Warner Bros Discovery was very busy last week, as it dropped numerous details relating to its rebrand of HBO Max, which will soon be renamed Max. That long-rumored reveal was accompanied by a slew of official announcements regarding upcoming content. One of the titles that truly captured the Internet’s attention is the new Harry Potter series, a reboot that had only been reported about up until last week. What really seemed to strike the public was the fact that WBD promoted it using the OG franchise’s footage, logo and music. This sparked some fan theories in regard to the two continuities possibly being one and the same. Now, one of the streamer’s head honcho’s provided some clarification.
The notion of a Harry Potter revamp seems to be very surprising for a number of fans, but it was probably even more off-putting for them to see such familiar marketing materials for what’s been dubbed a reboot. Don’t be misled by the presence of John Williams’ iconic score, however, not all is as it seems. Amid the swirling theories, Pato Spagnoletto – who serves as Warner Bros. Discovery’s global chief marketing officer of direct-to-consumer – confirmed that this is a fresh take on the Wizarding World mythos. Apparently, he and his colleagues used the familiar sights and sounds for a different reason:
So the exec, who spoke with Variety sometime after Warner Bros Discovery’s big spiel, says that he and the marketing team were merely looking to channel the essence of what had come before. And in doing so, they’d pay tribute to the beloved series that was headlined by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint for over a decade. Of course, the company isn’t going to be able to lean on the familiar for long.
Believe it or not, Rupert Grint guessed months ago that a small-screen reimagining would happen and, accio surprise, it panned out. What we know about the Harry Potter TV series is that it’ll (obviously) feature an entirely new cast that’ll likely cast newcomers to play the young wizard and his friends. The project has also been touted as a “faithful” adaptation of the books written by J.K. Rowling, who serves as an EP. WBD is also investing in this one for the long haul, too, as it’ll tentatively air over the course of a decade.
Fans across social media have been sharing thoughts on the high-profile production, and many of them seem either cautious or confused. The film franchise is incredibly iconic after all, so why try to update something that’s already delighted audiences for years? Though I suppose someone could argue that this might help hook a new generation of Potter fans.
We could debate the merits of the coming-of-age series all day but, aside from that, it’s good to have some clarification in regard to the early marketing materials. I can’t say exactly what we’re going to get with this new Max project, but what I do know is that the producers have a major hill to climb.
Anyone who’d like to revisit the Harry Potter movies and the reunion special can stream them using an HBO Max subscription.