7 reasons we want a ‘Harry Potter’ reboot

12:00 pm EST, February 8, 2013

While many Potter fans are sensitive and hostile to the idea, we think a reboot could be the best thing to happen to Harry Potter. We’re sick of listing the things we would change about the current Potter films, or hoping for a reboot in 50 years time, we want one right now. Tomorrow, if possible. After all, it would be hard work camping out at that midnight premiere with our walking sticks and dentures.

Of course, we don’t for a second believe it will actually happen, and producer David Heyman has made it clear a reboot is not in the cards. But we’re Harry Potter fans – boring old reality won’t stop us dreaming of the perfect adaptation.

We also understand that many Potter fans truly adore the films, and that is their prerogative. However we will always consider ourselves fans of JK Rowling’s wonderful series first and foremost, and we don’t see any harm in discussing what could have been done better in adapting Potter for the screen. And we think there’s a lot that could have been done better – enough to warrant an entirely new adaptation.

From the choice of actors and directors to the actual creation of Harry’s world, we have narrowed down our reasons to the magical number of 7. And because we’re completely jaded fans who are accustomed to heartbreak (ahem, Pottermore), we have also explained exactly why don’t expect to see a Potter reboot anytime soon.

1. The books are all finished

This could really be our one and only reason. It wasn’t until Deathly Hallows was published that the story all came together for us die-hard fans, so how were the filmmakers going to know what was important and what wasn’t before it was finished? Sure, JK Rowling was giving them some helpful suggestions, but we only need to remember the disaster that was Snape’s Worst Memory to see that their single strategy of “Oh, ask Jo” did not always work out. Making an adaptation in hindsight would give the production and writing team a complete understanding of character developments and storylines. How can you cast someone in Philosopher’s Stone when you don’t know what they’ll be doing in Deathly Hallows? Not to mention the magic word, foreshadowing, foreshadowing, foreshadowing. JK Rowling was a master of foreshadowing, leaving tiny clues for us to pick up on the way. Can you blame us for wanting to see some of those hints appear in the movies?

2. Make an adaptation truly magical

One of the most important elements of the Harry Potter movies is obviously the magic. And since (spoiler alert) magic doesn’t really exist, it is up to the creators of the movies to bring the magic to life in any way they choose. And as opposed to flashing lights, smoke and mirrors, the Harry Potter movies went with the more technical form of magic: swinging staircases, bolts that unlocked in complicated ways, and wands working like guns. And while a lot of people enjoy the parallels being drawn to the real world by having magic be almost like a replacement for technology, we can’t help but feel that, well, some of the magic got lost by portraying it all this way. Call us old-fashioned, but we like our magic to be a little less practical, a little more magical. We want staircases that go somewhere else on a Tuesday. We want complicated spells doing colourful things. We want circles and curves, not squares and straight lines. One way reboot movies could truly stand out from the originals would be to go in a completely different direction with the visuals, and we’d welcome the change.

3. Use a single director’s vision

With eight different movies filmed over a 10+ year period, it is not really feasible to imagine that the same director would be able to stick around. And we’re willing to bet that very few of you would have been happy with Chris Columbus tackling all seven books. While the different directors allowed the movies to focus on different things and for them all to have different feels, when we rewatch the series now we can’t help but notice the inconsistencies. It’s hard to let yourself get drawn into a world which, well, isn’t really one world at all, but four different versions of it. Rather than the entire series being a learning process and a chance for different directors to experiment with styles, let’s have a complete vision from the get-go this time, and stick through it. Let’s enter Harry’s world when he’s 11 and not leave it until he’s 17, and not feel like we’re being pulled in and out of different filmmakers’ imaginations. After all, Harry Potter wouldn’t have been as gripping of a series if another author had taken over the story halfway through, would it?

4. Find a new committed and talented cast

Here’s looking at you, Michael Gambon. We don’t care about this “He shouldn’t need to read the books, it should all be in the script” argument. If an actor isn’t willing to read the series (that is, if they somehow haven’t already), we personally don’t want them anywhere near this project. It is too special for too many people. We want a passionate, knowledgeable cast, who don’t just care about being considered serious actors, but who care about the story itself. And while we’re on the subject, let’s not forget our personal pet peeve: do a thorough search for the core group of kids. We realise it’s difficult to tell at 9 or 10 or 11 just what kind of an actor a child will grow up to be at 19 or 20, but that is no excuse to cast people on the merit of their hair colour. This is Harry’s story, and Harry and his peers take up the majority of the screen time. Unfortunately if we are being completely objective, the child actors were often the weakest links in the films, and we want to see a new super-talented bunch for the next ones.

5. Incorporate extra canon information

Pottermore who? Yeah, no, that’s not where we want our canon information to come from. Naturally one of the biggest hurdles a reboot of the series would face would be that, well, we’ve already been told the whole story. Not just on the page but visually – we’ve pretty much seen everything Harry’s world has to offer (except of course for the elements of the story that were cut, like the death day party, the Dursleys, and S.P.E.W.). But new movies would present a chance to focus on different parts of the stories. To develop the background characters more, to give them moments that hint at the backstories which at this point we mostly know. JK Rowling would be able to provide all the missing pieces, and we’d come away from these movies feeling like there was a lot hiding under the surface – like every part of every scene offered a ton of easter eggs which only true fans would be able to interpret and appreciate.

6. A chance to try a different medium

A film adaptation is the first thing that studios try when they grab the rights to something, because it is the way to make the most money (duh). And that’s fine, we don’t begrudge film studios and big bosses for simply doing their jobs. But who says that a film is the best way to explore Harry’s journey? We’ve done that, maybe we can try something else (or maybe let’s do new films really really well). Now that the first attempt has been made, it’s finally okay to have a discussion about which platform would really suit Harry Potter. The gift that Warner Bros. has given us is flexibility. Now that films have been done, why not try something different? How about, a TV mini-series that gives us the chance to showcase each book in six or eight hours. Or they could give us a full TV show ala Game of Thrones, or try splitting every book into two films. We aren’t saying that every medium would work as a platform for Potter, but with one film series out of the way, we can at least discuss the possibilities and find the best fit.

7. Celebrate Potter, don’t sensationalise it

There is no denying that the Harry Potter franchise was (and continues to be) a goldmine. The general public can continue to pretend it’s for kids all they want, but that doesn’t change the fact that everyone and their mother, literally, loves the story. The people involved with the movies loved the story too, but they sometimes got a little, what should we call it – carried away? And sometimes the intentions of overexcited studio executives or ambitious directors are not the best thing for such a beloved series like Potter. We don’t want to see a tens of thousands of Death Eaters storming the castle in Deathly Hallows, or Bellatrix destroying the Great Hall in Half-Blood Prince, or even Ginny blowing up the entire Hall of Prophecy in Order of the Phoenix. We actually wouldn’t mind if a Potter reboot wasn’t on as huge a scale as Lord of the Rings or Narnia. In fact, that is what we love about the books themselves. They are deeply personal and character based. Honestly, we’d love to see films that really celebrated what we love about Potter without everything exploding or Voldemort and Harry face-morphing. And if that gives us a slightly downplayed, more consistent story, even better.

And why we won’t get one

The ‘Harry Potter’ Goldmine

Let’s take a quick count here: There are the films themselves, the various overpriced DVD box-sets, the overpriced film books, the Studio Tour in London, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, the touring Potter exhibition and all of the accompanying merchandise. Every one of these things has Daniel Radcliffe’s, Emma Watson’s and Rupert Grint’s faces stamped all over them. Do we think WB is just going to give that all up? Of course not. The Harry Potter franchise has been too successful for it’s own good, no studio would just give up on it. If a new adaptation was made with a different set of actors, all of these tours and theme park rides and box-sets would be made redundant – people would want the new actors, not that old trio from 2007. Of course the Studio Tour, WWoHP and exhibition are great fan experiences, but they also make WB money. Loads and loads of money.

The ‘Spider-Man’ Problem

A Potter reboot also presents potential difficulties in differentiation, or what we like to call ‘The Spider-Man Problem’. If the films are going to be totally rebooted, they have to be different enough from WB’s original series to warrant a new version. Otherwise, what is the point? We want a reboot now, but would audiences turn up to see the same story done with a similar level of special effects? In a perfect world, we would end up with the ultimate Potter adaptation, but in reality we can see how a studio would be reluctant to try and “Make Potter better”, especially given how successful the eight film series has been.

Fan reactions

And finally, there’s the issue of fan reaction. Let’s be clear, we consider ourselves huge Harry Potter nerds, but we are fans of the books. Unfortunately for some Potter fans, this is not enough. According to these fans, anything we say against the Potter films is essentially blasphemy. This is understandable to an extent – a lot of the Potter fandom were introduced via the films, or grew up with them in a way that entrenched them in their mind and imagination. To them, Daniel Radcliffe is Harry. Because of this deep devotion, it has become almost impossible to have a rational conversation about the films. Saying “Hey, these films weren’t that great, we should really try making them again” (or even “They could be better”) is incredibly insulting and off-putting to many of the biggest Potter fans. We can’t imagine any studio wanting to alienate the fandom to that level, given that they are the target audience.

Would you like to see a ‘Potter’ reboot?

By Marama Whyte and Selina Wilken

‘The Space Between Us’ set report: What if a human was born on Mars?

Hypable visited the set and spoke to the film's stars.

12:00 pm EST, January 17, 2017

Could a human be born on a distant planet and later survive on earth?

It’s not only a premise that the upcoming science fiction tale The Space Between Us asks, but a real question and concern that people at NASA have considered as well.

Inspired by his son’s obsession with Mars, and the kernel of an idea from another writer he works with, film producer Richard Lewis picked up the phone and posed the question to members of NASA.

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Could a human be born on a distant planet and later survive on earth?

It’s not only a premise that the upcoming science fiction tale The Space Between Us asks, but a real question and concern that people at NASA have considered as well.

Inspired by his son’s obsession with Mars, and the kernel of an idea from another writer he works with, film producer Richard Lewis picked up the phone and posed the question to members of NASA.

He never would’ve guessed what was going to happen when he spoke to them.

“I called a group of NASA scientists and said, ‘So what would happen if an astronaut turned out to be pregnant on a flight to Mars?’ and there was just silence on the other end of the call. And they said, ‘Are you listening to our phone calls?’ I said, ‘No, I’ve never spoken to you in my life.’ And they said, ‘It’s going to happen, and we don’t know what to do.'”

That was when he teamed up with screenwriter Allan Loeb and started fleshing out an answer. “I thought, wow, that’s the beginning of an interesting story.” Lewis even worked with his father, a heart specialist, to examine how that muscle would develop differently on Mars, and aspects of this research became a big part of the story.

The Space Between Us is an interplanetary adventure following a human boy named Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) born on the distant red planet. His mother, an astronaut, only realized she was pregnant with Gardner after leaving on her mission to colonize Mars.

Once Gardner reaches his teenage years he becomes interested in leaving East Texas (yep, on Mars) and returning to the home of his species. Not only is he curious about Earth, but Gardner has also fallen for a girl named Tulsa who’s literally tens of millions of miles away in the state of Colorado. The two met online and can relate over their outsider perspectives.

There’s just one problem: Tulsa doesn’t realize that Gardner is literally living on Mars.

Hypable visited the Albuquerque, New Mexico set of The Space Between Us starring Butterfield, Robertson, and Gary Oldman in late October 2015. On the day we visited, Asa, Britt, and crew were at the tail end of their 37-day shooting schedule which took them through New Mexico, Las Vegas, and Malibu.

It was Day 31, and indoor and outdoor shoots were taking place at Highland High School located in the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque. Since it was a weekday, real classes were in session as Asa and Britt shot outdoor scenes.

The real students who walked by the production had mixed reactions. Some watched and Snapchatted the excitement, while others passed by as if a Hollywood production wasn’t filming right before their eyes. Later in the day, after the real students went home, production moved inside the school to shoot a scene where Gardner and Tulsa meet in person for the first time. It’s one of the more touching moments in the movie.

Earlier, Asa walked into our press tent carrying a drone in tow. He had recently purchased it to try and capture aerial footage for fun, and was learning how to operate it in between filming his scenes.

Both the aerial device and Gardner struggle to deal with Earth’s gravity.

When asked how he handles playing a character who has never been on Earth before, Asa describes it as a very unique experience. “It’s hard to put yourself in that kind of position because we [as humans] are so experienced in the world, and to completely strip all that back and be absolutely in awe at everything you see — a tree, a doorman — everything’s interesting,” he says.

space-between-us-asa-britt

Tulsa (Britt Robertson) experiences zero gravity with Gardner (Asa Butterfield).

Living on Mars your whole life doesn’t mean you’re missing hormones, so girls are also of interest in Gardner. On the relationship between his character and Tulsa, Asa tells us, “They both have this longing desire for being somewhere. Belonging somewhere. Tulsa’s been jumping around through various foster homes, she’s never really settled anywhere. Gardner spends his life on Mars. No one knows he exists. They’re kind of united by this experience.”

“He’s an alien, and she’s an alien, and this is the journey of the story,” Lewis tells us. “Watching these two characters connect, and the disconnects, the misunderstandings, and then ultimately they have a connection.”

Those good and bad connections were present in the scene we observed, which finds Gardner surprising Tulsa in her school hallway. As someone who is tough and reserved, Tulsa is understandably frustrated by Gardner’s sudden appearance. The two still haven’t communicated well with one another — Adorably, Tulsa is unaware that when he says he’s from “East Texas” he means the establishment on Mars.

With Gardner now on earth, the two begin to form a close bond as the Mars-born boy tries to discover his roots.

Co-starring in the movie is Gary Oldman, whose character originally organized the trip to Mars. He wasn’t on set the day we visited, but the actor has a very important role in the movie.

The Space Between Us opens in theaters February 3, 2017.

‘Rogue One’s’ best scene doesn’t involve the heroes

It's a nameless character who saves the day.

8:15 am EST, January 17, 2017

Among the many exceptional scenes in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one of the most poignant ones doesn’t even involve any of the main heroes.

Rogue One  is full of memorable moments, some breathtaking, some endearing in the way we’ve come to expect from Star Wars, and all full of an epic sense of the lengths people will go to in the name of hope. It also stands out because of its representation, with a female main character and a diverse cast of supporting characters. But it’s the scene almost at the very end that makes its story truly unique.

It takes place after Jyn Erso and her band of rebels have already completed their mission, and the Death Star plans that they have given their lives to procure are being physically carried through the Profundity by a single individual, while the ship is under attack. Close at his heels is Darth Vader, finally revealed in all his lightsaber-wielding, terrifying glory, killing rebel soldiers left and right. The door jams in front of the man holding the plans, with only a slight gap left open – just enough for him to fit an arm through and frantically get the device to one of the fleeing rebels on the other side, knowing fully that this is the last action he’ll ever carry out.

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Among the many exceptional scenes in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one of the most poignant ones doesn’t even involve any of the main heroes.

Rogue One  is full of memorable moments, some breathtaking, some endearing in the way we’ve come to expect from Star Wars, and all full of an epic sense of the lengths people will go to in the name of hope. It also stands out because of its representation, with a female main character and a diverse cast of supporting characters. But it’s the scene almost at the very end that makes its story truly unique.

It takes place after Jyn Erso and her band of rebels have already completed their mission, and the Death Star plans that they have given their lives to procure are being physically carried through the Profundity by a single individual, while the ship is under attack. Close at his heels is Darth Vader, finally revealed in all his lightsaber-wielding, terrifying glory, killing rebel soldiers left and right. The door jams in front of the man holding the plans, with only a slight gap left open – just enough for him to fit an arm through and frantically get the device to one of the fleeing rebels on the other side, knowing fully that this is the last action he’ll ever carry out.

This character has no name, and we know nothing about him beyond this scene. But faced by the most fearsome threat and terrible odds, he abandons fighting and uses his dying moments to get the plans across the doomed ship, and to Princess Leia.

It’s not common to see a scene like this one – scenes that convey the power of the collective action of many people across different areas – done so skillfully, especially in movies that are so character-driven.

In Star Wars, we’ve always focused on Luke and Leia and Han, and more recently on Rey, Finn and Poe. Although we knew that the Rebellion was the fruit of the efforts of many, we never had such a clear look into just how many lives were involved.

Rogue One the Rebellion

This final scene brings it all together, tying together the various storylines we know in an epic finale, and finally connecting them to Episode IV in a perfect mix of excitement and nostalgia. Without this character, driven by desperate hope rather than fear of his imminent death, Rogue One’s mission would not have ended successfully, Leia would have never received the plans… and none of the story we already know would have taken place.

For once, it was a character whose face we didn’t even see properly, dressed just like everyone else, fulfilling his own small role in a much bigger mission, who saved the day.

This ending, maybe even more meaningfully than the stories of the heroes we know and love, shows us the very essence of the Rebellion: a movement of dedication and sacrifice, full of people like the ones that died on Scarif, that put themselves between the plans and Vader, that drove the mission to success in their dying moments – and that stopped the race to save their own lives in favor of securing the mission’s objective.

We, as the audience, can find ourselves in the nameless rebel soldier and his sacrifice – a realistic and emotional portrayal of what makes any movement for change possible: the sacrifices of a vast number of people whose names and faces we may never know, whose stories may never be recorded, but whose lives were spent in search of a better future for the generations that follow.

What scene in ‘Rogue One’ impacted you the most?

Sherlock season 4, episode 3 is the last new material fans will see for a very long time. Was it a satisfying farewell to the series?

The Sherlock season 4 finale is a healthy mix of emotional highs and lows. But was it, as co-creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss describe, “television history?” No. It was not. It was not even the best episode of the Sherlock series.

However, it is what we have to left to unpack as we leave Holmes at Watson in 221B by the fire. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

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Sherlock season 4, episode 3 is the last new material fans will see for a very long time. Was it a satisfying farewell to the series?

The Sherlock season 4 finale is a healthy mix of emotional highs and lows. But was it, as co-creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss describe, “television history?” No. It was not. It was not even the best episode of the Sherlock series.

However, it is what we have to left to unpack as we leave Holmes at Watson in 221B by the fire. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

The final problem

The greatest flaw of Sherlock is when it gets stuck in its own heightened story telling. “The Final Problem” is the perfect example of retelling the past and not giving the audience any new information. It’s not hard to deduce. The episode does not suffer for this. Because it is not about the game at all.

Eurus’ game is well-crafted, brutal, and unforgiving. She is a master. The episode goes above and beyond to prove that over and over. Eurus wants to understand the complexity of human empathy. The only way she can do that is to cut the people open and see what makes their muscles move.

watson

The maze she crafts tests the resolve of Sherlock, Mycroft, and John. One great example of this is the use of Molly Hooper. It should be noted that Molly Hooper deserves so much better.

Using her love for Sherlock as a weapon, Molly Hooper’s life shatters with three words. Unfortunately, all of this is in service to unravel Sherlock with no resolution on her end.

As he smashes the coffin with his bare hands, John and Mycroft are there to reel him back in. They lend a hand to rebuild the walls that are falling down around him. That is until they literally fall at the doorstep of his childhood home.

The final problem is how do you deliver human connection to someone who does not know how to receive it? That desire to feel that her brothers appreciate her for more than her brain. If Eurus’ favorite person, Sherlock, could just take a moment to play her game, everything can end.

The test, it turns out, is for Sherlock to lean heavily on his capacity for emotional connection throwing logic out of the equation. He makes room for John, Mary, Molly, even Greg in his life. Can he find a way to make room for Eurus in spite of everything he just found out?

“You were always the grown up,” says Mrs. Holmes near the end of the episode. Sherlock takes the family into the next chapter of their life. One where music bridges the gap between them and the entire Holmes family can sit together without words getting in the way.

‘I’m a pirate’

The biggest twist, if you didn’t already work it out for yourself, comes when John discovers the bones of “Redbeard” in the well. They are not dog bones, but the bones of Sherlock’s best childhood friend, Victor.

But the best appearance is by far the inclusion of Mycroft’s Christmas gift — Jim Moriarty.

sherlock season 4 moriarty

Moriarty’s obsession with Holmes begins well before Eurus calls him in for a meeting. But did he succumb to being one of her agents? Probably. But Jim likely steered his own course to Sherlock. But the game… well, the game now reeks of Eurus.

Mycroft Holmes

The Holmes brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock, have the most fascinating relationship on Sherlock. “The Final Problem” highlights the complexity of their past and the trajectory of their future.

The most moving scene in the entire episode arrives when Mycroft, John and Sherlock are contemplating the reality of what may be their final moments alive. Hearing that Sherlock appreciated a talent of his, one that is not based on their familial intellect, moves him to a smile. Well before Mycroft sacrifices himself for Sherlock’s partnership with John, he gets the validation that their relationship is full of mutual appreciation.

mycroft sherlock

The minds of the Holmes siblings may be capable of great feats, but no fortress is entirely secure.

Mycroft’s home at the start of the episode is infiltrated by the combination of Holmes and Watson. Later on, his mind’s security system fails. He is a strong, put together person. After years of arranging Sherlock’s safety behind the scenes, it’s time for Sherlock to step up and do the same.

Is there room for more?

Perhaps we will all meet again at Anemoi. In the credits letters it is typical for the editors to highlight certain letters. The final sequence produces just a single word — Anemoi, the meeting place of the four winds.

While the finale ties up loose ends, recreates the scars that affect the duo the most, it does feel more like a beginning than an ending.

Sherlock may or may not return.

Tags: bbc sherlock