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

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

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Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

Netflix’s ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ episode count

neil-patrick-harris-series-unfortunate-events-netflix

“They truncated all of the books into a two hour movie,” Harris said of the Unfortunate Events movie starring Jim Carrey, noting that it just wasn’t a great adaptation. “And there’s thirteen books in the series. So [Netflix’s take] is more spread out. Each book is going to be two episodes. We did the first four books, the first eight episodes of the show.”

As for the tone of the show? Great news: “It’s super dark,” he said. “It’s a much darker on the take on the material than has been seen before.”

When Kelly asked Harris if her kids could watch it, the actor dropped some interesting information about Neflix’s plans:

“I hope so!” he replied. “It’s not Rated-R dark. It’s the most expensive show that they’ve ever done. It’s the first one they call a four quadrant show, so they’re try to get four different quadrants to like it. So in addition to being for adults and for 20-somethings and teenagers, they want it to be for kids as well.”

Dark, appealing to all ages, and two episodes per book? We are so down.

Netflix has yet to share a premiere date for A Series of Unfortunate Events, but we’ll keep you posted.

Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

Read full article

Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

Everything you need to know about ‘Luke Cage’

The man

luke cage premiere date

We first met Luke in the series premiere of Jessica Jones and he was in the majority of the episodes for the season. He owned a bar in Hell’s Kitchen and made it a priority to stay away from complications. Too bad Jessica Jones is the definition of complicated. Sweet Christmas.

With chemistry pretty much off the charts, it didn’t take long for Luke and Jessica to start hooking up. Unfortunately, between Kilgrave’s manipulations and Jessica’s lies, the situation came to a head and Luke found out it was Jessica who was responsible for his wife’s death way back when Kilgrave was livin’ large with Jessica at his side.

Luke left after that, but not before he ran into Kilgrave with the intention of killing the man. Instead, Kilgrave used his power of mind control to plant Luke back into Jessica’s life and keep an eye on her until it was time for Kilgrave to use his trump card. He even forced Luke to blow up his own bar.

In a final confrontation, where Kilgrave once again played with Jessica’s emotions, Luke said he didn’t forgive her for killing his wife and, under Kilgrave’s power, attacked her until she was forced to put a shotgun to his head and pull the trigger.

Thanks to Luke’s powers, he survived, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t some damage. Luke was unconscious, and Jessica was forced to bring him to the hospital where Claire used her position as a nurse to sneak him back to Jessica’s apartment and keep an eye on him.

By the end of the series, once Kilgrave was killed and Jessica was arrested, Luke recovered from his injuries and left Jessica’s apartment when Claire wasn’t looking.

The myth

luke cage mike colter

Luke Cage’s powers are not unlike Jessica’s, though where they both share a similar level of strength, Luke has the added benefit of unbreakable skin. The experiments he was subjected to didn’t make him completely impervious to injury, as seen when the shotgun blast rattled his brain so much it did some internal damage. Areas like his eyes are also open to injury, if Claire sticking that needle through the socket is any indication.

Luke is also just, you know, a big guy. Is intimidation a supernatural ability? Because if so, this guy has got it in spades. He’s a good fighter and obviously used to dealing with the seedier side of the city, so even without his powers, he’d be good to have in a fight.

Luke Cage from the comics isn’t much different, though his interactions with other superheroes have given him an additional leg up. For instance, Iron Fist has taught Luke Cage additional fighting techniques, but we haven’t seen that in the MCU since Iron Fist has yet to debut on Netflix and it’s uncertain what their interactions will be like.

Apparently Luke also has a sweet jacket that’s as impervious as his skin. Given all the clothes we see him go through in the trailers for the upcoming season, perhaps we’ll see him gain a useful item like this in the upcoming freshman run.

The legend

luke cage clip

Luke Cage is already making a name for himself by the end of Jessica Jones, and it’s clear that season 1 of his own show is only going to further his story as a legendary hero. If you want to avoid spoilers at all costs, skip this section. If you’d like to get familiar with some of the show’s upcoming new characters, read on.

In Luke Cage season 1, it’s clear that Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth will be to Luke as Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin was to Matt Murdock’s Daredevil. This is the guy who wears the crown around Harlem (where Luke has recently moved following his interactions with Jessica), and it’s pretty clear Stokes took no time in pissing off Luke.

Mariah Dillard will be an enemy of a different variety, as she’s a powerful local politician who also happens to be Stokes’ cousin. From the trailers it looks like the two are in business together, but the relationship is contentious at best. Alvarez/Shades, an associate of Cottonmouth, is also going to cause some problems for Luke.

On the other side of the line you have Misty Knight, a police detective who has Luke Cage on her radar. She might also be causing some problems for our hero, but she’s definitely one of the good guys. Her partner is Rafael Scarfe.

Claire will also be returning, this time in a starring role, so the hope is we’ll be seeing plenty of the nurse who is heroic in her own way. She might not have supernatural abilities, but she heals who she can, despite their various complications. She’s also there to light a fire up under the asses of heroes who might be losing their way — and she’s very good at her job.

Everyone’s favorite crook, Turk, will also be showing up in Luke Cage, as will Claire’s mother, Soledad. You can also expect Willis Stryker/Diamondback to play a part this season. He’s tied up with Cottonmouth and Shades and definitely has something against Luke. In the comics, they go way back, and Stryker even had a thing for Luke’s wife, Reva.

Here’s the latest trailer for ‘Luke Cage’ season 1

‘Luke Cage’ season 1 will be exclusively available to stream on Netflix come September 30

Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

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Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

Bringing back characters is one of the major reasons why characters on this show can never have closure. In the aftermath of season 5’s most remarkable death, Once Upon a Time took the necessary steps to give Regina closure. In Neal’s apartment (once again, reviving Neal’s presence for Emma), Regina began to process the reality of her life through a letter from Robin.

Once Upon a Time season 5 regina robin

Kitsis makes note that Regina’s course of action this season will deal with processing her grief. “I can tell you that a lot of this year is about Regina dealing with loss and moving on, because I think Regina has the most unfair luck of anybody, but that’s what makes her Regina,” says Kitsis.

We already caught some of that in the season 6 opener where Regina talks with Snow White about her character’s story and its various interpretations. If the feather floating away from Regina on the bench was a nod to her finding the strength to let go even a little bit, what will Robin’s return mean for her mentally? Regina needs all her faculties to face the most terrifying adversary this season– herself.

What will Robin’s return look like?

Maybe he will appear Jiminy Cricket style and remind her of her best qualities as she faces the Evil Queen. Or perhaps he will appear to save his daughter through some kind of intrinsic bond that exists between them? Maybe that feather actually means a bit more than we give it credit for!

Once Upon a Time season 5 episode 100 review regina robin henry

Kitsis and Horowitz note that Sean Maguire will have “an arc” meaning it is likely that he will appear in more than one episode.

What are some of your theories for Robin’s involvement in season 6? Let us know in comments!

Once Upon a Time season 6, episode 2, “A Bitter Draught,” airs Sunday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.