The Harry Potter franchise has always been a priority for Warners .


Since 2013 when Kevin Tsujihara took the reins of Warner Bros , important figures have taken turns maintaining a relationship with JK Rowling : from AT&T executive John Stankey , to Jason Kilar CEO of WarnerMedia , to Ann Sarnoff CEO of Warner Bros. under AT&T.
It was rumored, Belloni reports in Puck, that Sarnoff was interested in a Potter series for HBO Maxor other broadcasters. But there was no interest, and HBO executives never went further than suggesting potential writers. Without Rowling ‘s approval , the project didn’t make sense.

Emmerich tries The Curse of the Heir

Just before the pandemic hit the world in early 2020, Toby Emmerich traveled to London to meet Rowling’s business partner Neil Blair . The Fantastic Beasts
saga was in decline, after the first film’s $814 million in 2016, $500M less The Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Crimes of Grindelwald grossed just $654M. The third film was already in the works.

Emmerich decides to pitch a possible two-film adaptation of the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child , set 19 years after the events of the Potter books.
Returning to the wizarding world with Harry, Hermione, Ron and other key characters from the franchise would have been perfect but Rowling and the show’s producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender weren’t interested in making films.

To then proceed with the heir would have been at the same time an admission that the Fantastic Beasts saga , of which Rowling had written the first two screenplays, was not working.

A few months after that meeting came Rowling’s anti-transgender comments, the distancing of Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson from the author, and Depp ‘s sacking after Britain’s ruling in favor of the Sun that the actor was a ‘ abusive husband’ and that the description of the troubled relationship between the actor and ex-wife Amber Heard had been ‘essentially true’.

As we well know , Dumbledore’s Secret released this summer, partially overshadowed by Depp and Heard ‘s libel trial , grossed just $405M on a $200M budget.

Enter Zaslav

In this situation , Zaslav and the new directors of the film sector Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy find themselves with a big fish to fry.

  • Tsujihara had conceived a franchise consisting of five films with Fantastic Beasts , but right now everything suggests that the project is dead.
  • There are no Harry Potter movies or TV projects in development, so even if Rowling closes a deal tomorrow, script, pre-production, filming and post-production won’t see anything until 2025/2026.
  • The franchise is in excellent health, from books to video games to merchandise to live experiences (Leavesden) to Universal theme parks.
  • The Rowling Effect :
    • on the one hand we have the fandom divided due to its declarations, there are those who want to avoid it in every way and those who are waiting for new contents despite everything;
    • Are there any stars who have distanced themselves from you, would you be willing to return or participate?
    • most of the media treat her as a toxic person.

The question is there, the problem is how to answer.

Warner has full rights to adapt the seven books, could they already be aiming for remakes? It’s been 25 years since the first film directed by Chris Columbus , but let’s face it, it would be a desperate move.

For this reason The Curse is back on the table again, in the current plan, to the great disappointment of part of the fandom.