1:25 pm EDT, July 13, 2016

WB files trademark for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ — signaling that a movie may be in development

Warner Brothers has filed a trademark for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which might mean that plans for a movie are starting to come together.

Brian Conroy, a trademark and copyright expert in Ireland, reveals on his website that Warner Brothers filed the trademark on July 8. This appears to be the first time that WB has stepped their toes into The Cursed Child, legally speaking. All previous trademarks for the play are owned by J.K. Rowling.


WB’s Cursed Child trademark is a Class 9, meaning the filing is primarily for rights to a movie and similar media. As noted in the filing, it also covers all Cursed Child merchandise.

Lets set aside the idea that the trademark filing is merely WB covering their bases, because we all know the studio wants to do as many Potter movies as possible. If I were a betting man, I’d guess that Warner Brothers will be involved with filming the play and releasing it in movie theaters worldwide. I don’t expect them to adapt the story. Time and time again Rowling has said The Cursed Child is only a play because it works best as a play. Meanwhile, those who’ve seen the play have insisted that this story is best if seen, not read. Sadly, the play is going to be consumed by the majority of Harry Potter fans beginning at the end of this month in script book form — the way Rowling and playmakers did not intend.

I’ve previously said that it’s too bad this play is being released in script book form rather than first being broadcast in theaters. As someone who saw the play in June, I feel like the story is going to be misinterpreted when you read the script book, and the on-stage brilliance will be overshadowed by a couple of shocking developments.

If they do intend on broadcasting the play in theaters, Rowling and WB have to play a balancing act. They need to broadcast it at a point in time when they feel confident its release will not affect ticket sales at the Palace Theater, and wherever else the play opens (like Broadway).

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In other words, it may be a while before we see this thing in theaters. And in case it wasn’t obvious by the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts trilogy, Warner Brothers is surely begging J.K. Rowling to let them broadcast or adapt it ASAP. They want to continue releasing Harry Potter stories in theaters, and to them, The Cursed Child is a goldmine of an opportunity.

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