7 reasons we want a ‘Harry Potter’ reboot

12:00 pm EDT, 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

Barnes & Noble has announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is already a gigantic hit. In fact, it’s the most pre-ordered book since Deathly Hallows.

It’s been 9 years since J.K. Rowling publsihed Deathly Hallows in the summer of 2007, but Harry Potter fans are evidently still eager for more stories from the Wizarding World. In a press release on Monday, the biggest book chain in the United States revealed that they haven’t seen pre-orders this huge since the last Harry Potter book.

deathly-hallows-book-cover

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Barnes & Noble’s most pre-ordered book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and we expect it to be our biggest selling book of the year,” said Mary Amicucci, Chief Merchandising Officer at Barnes & Noble in a press release. “To guarantee that our customers get the new Harry Potter book as quickly as possible, Barnes & Noble is the only national retailer that’s guaranteeing delivery of the book on August 1, for both online and ship-to-home pre-orders placed by noon ET on Friday, July 29. Our booksellers are also preparing to host big crowds for our signature Midnight Magic parties on July 30.”

If you’ve passed by a brick and mortar Barnes & Noble in the past few months you’ve probably seen the heavy promotion they’ve been doing. Headers that state “HARRY POTTER IS BACK” will clearly entice people to pre-order.


HARRY POTTER IS BACK! (Spotted at a Barnes & Noble) #harrypotterforever #harrypotter

A photo posted by Hypable.com (@hypable) on

In a report from the Wall Street Journal earlier this month we learned that Scholastic was printing 4.5 million copies of “the eighth story” for the United States and Canada. This is a far cry from the 12 million printed for Deathly Hallows, but still a very large print run for a book in modern times. (Also worth noting: Many readers have switched to eBooks in the years since Deathly Hallows.)

It’s nice to see that Harry Potter fans haven’t lost their interest in the series. Perhaps the success will inspire J.K. Rowling to continue writing within Harry’s world?

The book has also been a huge success on Amazon. The Cursed Child has sat at the top of the online retailer’s bestseller list for months.

Hypable will have lots of coverage surrounding The Cursed Child once it’s released this weekend. Stay tuned! AHHHH!

Sherlock finally made it to Hall H at Comic-Con and the creative team brought a few surprises. Steven Moffatt, Sue Vertue, Mark Gatiss, Amanda Abbington, and Benedict Cumberbatch were on hand to the thrill of fans.

Benedict Cumberbatch and crew definitely know how to work a crowd. Here are the top highlights of the panel that played to a crowd of thousands.

1. Season 4

They are currently two weeks from finishing Sherlock season 4. Cumberbatch said that “a lot comes home to roost this season… it’s ballsy.”

They have 26 pages to film this Tuesday. Cumberbatch states that the monologues are very challenging and take a lot of work.

As for actors’ favorite lines this season:

Gatiss: “Sherlock.”

Abington: Not a line but a beckoning gesture.

Cumberbatch: Can’t say.

Key names for next season (change from doing key words):

  • Moffat: Smith
  • Gatiss: Thatcher
  • Vertue: Sherinford

2. Keeping the show fresh

By not making as many episodes, the creators feel they actually keep the quality. They joked that under normal standards they’ve actually made about half a season of a standard TV show, or 13 episodes.

There are no plans for any other Victorian Era shows. Moffat feels that it would be less interesting if the mind palace returned there.

3. Learning curves and drugs

Gatiss stated that with 90-minute episodes you “really have to put [Sherlock and Watson] through the ringer.” Moffat added that because of this, Watson has to evolve. Watson can’t keep being amazed by Sherlock. As for Sherlock, “he can’t be the weird scary amoral man we met in the first episode… geniuses learn… he has to learn.”

Sherlock’s drug addiction comes back when he is not working. It’s hinted that the addiction will be a bigger issue this season than in the past.

4. The coat and the hair

There is apparently a big debate every year over changing the iconic coat. Sue Vertue wants to change it, and Steven Moffat wants to keep it. Benedict Cumberbatch dove into the debate stating, “I’m quite hung up on the coat…. but sometimes it has to come off.” The audience reaction was predictable.

Cumberbatch joked that he loved playing Sherlock in the Victorian era because of the slicked back hair. In the modern era it takes forever for his hair to get done. On a serious note, he loved the more straight-laced, clipped version of Sherlock.

5. First ‘Sherlock’ season 4 trailer

The teaser trailer featured this phrase over and over: “Something’s coming. It may be Moriarity, maybe not.” Literally every character we know and love looks like they are scared, angry, or worried on an epic scale.

One of the best moments is Mrs. Hudson saying with supreme venom to Mycroft, “Get out of my house you reptile.” Watch below:

6. Improv and family

There is actually, according to Cumberbatch, very little improvisation on set. It’s about how to do what’s there, and not messing with the script. He firmly believes that what is there is what is needed for the show.

Cumberbatch genuinely loves having his mom and dad play his TV mom and dad. Every now and then he can see his mother struggle to call him “Sherlock” and not “Ben.”

7. Mary in the know

Abbington didn’t know she was an assassin until well into the last season. When she found out, she told partner Martin Freeman, “My God, [the fans] are going to hate me.” Despite this, she loves the flawed characters of the series.

8. When will the series return?

No date was given for either the BBC release date or the PBS release date. We only know that it will premiere in 2017.

9. The dog photo

According to Cumberbatch the dog (depicted above) was a nightmare. “The dog wouldn’t fucking move,” he said. The companion was supposed to drag Sherlock all over London, but the dog didn’t like people, concrete, crowds… really anything about an urban setting.

Moffat and Gatiss resorted to writing a new scene on the spot to account for the lack of the dog’s interest in roaming. According to Gatiss all it did was drool on the concrete.

10. Future seasons?

Touching on the future of the series, Moffat stated, “Why is everybody assuming they survive season 4?” Gatiss joked, “We’re skipping season 5 and doing season 6.”

Moffat clarified that — contrary to recent reports — he never said that this season would be the last one (He’s right: All he said was the schedules of Cumberbatch and Freeman are only getting more difficult to work with). Gatiss added that they want to do more seasons, and they hope that they are able to.

Sherlock will be back in 2017. What do you think of the first season 4 trailer?

Marvel presented at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday evening and offered new looks at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and more.

“We only want to come to Hall H when we have a lot to show you,” teased Marvel’s Kevin Feige at the start of the panel. Indeed, they had a ton to offer — including news of a new Marvel theme park attraction!

Everything we’ve learned at Marvel’s SDCC panel

  1. Marvel kicked off their panel with a new logo and updated fanfare by composer Michael Giacchino.

  2. Black Panther had some casting news to share: Lupita N’yongo will be playing one of the guards at Wakanda named Nakia. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan will be playing Erik Killmonger. We also received brand new casting news: Danai Gurira has joined the movie — She’ll play Okoye, head of Dora Milaje! Finally, a new logo for the film was revealed:

    black-panther-logo-sdcc-2016

  3. Thor: Ragnarok unveiled a behind-the-scenes look at the new film which included a look at Cate Blanchett as Hela. They also showed a documentary-style clip (think The Office) explaining where Hulk and Thor were during the events of Captain America: Civil War! In it, Thor had a tiny bed for Mjolnir and a crime board that tried to connect the Infinity Stones and discover their purpose. There is also mugshot of Loki. Like Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok had a new logo to show off with a retro looking subtitle:

    thor-ragnorak-new-logo-sdcc-2016

  4. Doctor Strange’s portion of the panel kicked off with a smoke and laser show to introduce Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Tilda Swinton was also at the panel and spoke about the Ancient One. “The truth is, anyone can be The Ancient One,” she said. A clip from Doctor Strange was also showed in which Steven Strange meets Tilda’s character (It won’t be online).

  5. Thankfully, a brand new and wholly epic Doctor Strange trailer was released. Watch below:

    A new poster was also unveiled:

    doctor-strange-sdcc-poster

  6. Next up was Spider-Man: Homecoming. Director Jon Watts described the film as a high school movie about a 15-year-old Peter Parker who’s in the 10th grade. A new clip was unveiled and had a strong John Hughes vibe — Peter Parker is just your average high schooler trying to get through the day. There was also this great moment:

  7. Next up: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which kicks off a few months after the first movie. The entire cast was there to introduce a new scene in which a very adorable Baby Groot helps Yondu and Rocket break out of prison. Baby Groot even has a little outfit! Adorably, the Ravengers — who captured Yondu and Rocket — refuse to hurt Baby Groot because of how cute he is.

    This movie got a new logo as well.

    guardians-of-the-galaxy-sequel-new-logo

  8. Speaking of Marvel’s space dramedy, the studio also confirmed rumors of a Guardians of the Galaxy theme park attraction. It’s called Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and debuts Summer 2017 at Disneyland’s California Adventure theme park. Sadly, it’s replacing the classic Tower of Terror ride. Check out a behind the scenes video of the attraction:

  9. Marvel ended their panel by confirming that Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel, as was previously rumored. She took the stage to say hi to the adoring audience, and participated in a giant Marvel selfie:

All in all, Marvel had a ton to share. What do you think of all the developments?