A ‘concerted effort’ is apparently being made to cast more performers of colour in the upcoming Harry Potter TV series reboot.
The rumours surrounding a HBO Max television series rebooting the Harry Potter film series proved to be genuine earlier this month. It will once more draw inspiration from the contentious author J.K. Rowling’s books.
This coms nearly a decade after the final movie was released, and JK Rowling herself is even in talks to act as producer to the series…
Now, Rowling may have created the beloved Harry Potter universe, but she hasn’t fallen short of controversy – especially when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community.
So much so, that many threatened to boycott the latest Harry Potter themed video game, Hogwarts Legacy.
But first lets go back to where it all began. What started out as a mere musing while stuck on a delayed train in London, 1990, led to a young Joanne Rowling conjuring up the magical story of Harry Potter.
Thirty years since it’s creation, over 500 million copies of the book franchise have been sold worldwide in eighty different languages, making it one of the best-selling book series of all time.
The adventures of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger were quick to capture a vast and loyal fanbase, with children and adults alike being instantly captivated by the novel.
So, of course, it didn’t take long for the movie adaptations to come along, bringing Rowling’s words and imagination to life by transforming them into a series of blockbuster movies.
The wizardry and witchcraft mania that was induced by the books was only exaggerated after the release of the on-screen adaptations which, collectively, grossed around $6.5 billion in total.
Despite her popularity, in recent years, many have deemed Rowling to be extremely problematic.
As some may already be aware, the author was accused of being transphobic by dozens of fans back in June 2020, after she posted a string of divisive tweets criticising a headline about “those who menstruate.”
She wrote at the time: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” referring to a post she shared.
And it only got worse from there, she went on to say: “If s*x isn’t real, there’s no same-s*x attraction. If s*x isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of s*x removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
And many said that she had now ruined Harry Potter for them.
The tweets sparked huge backlash online, and In response to the author’s comments, Harry Potter actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint spoke out, sharing their solidarity with the trans community.
Radcliffe gave a statement through the LGBT s***ide prevention charity the Trevor Project, saying: “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”
Despite all of the controversy surrounding Rowling, it seems she is still heavily involved in plans for her franchise.
Per Bloomberg, HBO (which is owned by Warner Bros Discovery) is getting close to making a deal to make a TV series based on Harry Potter.
Each season is reportedly going to be set on one of the 7 books in the world of wizardry, in news that is sure to please fans.
David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery, and HBO head Casey Bloys have reportedly been trying to get Rowling on board in a producing role, to ensure that the series ‘remains loyal’ to the tales of the books.
Discussing the new series, Warner Bros. Discovery said (via GameSpot), “Each season will be authentic to the original books and bring Harry Potter and these incredible adventures to new audiences around the world.”
And as per The Hot Mic podcast, Jeff Sneider claimed that WB Discovery would be making a “concerted effort to cast more people of colour” in the series.
As we know, Hermione was played by the BAME actress Noma Dumezweni in the London stage play, with Rowling herself defending the casting, saying at the time, “Hermione can be a Black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm,” adding that Dumezweni was “the best actress for the job”.
The casting hasn’t yet been announced, so we’ll just have to wait and see who they choose.