HBO Max is on the verge of overcoming the most significant obstacle in its pursuit of producing the highly-anticipated Harry Potter TV series. This major hurdle concerns securing a deal with J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, who holds creative control over any exploitation of her work.
According to Deadline, Warner Bros. is currently in talks with Rowling to join the project as a producer. Once she comes on board, the project, which is still in its early stages, is expected to look for a writer. As previously reported by Bloomberg, the plan is to have each season of the potential TV series focus on one book in the Harry Potter book series, which is made up of seven novels. Warner Bros. Television is set to produce the series.
HBO Max and its parent company, WarnerMedia, began exploring the idea of a Harry Potter TV series a couple of years ago. At that time, Warner Bros. appointed Tom Ascheim, the President of Kids, Young Adult, and Classics, to manage the Wizarding World and Potter franchises, which include theme parks, tours, and the $9.1 billion-grossing theatrical library spanning the Harry Potter and spinoff Fantastic Beasts titles. As part of his remit, Ascheim became WarnerMedia’s senior representative in its relationship with Rowling and her representatives, and the initial discussions for a Max series commenced.
Following the acquisition by Discovery a year ago, the unit was disbanded, and Ascheim left the company. However, the significance of the Harry Potter intellectual property only increased after the merger.
David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, has repeatedly emphasized that his focus is on franchises, with the mining of the Harry Potter IP identified as a priority. He has met with Rowling on several occasions and has spoken up in support of the author, who has been involved in controversy over her comments on transgender issues.
Over the past few years, Warner Bros. Discovery and its predecessor, WarnerMedia, have seen success with the Harry Potter 20th-anniversary reunion special on HBO Max, the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses event series on TBS, and, most recently, the hit video game Hogwarts Legacy.