"Harry Potter" TV adaptation for HBO Max is on track to close a deal to the biggest hurdle in its path to the screen: a deal with the books’ author JK Rowling who has creative control over any exploitation of her work.
Warner Bros. is in talks with Rowling to join the project as a producer, once she comes on board, the project, which is in nascent stages, is expected to look for a writer.
According to Bloomberg, the project would be directly based on J.K. Rowling’s best-selling book series, rather than an in-universe spinoff such as the “Fantastic Beasts” movies.
Each season focuses on one book in the Harry Potter book series, which consists of seven novels.
The series would be produced by Warner Bros Television.
HBO Max and its then-parent company WarnerMedia started exploring a potential Harry Potter TV series a couple of years ago.
At the time, Warner Bros appointed Kids, Young Adult, and Classics president Tom Ascheim to manage the Wizarding World and Potter franchises, which include theme parks, tours, and the $9.1 billion-grossing theatrical library that spans the Harry Potter and spinoff Fantastic Beasts titles.
Under that setup, Ascheim became WarnerMedia’s senior rep in its relationship with Rowling and her representatives, and exploratory conversations for a Max series got underway.
However, after the Discovery acquisition was completed a year ago, that unit was disbanded and Ascheim exited the company.
Nonetheless, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has stressed multiple times his focus on franchises, with mining the Harry Potter IP identified as a priority. He has met multiple times with Rowling and has spoken up in support of the author who has been involved in an ongoing controversy over her comments on transgender issues.
In the past couple of years, WBD and its predecessor WM have had success with the Harry Potter 20th anniversary reunion special on HBO Max; the "Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses" show on TBS; and, most recently "the Hogwarts Legacy" hit video game.