Could “The Boy Who Lived” see new life — on the small screen?
Rumors swirled Monday that a “Harry Potter” TV series is in development at HBO Max. There have long been talks of a “Potter”-verse series, according to Variety, but there was zero info revealed about this one — including cast, writers, or even the time period.
When contacted by The Post, Warner Bros. and HBO Max released this killjoy joint statement: “There are no Harry Potter series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform.”
That said, if something clandestine actually is in the works, it could be a redo of the “Harry Potter” books themselves, which came out between 1997 and 2007. After all, even with eight big-screen movie adaptations (grossing almost $8 billion worldwide), there’s plenty of material that was cut, such as a lot of the Marauder’s backstory, or Hermione’s house-elf crusade.
But a TV series could also easily be set in a different era in the rich “Harry Potter” world — after all, the spinoff movie franchise “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is set around World War II, several decades before the events of the series, when Dumbledore was young enough to be Jude Law. Harry’s parents’ generation is rife for a focus. A 1970s- and ’80s-era Hogwarts could be fascinating on-screen.
Would original cast members such as Daniel Radcliffe or Emma Watson be involved? Time will tell. There are also several scandals that might complicate that.
For one, author J.K. Rowling has come under fire lately for her controversial views on transgender people, which she outlined in a lengthy manifesto and could be an issue for the Potter series making a comeback. After a series of celebrity statements criticizing Rowling, “Harry Potter” headliner Radcliffe spoke out in support of the enduring franchise in June.
“To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you,” he said about Rowling’s statements.
The spinoff “Fantastic Beats” franchise — which still has three more movies coming — has also not been without controversy, as star Johnny Depp exited the venture under a cloud of domestic violence allegations.
The “Potter” books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and remain a hit, so they could also be controversy-proof as a pop-culture juggernaut.
A young Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter.Alamy