spoken about potential Harry Potter reboots after rumors began swirling a couple of years ago.

Daniel Radcliffe, who played Potter in the film series, said, “I would probably want to go with Sirius or Lupin. Those were always the two characters that I was like, ‘They’re great.'” However, when asked about reprising the role in a film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Radcliffe said, “I’m getting to a point where I feel like I made it out of ‘Potter’ OK, and I’m really happy with where I am now, and to go back would be such a massive change to my life.”

Rupert Grint, who played the loveable Ron Weasley, had similar thoughts. “I think going back now would be … I can’t really imagine it, but, I mean, never say never,” Grint said. “It would only be if everyone else wants to do the same. But yeah, no … I think just leave it.”

Radcliffe, Grint, Emma Watson, and many other former cast members have also outspokenly advocated for trans rights—mostly in direct response to Rowling’s harmful words and actions—so a reunion, fortunately, probably isn’t very likely.

What is the plot of the new Harry Potter series?

According to Bloys, Max wants the new Harry Potter series to be a “faithful” adaptation. She said, “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 plot of Rowling’s novels and subsequent film adaptations follow Harry Potter as he learns of his wizard heritage and his status as the chosen one, and fights the nefarious Voldemort and his Death Eaters alongside magical and non-magical allies.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Author
Brooke Pollock
Brooke Pollock is a UK-based entertainment journalist who talks incessantly about her thoughts on pop culture. She can often be found with her headphones on listening to an array of music, scrolling through social media, at the cinema with a large popcorn, or laying in bed as she binges the latest TV releases. She has almost a year of experience and her core beat is digital culture.