While 2011 marked the conclusion of the Harry Potter film franchise with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, we knew that wouldn’t be the end end. Indeed, just three years later Warner Bros. found a way to keep the cash cow alive by announcing a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy scripted by J.K. Rowling herself. The first film in that franchise hits theaters this November, with Rowling having already penned the sequel and director David Yates returning to helm, but with the new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premiering in London this summer (along with the release of the script book worldwide), everyone’s been abuzz wondering if we could see an adult Harry Potter return to the big screen.
The answer is of course we could. Harry Potter is one of the most important franchises in Warner Bros.’ library, so much so that they have an entire development arm at the studio devoted to overseeing future films—which as of right now is the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise. While that series will get off the ground later this year by opening up the wizarding world to 1920s New York, which is entirely Potter-free, a rumor is making the rounds that Warner Bros. is already trying to piece together a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child movie.
The NY Daily News is claiming that the studio is hoping to bring Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to the big screen as early as 2020, with WB focused on getting Daniel Radcliffe to reprise his role as Harry Potter in a story that revolves around the sons of Potter and Draco Malfoy and their misadventures at and around Hogwarts. The report also claims that the studio is considering turning the 5-hour play into a potential new trilogy.
It should be noted that the NY Daily News is not the most reliable of sources, and the validity of this report isn’t necessarily rock solid. For one, the timeline doesn’t make sense. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 is currently slated for release on November 20, 2020—there’s no way the studio would infringe upon this new wizarding world franchise by upstaging it with the release of a brand new Harry Potter movie in the same year. Moreover, Radcliffe will only be 31 in the year 2020. Potter is in his 40s in the play. Now movie magic could certainly age up the actor, but with the Fantastic Beasts franchise already underway, why rush into things with a performer who is busy exploring all different kinds of roles at the moment?
Will Warner Bros. turn Harry Potter and the Cursed Child into a movie? Undoubtedly. It’s a new piece of canon material that wraps up the Harry Potter story in dynamic and spectacular fashion, plus it’s based on a story that Rowling herself helped concoct. But are the particulars of this rumor to be believed? I’d wager no.
There are also quite a few obstacles in the practicality of the Cursed Child story that may make it very difficult to adapt to the big screen. Without spoiling anything, there are certain characters who reappear in Cursed Child that may be tough to bring back for a feature film adaptation. Moreover, Emma Watson was hesitant to even complete the Harry Potter franchise, so would she be willing to dive back into a trio of new films so soon? The original trio are a major thematic part of Cursed Child, so it’s kind of impossible to leave them out of a movie adaptation.
If I had to guess, I’d say Warner Bros. has been internally discussing the prospect of turning Harry Potter and the Cursed Child into a movie, but with the understanding that it’s still quite a ways off from being something that’s in active development. Just think, it’d be kind of neat to see 40-year-old Radcliffe, Watson, and Rupert Grint reprising their roles in 10 or 15 years, with a cadre of newcomers stepping into the franchise as their children. That’d be a solid way to continue the story without ruffling too many feathers in the talent realm, but the difficulties of turning Cursed Child into a cohesive movie (let alone a trilogy) remain.
So yeah, expect these rumors to continue to swirl, but I’d be surprised if we heard official word from Warner Bros. about a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child movie happening before the Fantastic Beasts franchise concludes.