5:13 pm EST, January 25, 2021

WB developing live-action ‘Harry Potter’ TV series for HBO Max

The inevitable is finally being reported: Warner Brothers is currently kicking around ideas for a live-action Harry Potter TV series.

According to THR, the show is expected to be an exclusive for their new digital streaming service HBO Max. No other details were made available on Monday, but the report states that WB is currently entertaining pitches from several different writers.

And it sounds like things are very, very early. “Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that executives at the WarnerMedia-backed streamer have engaged in multiple conversations with potential writers exploring various ideas that would bring the beloved property to television,” they write. “Sources say broad ideas have been discussed as part of the early-stage exploratory meetings.”

The news comes a week after WB appointed Tom Ascheim to head up the growth of the Wizarding World franchise. Notably, Ascheim has a background in children’s television, having worked at Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

Ascheim will report directly to WarnerMedia head Ann Sarnoff, who said in a statement about his promotion, “I’m excited for Tom to be leading our [Wizarding World] efforts and look to him and his team to work across the company to discover innovative and creative ways of keeping the Wizarding World fresh and relevant for years to come.”

One big question is just how involved series author J.K. Rowling will be in any future TV series. Rowling has been in the spotlight over the past year for all the wrong reasons after she shared transphobic views online.

The Wizarding World has successfully rolled out excellent books, movies, theme park lands, and merchandising, but the world of television is the one medium the Wizarding World has not yet entered. A Harry Potter TV show has seemed increasingly inevitable as other major pop culture franchises including Marvel, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings have all dipped into the small screen.

That said, any TV series is likely to still be years away from hitting HBO Max. Not only is WB still in the very early stages, it’s possible that any idea they eventually settle on may later be scrapped if they don’t think it’s living up to the standards set by the books and (most of) the films.

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This is, in all likelihood, the first of many Harry Potter TV shows that will be put into development at HBO Max. As Disney is showing with development of Star Wars and Marvel TV shows (and soon HBO will show with Game of Thrones), creating more than one excellent television show in these worlds will keep people subscribed and engaged in these fandoms year round.

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