The Harry Potterfandom has a lot to look forward to this year when it comes to Harry Potter spinoffs…
This coming summer, we’re getting a Harry Pottersequel in the form of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Childstage play (or, if you can’t make it to London to see the performance, in the scripted book version). The Cursed Childpicks up 19 years following the events of the seventh book in the Harry Potterseries, telling the story of a middle-aged Ministry employee Harry and his son Albus. The script is being penned by Jack Thorne (Skins).
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,a Harry Potter spinoff set in the wizarding world of NYC circa 1926, will hit theaters in November 2016. The prequel-like story is based around the in-universe textbook of the same name and its magizoologist author Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne). The film will be directed by David Yates (also behind the camera for the final four Harry Potterfilms) from a screenplay written by Rowling.
Could this be the start of many more Harry Potterspin-offs to come? There’s certainly a demand for it, and J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world is rich with narrative potential. Here are seven stories we’d love to see told on stage, film, or television.
The Marauders Tale
If you’ve spent any time in the Harry Potterfandom, then you’ve probably had countless discussions about how well the story of Harry’s parents’ generation would translate into its own story: the love Severus Snape has for Lily Evans; the friendship that inspired James, Sirius, and Peter to become illegal Animagi to ease their werewolf friend Remus’ loneliness; the shocking betrayal that led to the deaths of Lily and James in Godric’s Hollow.
The story of the Marauders’ generation, if told well, could be just as compelling as the exploits of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. After all, the Marauders’ tale has already inspired multiple not-terrible-looking fan films…
Dumbledore & Grindelwald
Speaking of backstory that props up the intricate narrative of the Harry Potterseries, I’d like to get an onscreen telling of the summer Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald fell in love — or at least became BFFs. Dumbledore’s complicated younger years became a major theme in the final book of the Harry Potterseries. We learn that Albus and Gellert became fast friends the summer the latter came to stay with his Aunt Bathilda in Godric’s Hollow. The two powerful young wizards planned a “benevolent” world takeover with the plan to find the Deathly Hallows and, you know, take over the world — Muggles and all.
The summer ended in tragedy with Dumbledore’s younger sister dying during a three-way duel between Albus, Gellert, and Albus’ brother Aberforth. Neither of the Dumbledore brothers would ever be the same. Grindelwald went on to try to take over the world himself and was eventually stopped by his former friend Albus years later. Good story, right? I’m thinking standalone film. Feel free to bring back Jamie Campbell Bower as Grindelwald, Hollywood.
A version of this story has also been made into a pretty impressive fan film.
Ginny Potter: Quidditch Reporter
Fact: Ginny Weasley is awesome and doesn’t get nearly enough to do in the Harry Potterfilm franchise. Luckily, since finishing the Harry Potter book series, Rowling has taken to Pottermore to share the occasional supplementary glimpse into the wizarding world. Some of the more narratively-minded ones have been newspaper articles “written by” Ginny Weasley from the 2014 Qudditch World Cup, played in Argentina’s Patagonia desert. (Talk about a visually cool film backdrop.)
The film could stay close to Ginny Potter in her role as Daily Prophet correspondent but follow the controversy of the 427th Quidditch World Cup, starting off with the drama of the opening ceremonies (over 300 crowd members were injured when the various teams’ mascots turned on one another) and leading to a potential political plot that Ginny uncovers. (I don’t know, I’m just spitballing here, but there could easily be some kind of sports-related conspiracy here. Follow the money — or the spiders.)
The film would tie in well with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Themas one of the magizoologists on hand to quell the mascots at the cermonies was Rolf Scamander, grandson of Fantastic Beastsprotagonist and famous magizoologist Newt Scamander. Rolf also happens to be married to (or at least romantically involved with) Harry Pottersupporting character Luna Lovegood. Personally, I’ve always wanted to spend more time with Ginny and Luna. Why not give them a whole movie filled with plenty of political intrigue and the occasional Wronski Feint?
Hogwarts: The Next Generation
Though The Cursed Childwill have Harry and Ginny’s son, Albus, as one of its main characters, there’s only so much scope of story you can get into with a two-part play. We want more. I’m thinking we launch Hogwarts: The Next Generationas a TV series (because there aren’t currently enough magical boarding school dramas on TV) and focus on many of the children of the Harry Pottercharacters we know and love — and I’m not just talking Gryffindors here. Why not take the opportunity to branch out into other house dynamics? Also, let’s face it: the Slytherins are going to be the best part of this hypothetical TV drama.
Done right, Hogwarts: The Next Generationcould be one one part angsty coming-of-age story, one part boarding school hijinks, and all parts crazy magical battle (because, as far as I can tell, the wizarding community gets hit by an evil, power-hungry wizard every generation or so). Also, as a special request, let’s make this evil, power-hungry wizard a witch.
Hogwarts: The Founders’ Story
Speaking of Hogwarts, how about those founders? We know a bit about Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Godric Gryffindor, but not enough. Why not find out more via a medieval Harry Potterspinoff?
I’ll take Hogwarts: The Founders’ Storyin either film or TV series form, but it better include plenty of commentary on the current state of the educational system. Because what’s the point of having a Harry Potterspinoff about the Hogwarts’ founders if you’re not using it to say something about standardized testing and the rise of the charter school system? (Britain, feel free to throw in some contempary qualms re: education, too. I’m thinking this could be one of those transnational co-productions — i.e. Humans.)
The plot of Hogwarts: The Founders’ Storycould either a) start with the actual founding of the school and focus on the drama of four educationally minded, but philosophically disparate, wizards trying to pull off this massive project or b) focus on the later rising tension between Gryffindor, who thought all magical 11-year-olds should be given entry to Hogwarts, and Slytherin, who thought Hogwarts should just be a place for pureblood witches and wizards. After all, this would eventually lead to Slytherin’s departure. So much drama.
Harry Potter: The TV Series
It’s probably too soon after the release of the final film in the Harry Potterfilm franchise to talk about a reboot (and Rowling herself has dismissed the idea), but who hasn’t dreamed of seeing the Harry Potterbooks made into a TV series? Sure, this would be tricky with such young actors presumably required to play the central roles, but if Game of Thronescan cast such great young actors, then so can Harry Potter: The TV Series.
By turning Harry Potter into its own television serial, we’d get to keep all of the mundane-but-actually-great school stuff that usually got trimmed from the films’ streamlined plots. Way more time in various classes. Way more time doing homework in the Gryffindor common room. And way more Qudditch. What’s not to like about that?
Carry On: The Rainbow Rowell Novel
Okay, so Carry On — a novel about two teen magician-frenemies who fall in love at a wizarding school while trying to combat a great and terrible evil — isn’t actually a Harry Potterspinoff, but author Rainbow Rowell is intentionally responding to many of the tropes of The Chosen One narrative that are so prominent in Harry Potter.
The book came out just last year and is incredibly well-written, vividly imagined, and is the perfect companion to the reading of the Harry Potterseries. The book’s central protagonist, Simon Snow, is a Harry Potter analog, and roommate/love interest Baz (yes, they both happen to be dudes) is a sort-of Draco Malfoy. But what starts as a novel that you can’t help but compare to Harry Potter quickly becomes a rich, character-driven world entirely of its own.
I would love to see Carry On get an onscreen adaption (though Rowell’s novel Eleanor & Parkwill probably make it to theaters first), complete with John Green-adaptation-like soundtrack and plenty of other teen romance drama sensibilities.