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Hypable

It’s a question that has been heatedly debated on Internet forums for years. And is fair to say that it has polarized opinion. But why would Warner Bros. choose to remake a series of films that took over ten years to complete, and cost well in excess of a billion dollars to make? If they were to ‘reboot’ the films, how long should they leave before they start production? And what would be the artistic pros and cons? I’m going to attempt to address these questions, and a few more…

Will the Movies be remade? Of course they will.

Warner Brothers are infamous for squeezing the most successful franchise of all time for every single cent that they can. They have already delayed the release of the sixth film (to give themselves a summer blockbuster), split the final entry into two films, and released regular, special, and ultimate editions of every single movie in the series. Not to mention an exhibition, a theme park, an upcoming museum and the highly controversial decision to place all of the films in a “vault” just weeks after the final installment is released.

So why not remake the films in a few years? Sure, they were incredibly expensive to make. But they are also incredibly profitable. Worldwide, the entire series made nearly eight billion dollars – in comparison, it’s budget of about 1.2 billion seems minuscule. In the entertainment industry, a film is considered successful if it makes twice it’s production cost in box office revenue. The series in total made over six times the amount it cost to make. Margins like that are too tempting for Hollywood big-wigs to resist. What’s more, they know that people would flock to the cinemas at the mere mention of the boy wizards name.

They could easily be made on a tighter budget as well. Look at Tintin – a blockbuster made with a few actors, a big blue room and a couple of computers. The advancements in motion capture technology allow the huge locations and fantastic characters that J.K’s stories require without having to splash out on expensive sets, make-up, costumes and props. In short, looking at the situation from a business point of view, it would almost be foolish of them not to.

Should the films be remade?
Now, here comes the part where opinions really are divided. Is a reboot of the film franchise an artistically viable thing to do? Well, it depends on what side of the fence of you sit.

Those who are against a remake say the existing films are simply too big to be made again. After all, the final movie is currently the third most successful film of all time – and all of the others are in the top 35. They argue that the films are too well-known for it to be artistically valid. They cannot imagine any other actors playing the characters, they cannot imagine any of the sets, costumes, or creatures looking different. Basically, they believe that you cannot reboot such a successful franchise – using Star Wars, Back To The Future, and The Lord Of The Rings as examples.

On the other side, those for a remake believe that the new films would have a greater sense of consistency, and narrative solidarity. Considering that the first film to begin production after the books were completed was Half-Blood Prince, supporters say that the Daniel Radcliffe series felt disjointed because important plot strands and characters were entirely cut. This led to confusing attempts later on in the series to try and patch up plot holes. It is the belief of supporters that a reboot would provide a tighter, more fluid series that could do far more justice to the themes and messages of the books than the original films.

Personally, I agree with the supporters, and here is why. While I think that the movies have been great companions to the books for fans, as films they are actually pretty sloppy. Daniel Radcliffe’s wooden and uncharismatic performance throughout the films fail to carry the story, and unfortunately the supporting performances from Emma Watson and Rupert Grint also lack gravitas. The directorial vision is inconsistent, with the four directors using extremely different visual styles, even meddling with the appearance and location of Hogwarts. These changes were usually necessary to fit with the narrative, but nonetheless looked very messy and made each film feel very disjointed. When we were all caught up in the hype of each movie, it was easy to forget about the little things and just enjoy the films for what they were. But, with the benefit of hindsight, it is plain that while the movies were great fun, they do not have the makings of a classic film series. I agree that great films do not to be remade. However, the films were nothing more than average and a second attempt could not only do the books justice, but also have the potential to become classics.

I agree, a few years need to pass before production starts. The image of Daniel, Rupert, Emma, and all of the great adult actors are still too fresh in our minds. But in ten years or so, I genuinely believe that someone could take another crack at the whip. In fact, I think film adaptations of the Harry Potter series would benefit from a slightly different approach. Take the “Tintin effect”, for example. Not only would the use of motion capture make production cheaper, it would also allow for a lot of interesting creative benefits. Actors could be cast for their talents, rather than their looks as they were the first time round. We could have a lead actor that can carry the stories, and has the convictions and believability necessary for the role. People could be chosen for their skill, rather than because they are skinny with black hair, have ginger hair, or bushy hair.

It also solves a lot of other issues that many have with the previous films. It wouldn’t matter if the cast grew too old to look the part, because the characters they play could be individually aged. We wouldn’t have cut characters due to budget restraints, House Elves could be dotted around every scene if necessary, instead of fleeting appearances. Voldemort could have red eyes – heck, even Harry and his mother could have the same colour eyes – they could even actually be GREEN! All of that, and we still haven’t considered the benefits of tighter scripting now the series is finished. The writer and director of earlier films would know where the stories were going, and actors would know more about their characters secrets, allegiances and feelings. They would be able to adapt a complete story in seven installments, instead of going about adapting each story individually and then hurriedly trying to tie up all the loose ends in the final installment. With all of these benefits, I think a new series of films, a few years down the line would have the real potential to become the classics that the original source material deserves.

I know that these opinions will probably prove controversial, and I would love to hear yours. Do you think the movies will be remade? Just as importantly, do you think they SHOULD be? How long do you think should be left? And how would you go about it – another set of live action films, motion capture, animated, or even a television series (in the vein of Merlin, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and True Blood)? We are unlikely to get a definitive answer from Warner Bros. for a while, so the subject is truly open for debate.

  • adamstrong

    I would love them to remake it in about 20 years. It would be cool if Christopher Nolan directed it.

  • Turbo

    TV series is the only thing that makes sense imo.  I’ve actually been thinking about that a lot lately.  It’s the only way to include everything, and the series is so popular they could afford to throw more money at it than the average series.  But doing it like a British series would be a bad idea.  They have very small and strict budgets.  US would have to produce it because they throw a lot more money at their television series.  They can save money on the episodes that don’t require a lot of effects and save it for the really big effects scenes in other episodes.  This allows for more detailed and consistant story telling from day one. 

    • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriFSargeant Harri Sargeant

      I think that a TV series would be a good way to go about, but personally I think making it in the U.S. would really rip the heart out of it.  The series has such a great British quirkiness that I don’t think could be replicated in the U.S.  It would be interesting to see a collaboration though.  Like they did with the most recent series of Torchwood, where it is made in the UK by a UK company, but receives funding from a U.S. channel to help with the production, and in turn they get the rights to it and show episodes a few days before the UK.  I think that would be the best approach.  However, the issue I would have with a TV series is how they would make episodes out of the slower chapters.

    • Guest2

      an animated mini series would be pretty cool.

  • Eliza

    If they do remake the films, I really hope they make them more of a comedy series. The books are so funny and brilliant, but a lot of the one-liners had to be cut out to make the films shorter. I’m not sure about motion capture though!

  • Anonymous

    No one should touch Harry Potter, speaking as a fan since the begining, a reader who has read it to memorization, and went to all HP events, Harry Potter is absolutely perfect as it is. No remakes, that would just be strange, they came out amazing don’t wreck it. And TV series? Really? Don’t take away the magic.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriFSargeant Harri Sargeant

      Ahhh, and here is where we disagree.  I love the original stories, and think that they deserve more than the films gave.  

      • Anonymous

        I do agree with this, the films did fall short in some ways, I’m just worried that things such as a TV series, may ruin the magic, because I can’t picture many of the actors going through with it and who wants to watch their childhood run again with different people?

      • coolcatcheesecake

        yes! i agree! the films did fall short in MANY ways!

  • http://www.facebook.com/skeekeedee Amber Murray

    I would like to see on 10 years a tv series made. I would like for it to remain an all British cast and it needs to be made by someone with plenty of budget like hbo or show time. Any of the standard networks just wouldn’t have the time or budget

    • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriFSargeant Harri Sargeant

      I think a collaboration between BBC in the UK and HBO in America would deliver the best series.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3NPRK2D7VNABTZH2LHB46HGD2Q Emily

      It’s a great idea, in theory.  But television episodes are filmed over the span of a few days.  HP fans require every scene be absolutely perfect.  I would estimate that each episode would take at least 3 weeks to make.  Nobody wants 3 week gaps between episodes.

  • coolcatcheesecake

    after the credits were done at the end of Deathly Hallows part 2. my friend and i turned to each other, and were both like, “well…that could have been MUCH better.” and we started talking about ALL the scenes that had happened in the books (during the entire series) that hadn’t made it into the movie. we were mad about it…..and then we thought. and then we were like “hey, why don’t WE remake the potter movies like 20 years from now and include EVERY SINGLE MINUTE DETAIL from JKR’s imagination? we could use the BOOK as our script for the movie! they would be like 5 hours long each…but it would only be for the fans!” and so it’s set. be prepared for the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to be released in a theater near you in a about 15-20 years. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3NPRK2D7VNABTZH2LHB46HGD2Q Emily

      Some things don’t transfer to the screen; as awesome as it sounds, there is a reason movies don’t go over 3 hours.  Lord of the Rings is a good example of enhancing the information the books supply, to make something enjoyable that nearly every fan appreciates.  
      That approach wouldn’t do the books justice.

  • Anonymous

    Hm, I have to say I’m one who disagrees.  The only reason I’d care to see them remade is just to relive another set of midnight premieres. 
    Okay, the movies aren’t cinematic master pieces, but you have to give the guys over at WB some credit.  Harry Potter could have easily fallen into Eragon territory, but it didn’t for eight films.  That’s a bit of a feat, no?
    It is in Star Wars territory.  The characters, the sets, the music, it’s all ingrained in our pop cultural.  A retooling would uproot so much, that it might just not be worth it.  I mean there’s a whole section of a theme park based on some of the most recognizable aspects of the film!  Don’t limit yourself to the actors and the writing, look at the some of the beautiful and iconic set pieces and the minuscule details, would it really be fair to recreate all that?
    Lastly, and no offense, but your point about motion capture, at least “Tin Tin” style is… off putting.  Motion capture is still a far way away from being accessible and able to be taken seriously.  For example, look at the eyes: they’re lifeless.

    If anything, 10 years is too short amount of time.  Maybe 50?   

    • Akacj18

      i agree, 10 years is too short. but 50?? too long!! haha. 

      • Anonymous

        True, true ;)

        • D3MoNyX

          DUDE I need to be alive when they remake it
          wish me luck :))

  • GoodFinder

    I imagine that there will be a resurgence of Harry Potter fandom when fans like me (read first book when I was 11, read the last book when I was 18) have kids that reach the right age to appreciate the books as they were written.  I’d estimate that being in about 20 years or so.  I’d say then would be the time to consider making the films again.  I would agree that knowing the result of the seventh installment would help immensely with the story-telling of the entire series.  The little things that Jo wove into her writing that became important could be used in the movies; the subtle foreshadowing that Jo used would be available to the filmmakers as well.  I think that there were some faults in the first time that simply could not be avoided.  Sorcerer’s Stone left out some things because the studio didn’t know if they would even make every single book in the series.  We don’t know what advancements will come in the future, but we do know that film making will continue to get better.  Just look at the difference between quidditch scenes in SS opposed to HBP.  In 15 years, studios will be able to do so much more than what they can do now.  I also think that the cast should be open to more than just British actors.  I understand why Jo wanted that, but there are accent coaches that fix any issues there.

  • Anon8

        This was very well written, but I have to disagree. I love the trio – including Dan.  I like all the casting really, and I think it’s great they got the big-names of Britain to be involved. Although I did have a cool dream once where Dan played Dumbledore in the re-makes, when I actually think about it, I just can not imagine going to a theatre and seeing a HP movie that wasn’t the HP movies I have come to love. WB probably will re-make them, I just hope they have enough sense to wait a really long time and I’m dead so I don’t have to deal with it. If not I have all the rights to be that bitter person in the corner talking about the good ol’ days.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriFSargeant Harri Sargeant

      Thank you!  I can see why you disagree, everyone will have their own opinion, and it is fun to discuss since it will be at least a few years before we hear anything about future reboots. I exaggerated my opinions slightly to play devils advocate, prisoner of azkaban was an amazing film, and the deathly hallows parts 1 & 2 were very good.  Love the comment re. being bitter in the corner, I think I will be doing that too, just because I can!

  • Kirsten

    I completely disagree. First, I think that yes, the movies will be rebade, but it will be twenty or thirty or even forty years down the line, when the “original” fans can take their grandchildren to see them. But for now, these actors are the characters and the sets and costumes are what we think of when we think “Harry Potter”. I believe that even a decade is much too soon.
    Second, I found the movies delightful. The lead actors weren’t always the best, but they’re kids. Even in fifty years, child actors will still be exactly the same.
    Third, motion capture makes me want to throw up. I’m sorry, but it does. It produces lifeless, bizarre animated movies that I don’t like. I couldn’t even make it through the Tintin trailer before being creeped out. Part of the charm of Harry Potter for me is that it is real, with real actors and sets and costumes, not some CGI crap that reminds me of Shrek.
    I think it far more likely that in 10-20 years, visual effects will have become so cheap that a Harry Potter television series will be created as a collaberation between the BBC and some American network. It could be an all-British cast, with episodes taped back-to-back (like a really long movie), then aired. It could be the events of 1-3 chapters per week, depending on the content of the chapters, and the actors would all age normally, since the series would be every year. Just an idea.

  • Eoin

    I hope not. They were great films and they should not be remade.

  • Guest

    I agree that the films should be remade. I love the ones we have now, but the tale of Harry Potter deserves far better treatment than the movies gave them. One big misunderstanding is how many critics say that many diehard fans only dislike the series because so much was left out, but that’s not true at all. I understand time constraints and the necessity of making changes when adapting one media to another. What makes me angry is not what they CUT from the books, but what they CHANGED from the books. Numerous characters where drastically different in their personality than they were in the books (Dumbledore, in particular, comes to mind), and changes like that are not necessary at all. I don’t care if the filmmakers deviate from the literal content of the books, as long as they don’t deviate from the SPIRIT of the books. That, in my opinion, is what I strongly disliked about the movie franchise. I really want to remake the films myself….

  • Luc Alden

    I imagine that there will be a resurgence of Harry Potter fandom when fans like me (read first book when I was 11, read the last book when I was 18) have kids that reach the right age to appreciate the books as they were written.  I’d estimate that being in about 20 years or so.  I’d say then would be the time to consider making the films again.  I would agree that knowing the result of the seventh installment would help immensely with the story-telling of the entire series.  The little things that Jo wove into her writing that became important could be used in the movies; the subtle foreshadowing that Jo used would be available to the filmmakers as well.  I think that there were some faults in the first time that simply could not be avoided.  Sorcerer’s Stone left out some things because the studio didn’t know if they would even make every single book in the series.  We don’t know what advancements will come in the future, but we do know that film making will continue to get better.  Just look at the difference between quidditch scenes in SS opposed to HBP.  In 15 years, studios will be able to do so much more than what they can do now.  I also think that the cast should be open to more than just British actors.  I understand why Jo wanted that, but there are accent coaches that fix any issues there.

    • Joe Sinkhart

      i totally agree with you

  • http://twitter.com/markmilano3 MarkMilano // FTG

    I dont think they should be. They are Movies that coud never be better the second time around.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.trudoe.9 Andy Trudoe

    Just leave Harry Potter as it is. There is no point in taking a great movie of all time and then remaking it with a bunch of other actors and actresses that won’t fit the part. It is the original, why should they have to do that. No one else can ever play the parts of each character that was portrayed in the movie and I mean every single one of them. It would not be a success and it would be too weird. If they are remade, never will I allow myself or any of my children to watch the remakes because most films that are remade are dreadfully sight destroying and awful. It is like remaking Star Wars and that is just sad to see that they have to go to extremes like that. Leave it be. At least for once, don’t make a remake of a movie especially not one that we grew up with and spent our childhood on just for it to be ruined by a remake. We are the Harry Potter Generation and nothing can change that nor will it ever change. I could never imagine someone else play Bellatrix, Hermione, Harry, Ron, Voldemort, Dumbledore and so on. The movies were each two hours long, sure they missed out many parts but what movie doesn’t, that is the whole point of also reading the Harry Potter books not having to see it all in eye to eye detail as a movie. In all, the movies were great for our generation. The people who wish it were longer may be too lazy to read the books so they would want it to be longer but reading is part of the fun in Harry Potter, experiencing the work of JK Rowling herself. The movies were simply a bonus to the reading. They deserve more? They got more. The built a huge Wizarding World of Harry Potter for us. We are able to buy the robes and so on. JK Rowlings work has gotten so much credibility. Them making a remake and perhaps it could fall apart, I would not want to be there to experience the fall of a Harry Potter remake. I would be torn. Once an original is made, has been created to be so epic and has been an incredible success, it should be left at that. We have seen a ton of tumblr Harry Potter pages, could you imagine it not being the trio that we know. Do not remake Harry Potter until me and my kids are dead so that they can experience the wonderful works of the four directors who made the films: Chris Colombus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell and David Yates and above all, the greatest writer in history, Joanne Rowling.

    — A 15 year old Slytherin.