With the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – both as a stageplay and as a script book – the story of Harry Potter The torch has been passed to the next generation, and Rowling has no intention of returning to Harry’s world. Of course, we’ve all heard Rowling say that before, and the very existence of this stageplay suggests we should take her words with a pinch of salt, but let’s assume she’s telling the truth. Does that mean we can’t return to the wizarding world at all?
That’s obviously not the case. Fans are soon to be thrilling at Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the first film in a trilogy exploring the adventures of Newt Scamander. Warner Bros. has no intention of letting the franchise die, and the studio is instead interested in broadening it out. So what direction could these future movies take?
1. Adventures of the Past – the Story of Albus Dumbledore?
The backstory of the Harry Potter franchise is a fascinating one, with a world of magic and mystery that runs through the ages. The past impinges on the present in countless ways — such as in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which revealed the secret history of Hogwarts. Although it may be tempting to tell the secret history of Hogwarts — to show the founding the school, and the split between Salazar Slytherin and the rest — I’m not entirely sure that would work. Part of the magic of Harry Potter is that it adds a layer of magic to a world we already recognize, and a film (or series) set in the 9th and 10th centuries wouldn’t be as effective.
A more interesting possibility is the story of Albus Dumbledore. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows unveiled many of Dumbledore’s greatest secrets, including the tragic story of his battle with the dark wizard Grindelwald. Rowling has , and saw his battle with Grindelwald as a matter of tragedy as much as anything – he was forced to fight the man he loved. I think there’s plenty of room for a dramatic film there. What’s more, the date of that battle – 1945 – was clearly chosen to coincide with the end of the Second World War. It’s entirely possible that Nazi occultism was somehow tied to Grindelwald, and that a mystical war was being waged behind the scenes of World War II. This idea has a lot of potential, not just for a solo film, but potentially for a new series set against the backdrop of World War II.
Moving ahead a few decades, the Harry Potter books always celebrate the heroism of the original Order of the Phoenix. Is there another possible film series there? You can imagine the arc of the films, as Albus Dumbledore struggles to organize his allies in the war against Lord Voldemort. We’ve heard so much about those dark days, but it would be another thing to experience them. This series could continue to focus around the Potter family, this time with Lily and James at the center. There’d be an element of growing tragedy to them, as we knew of the Potters’ inevitable fate.
These are only some of – there really is so much potential!
2. Adventures of the Present – Show Us the Magical World!
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is our first real glimpse of the wider magical world, as the Harry Potter books and films are focused on England. There’s so much potential – after all, we know there are other wizarding schools across the world! Personally, I’d love to see more of to be introduced in Fantastic Beasts.
All across the world, wizards and witches are having adventures; taming dragons; dealing with giants; and, of course, playing Quidditch. The potential for stories in other countries is immense. What’s more, each could be made unique by tapping into the folklore of the different countries for magical creatures or enemies. If you want to tell the story of Koldovstoretz School in Russia, use a Russian legend (perhaps linking in to the historical figure Rasputin and his ‘sorcery’). Or, with Mahoutokoro School of Magic based on Iwo Jima in Japan, why not reveal a slumbering dragon beneath the volcanic mountains?
J. K. Rowling has created a world with infinite potential, where you can tell almost any tale you want. My advice to Warner Bros.? Take advantage of it!
3. Tales of the Future – the Next Generation!
As I’ve , it’s entirely possible that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will eventually become a movie – and J. K. Rowling’s words show real potential:
“No, no. He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done. This is the next generation, you know. So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”
The torch has been passed to Harry’s son Albus, and there’s no reason Albus couldn’t go on to adventures of his own. I’m not going to spoil Cursed Child for you here, but the character is most definitely left in a place where his story could go on!
So there you have it! Although Harry Potter’s story may be over, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them are both timely reminders that the wider wizarding world is a place of infinite potential. Whether Warner Bros. choose to tell stories based in the past, the present, or even the future, there’s no reason we have to say goodbye to that world of joy and magic any time soon. Just so long as J. K. Rowling’s wiling to play ball!
Which of these ideas do you like the most? Let me know in the comments!
I’m a British guy who has a particular love of superhero movies – and I’m having a great time writing for Movie Pilot! Feel free to follow me on Twitter @TomABacon!