An analyst describes how a film adaption of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might be the next best move for the struggling franchise.
An industry expert describes how the best move for the Harry Potter franchise to take next would be an adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for the screen. Written by Jack Thorne from a story penned by J.K. Rowling, Cursed Child is a play that follows the story of Harry’s child Albus Severus, who gets into trouble after messing with a timeturner during his time at Hogwarts. Premiering on London’s West End in 2016 the play has since seen massive success, with productions in Japan, Australia and on Broadway. It even broke the record for the all-time highest weekly ticket sales of any play.
While on-stage Harry Potter is doing fantastically, on-screen its a different story. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore had the worst Wizarding World box office opening weekend. Despite a slightly better audience reception than the previous film The Crimes of Grindlewald, on its opening weekend Secrets is 31% down on its predecessor and is on track to be the only film in the franchise not to cross the $500 million mark globally.
A different approach is therefore probably on the cards and according to exhibitor relations analyst Jeff Bock, the best move would be to turn to The Cursed Child. Speaking in The Wrap, Bock describes that while Warner Bros. shouldn’t be abandoning the wider Wizarding World cinematic universe that the Fantastic Beasts films are a part of, their best bet would be to return to something closer in spirit to the books. He outlines how the films should be focusing on “what people like most about [the franchise],” which Bock says is Harry. You can read the full quote below:
“There’s still a lot of directions that Warner could take Wizarding World in the long-term, but right now they need to get back to what people like most about it, and that’s Harry,” [..] “Whether it’s a ‘Cursed Child’ adaptation or something else, the next project should be something closer to the books that builds an appetite for a spinoff that can really branch out the way the first ‘Fantastic Beasts’ did.”
News on a possible adaptation of The Cursed Child for the screen is thin on the ground, although Chris Columbus who directed the first two Harry Potter films has mentioned that he would be keen to direct one. This is not a bad idea, as a film with Columbus at the helm would be emblematic of a return to the spirit of the books that Bock mentions. It was Columbus’ magical direction and a close attention to the source material that made Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets such good foundations for the rest of the series. Perhaps a marriage of those elements with the Harry-focused plot of The Curse Child could build the appetite for spinoffs that Bock says is needed.
However, within the Harry Potter fanbase, The Cursed Child was incredibly polarizing. Many fans were disappointed with the story and script, likening it to fan fiction. Combined with the controversy that already surrounds the franchise, such as J.K. Rowling’s misguided antics on social media and the hastened re-casting of Grindlewald it might be best for the franchise to steer well clear of The Cursed Child. In fact, the controversy might be what dissuaded Daniel Radcliffe from returning to the titular role, as he has said that he wouldn’t return even if an adaptation of the play was on the cards.
Source: The Wrap
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