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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

HBO's "Harry Potter" Series Finds Its Creative Team


Thu 27 Jun 2024 | 03:58 PM
Yara Sameh

“Succession” alums Francesca Gardiner and Mark Mylod are here for HBO’s upcoming new untitled series based on the “Harry Potter” books.

Gardiner has been tapped to serve as showrunner and executive producer of the project, while Mylod is on board to direct multiple episodes as well as executive produce.

The news was announced Wednesday by HBO and Warner Bros. TV, which are behind the HBO Original series. 

Gardiner and Mylod are already deeply entrenched in the HBO family: Besides “Succession,” Gardiner also worked on “His Dark Materials.” Mylod is also a regular helmer at the pay cabler, having been on “Game of Thrones,” “The Last of Us” and “Entourage,” in addition to his Emmy-winning work on “Succession.”

Gardiner and Mylod were tapped following an extensive exercise by HBO and Warner Bros. to find the right creative team to steer the “Potter” enterprise. 

“We’re in conversations with a number of different writers to figure out who’s going to be the person to lead that franchise for us,” Warner Bros. TV chairman Channing Dungey said back in January.

At the time, Dungey said it was important to have the producers in place before moving on to casting, which would be an entirely new ensemble from the movies. “The first step for us is figuring out who this showrunner is going to be and once we get that locked down, then we can start having those [casting] conversations,” she said back then. “The tricky part is the first two books, where the kids are on the younger end, around 11 or 12.”

With Gardiner and Mylod in place, casting is indeed believed to be the next order of business. As announced last year, HBO plans to release the new “Harry Potter” over a decade, with each season based on one of the books in the franchise. 

The first installment is expected to premiere in 2026, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said on an earnings call earlier this year.

Per the logline, “The series will be a faithful adaptation of the beloved ‘Harry Potter’ book series by author and executive producer J.K. Rowling. The series will feature a new cast to lead a new generation of fandom, full of the fantastic detail and much-loved characters ‘Harry Potter’ fans have loved for over twenty-five years. Each season will bring ‘Harry Potter’ and these incredible adventures to new audiences around the world, while the original, classic and cherished films will remain at the core of the franchise and available to watch globally.”

The “Harry Potter” series was originally ordered in April 2023 by HBO Max, which was later renamed Max. 

HBO & Max Content CEO Casey Bloys has moved Warner Bros.’ tentpole development to HBO — which is where “Harry Potter” will now originate. All HBO series — including “Harry Potter” — will still be readily available on Max as usual.

“We are delighted to give audiences the opportunity to discover Hogwarts in a whole new way,” Bloys said in anncouncing the project in April 2023. “Harry Potter is a cultural phenomenon and it is clear there is such an enduring love and thirst for the Wizarding World.”

Gardiner, whose credits also include “Killing Eve,” is a writer/EP. Besides Gardiner and Mylod, other exec producers include J.K. Rowling, Neil Blair, Ruth Kenley-Letts of Brontë Film and TV, and David Heyman of Heyday Films.

The series is executive produced by J.K. Rowling, Neil Blair, Ruth Kenley-Letts of Brontë Film and TV, and David Heyman of Heyday Films. Meanwhile, in that same earnings call earlier this year, Zaslav also revealed that he, Bloys, and Dungey had previously traveled to London to meet with “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.

In that earnings call, Zaslav said he was in London with Bloys and Dungey, chairperson of Warner Bros. Television, to meet with author J.K. Rowling about the show.

In addition to the bestselling books, there have been eight “Harry Potter” films, collectively grossing more than $7.7 billion at the global box office. There is also the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, theme park attractions, toys, and games, including the video game “Hogwarts Legacy.” There is also the hit Broadway show “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” currently running in New York, London, Hamburg, and Tokyo, which serves as a sequel to the book series.

Mylod won the Emmy in 2023 for directing the “Succession” episode “Connor’s Wedding.” Both Mylod and Gardiner also won multiple Emmys and are part of the hit series’ team.