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Harry Potter Reboot [HBO Max]

  • 13-04-2023 9:53pm
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭

    Announced yesterday, and always seemed somewhat inevitable, especially with the Fantastic Beasts films generating almost zero interest: looks like the Harry Potter novels are going to be rebooted for HBO Max, with a season dedicated to each novel. There'll be a whole new cast for the thing - no details beyond that really.

    This is going to be interesting, 'cos whatever else the movies were, their iconography has become fairly engrained in pop culture. Doing it all over again, just over 10 years shy since the last HP film, is only going to invite eager comparison and criticism. I'm a bit surprised they didn't go for a brand-new Hogwarts story for TV - rather than rebooting the whole "main timeline" so to speak.



  • Registered Users Posts: 140 ✭✭TimeUp

    Really looking forward to this, if it doesn't get cancelled because of wokism lol

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭raclle

    Me too. The movies were cringe inducing awful in fairness. The young actors couldn't act and there was some major plot holes especially in the later movies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,336 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    Really don't see any need for this show at all. The films were about 2-3 hours long each. Even if they did each season as 8 episodes, say 50 minutes each, that's over 6.5 hours. That's an awful lot of padding for stories everyone is already very familiar with. Even though most of the films weren't great, they're still perfectly watchable for fans of the books and even for young children who are only now getting into them, and the children would be far more likely to prefer to watch the films than the TV show.

    And as for the actors, yeah the acting wasn't great in the earlier films, but it's not likely to improve much with a reboot because you're still going to be casting very young, inexperienced actors. The supporting cast or actors can't really be improved upon too much compared to the films either.

    This is a real shameless cash-grab. It'd be so easy to do a show within the same universe but either a different time or even a different school.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,270 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody

    @Penn well yes it's an obvious cash grab; that's the whole point of all the reboots etc. but I think they can make it work if they want to. If they write it more towards a high school drama style with magic and the dark meta subplot going on (and hence making the whole series more darker from the start) I think it could work. If they were really smart about it they would focus not on Harry as much as the rest of the key characters and what happened to them, their background etc. and break new ground rather than rehash it all from the movies. This would give an oppertunity to build on the hints, one of sentances etc. from the books and break new ground (they will still want Harry etc. as main characters for name recognition).

    However that's not what I expect that they will do. I think we'll end up adding new side characters that will be LGBTQ+ (because it's hard to rewrite the main charactes to change their love interests of Ron, Hermione, Harry etc.) simply for being LGBTQ+ rather than as something that's natural to the story (which will cause internet drama ala LoTR etc.) which will ruin the story telling (and of course that's before we talk about how a certain author will react to the changes...). Now if they wrote that Hermione had a fling with a girl, Harry was exploring his feelings about Dumbledore etc. I'd be all for it but I think the audience would see it as to big of a deviation from the source material. If we get really unlucky they will decide to go down the route ala Wheel of Times and simply make the female characters Superwomen and the males becoming comic side kicks instead in the name of "female empowerment" rather than use the already strong female characters as is (as it ruins the story telling and not because female empowerment is bad).

    TLDR I think there's possibilities to do a good TV series out of it but I have serious doubts about the capability to do it with today's TV series climate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭raclle

    This will be aimed more at adults than kids. I thought HBO did a brilliant job with GoT until they ran out of source material but that wasn't their fault. The movies were more of a cash grab than this project will. They started filming before the books were finished so didn't know what direction to go and even when the books were finished they hired an inept director who butchered them.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,336 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    There's only so "dark" they can make the stories though, because either they hugely divert from the source material, or they have to stick to the resolution to many of the plots of the movies which is "Friendship and love is the most powerful magic we have". (which I assume is from the books, have never read them).

    I just fail to see what they can add to any of it without substantially changing the source material. Even if they show or focus on different side characters and expand on their stories, we know they have f*ck all effect on the main story.

    It's why they'd be better doing a whole new story in that universe. Fantastic Beasts obviously did horribly, but I think something more along the lines of Harry Potter (children growing up in a school) would be the best course, just in a different school or time period (eg. Hogwarts 20+ years later). You could even have the kids of the book characters in the school for continuity, but wouldn't even need to have them be main characters.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    IIRC profits on the Wizarding World have dropped quite a bit of late, though don't have a source. Potentially because of Rowling's personal views, maybe not. Perhaps the universe has tanked out on its goodwill - the Fantastic Beasts films can't have helped. Couple that with the ongoing hot mess at WB and this whole thing couldn't sign itself more as a cash grab if it tried.

    It's just such a lazy swing too though, cos you'd have thought the more obvious, exciting series would be something new, divorced of the films' timeline. No comparison, no contrast and a fresh slate. I wonder how much of this decision was from Rowling herself, panicking that the one attempted spin off deflated so badly, now struggling to maintain goodwill or relevancy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,458 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    You honestly think a Rowling-produced vehicle is going to have transgender characters in it? Really???

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,336 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    There was a trans character in the recent Hogwarts Legacy game, though it mostly seems to have been done by the developers to try and counter Rowling's anti-trans stance.

    Yeah profits from the Wizarding World dropped last year. Fantastic Beasts certainly hasn't been able to keep the hype-train going and has been abandoned, which is why they seem to want to return to the core material. I doubt Rowling is too involved in the decision-making in that regard though. They probably can't do anything substantial without her approval, but I doubt she's involved in actually making the decisions, just giving the yay or nay.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,270 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody

    Without a doubt because they don't need Rowling's permission on the details of the script and I'd even doubt she'd have any real input in the script in general. It would be "a bold take" on the story etc. as it would be reported though as noted above likely hamfisted into it all (I have no doubt you can add a transgender character into the story easily; esp. as you can add magic to the twist of them changing gender etc. but I simply don't think it will be done well). From a writers perspective it's a nice "middle finger salut" to her as well and her stance while from the leadership perspective it will be seen as positive headlines as the fight erupts once it comes out; think LoTR and the miles of headline over "racists don't like black dwarfs in LoTR".

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭raclle

    There's no need to shoe horn the authors own personal views into this. Most people don't give af and it's annoying more than anything. If you want to appease the minority then do it somewhere else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,761 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985

    Rowling is executive producer of this new show. I don't see there being any trans characters or very out there LGBTQ+ characters but she was ok with gay Dumbledore and black Hermione so I'm sure it will be less straight and white than before.

    The claim so far is that this will be more faithful to the books than the movies not less.

    No matter what route they go the movies certainly are not dated enough yet for this to be anything more that a cynical cash grab.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭SortingYouOut

    I guess there's room to capture a lot from the books that the earlier films couldn't due to time limitations. It's been a while since i've read them but I remember coming out of the movies when I was younger noting a few bits and pieces that the movies skipped or altered.

    I'm still very much loyal to the original cast, apart from radcliffe who I found a bit wooden as he aged.

    Beverly Hills, California

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,509 ✭✭✭LambshankRedemption

    Surprised they didn't go for a Hogwarts-High theme. Saved with the Bell, but for non-Muggles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,079 ✭✭✭Stephen_Maturin

    Hope this turns out well but I can’t shake the feeling what we’ll get it a cynical cash grab with a load of non-canon politics shoehorned in and nobody will be happy.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,638 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous

    I'm still a big fan of the films, binge them every Christmas. I have strong doubts about a TV show managing to capture that magic again, that it's HBo and they have a strong record is the only reason I haven't written it off completely yet.

    Regarding the 'wokeness', it is odd to look back and see how strictly enforced the gender lines are, you can transfigure pretty much anything but gender bending seems to be taboo. Are there any actual examples of it in the books?

    That would make a good story actually, a young student dealing with their sexual identity in the conservative world of magic

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,538 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    Not sure it’s been mentioned here but HBO Max is changing its name to just Max from 22nd May, precisely because of the association of the HBO brand with adult oriented content (and also because of a now abandoned plan to merge it with Discovery+). Anyone who thinks they are going to turn a children’s book series into the next Games of Thrones I suspect will be wrong, this will almost certainly be a family-oriented show. One for kids and parents to sit down and watch together.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,270 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody

    I'd expect them to aim it at or slightly below Twilight level; not PG7 but not GoT level either. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was PG-13 (same as Twilight) because that allows it to be family friendly enough yet allow them to keep it darkish enough to keep it "edgy". I'd as well expect them to do it ala LoTR in terms of having older people playing young people in the series rather than using children.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Harder, yes but it's not like the world is that thin it couldn't sustain a new idea. Some franchises have more runway than others, this should have a tonne of it.

    Fantastic Beasts didn't fail cos the universe had nothing outside Hogwarts, it failed cos it singularly failed to apply its own simple, engaging premise. Potter Pokémon, it was right there, even in the title. No, instead it was a tedious prequel that was about Magic Politics and prejudice. Wrapped in Dumbledore lore I don't think people wanted.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,761 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985

    I wonder is "Wednesday" on their minds as a template.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,336 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    I'd query though how much of that additional lore and development for minor characters is relevant or interesting enough to warrant exploration. I haven't read the books, but going by this link of 15 HP storylines not included in the films, there are maybe two or three that might have been interesting, but even then wouldn't have taken that long to go through.

    I'm all for giving a full reboot as a TV show a chance (though I'd likely wait for reviews rather than watch it at release). Even The Last Of Us changed things from the game and added new bits which were all terrific, while still remaining true to the core of the game and the most important parts. But I'd have reservations about how much they can stretch it out considering the films were able to mostly adapt the core story of each book in 2-3 hours, and how they'd be better than the films (flawed and all as the films were).

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 4,313 Mod ✭✭✭✭TherapyBoy

    “..I haven’t read the books..”

    I have. They chopped the books to bits to make the movies. They don’t need to stretch anything to fill a television series.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,744 ✭✭✭kksaints

    Slightly surprised its not a prequel to the books with Harry's parents and Snape etc. Seems a bit lazy to go back to what the movies covered not that long ago.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,336 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    I get that, and that's what I'm querying. How much of the stuff which was cut from the books is interesting enough to make a TV show worth it, considering the films were able to tell the story of each book in 2-3 hours, and a TV season for each book would be 6 hours minimum. I think if it wasn't for the films, then adapting the books as a TV show would be a great idea. But with the films already being so familiar and easy to watch for the vast majority of people, doing a TV show at this point just doesn't feel like the additional material from the books that they could add in would be worth it.

    I'd feel the same way about Lord of the Rings. I did read those books and there is a lot cut from the books which weren't even in the extended versions of the films. Would it be worth re-doing as a TV show to include those things, even though the films are still hugely watchable and not that old? I'd say no. They also stretched out The Hobbit to three long films by including a lot of the additional writings/appendices of Tolkien, and it wasn't worth it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭raclle

    If you have any interest give the books a read. The movies don't do them justice at all. They've more than enough material to play with as each book gets longer. I can only imagine each season will have more or longer episodes.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 4,313 Mod ✭✭✭✭TherapyBoy

    Seriously Penn, they’d get 5 hour long episodes out of Voldemorts back story & family history alone if they told it right. There’s bundles of stuff in the books they never touched on at all in any of the movies. They’re worth a read.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,761 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985

    I really don't think they cut anything from the LotR books that would make a movie better. The 2 mediums have very different flows.

    People always reference Tom Bombadil but I always thought he was a shte pointless character anyway.

    I think movies can be unfairly judged for leaving stuff out. Not everything needs to be left in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,336 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    Definitely. The films included everything that needed to be included imo. I would have liked the Scouring of the Shire like in the extended editions, but can see why it was cut from the theatrical release. From what I remember, most of what was cut was just Tom Bombadil, and a sh*tload of elvish poems and singing.

    That's fair enough. Like I said, haven't read the books so that's why I was querying it. It just didn't feel from the movies that there was much missing or that I would have thought needed to be expanded upon. But I'm happy enough to give the show a chance if it turns out to be good.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,638 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous

    Give every Quidditch match 15 minutes and make it the focus of an episode and that's at least Season 1 and 3 filled out a bit. Same with all the class stuff and the general feeling of being at a boarding school, which was actually some of the most appealing stuff about the books but mostly got cut from movies.

    It's why I don't get why want to focus on the original story again, most book fans would be more than happy with just a good depiction of a year at Hogwarts I'd assume

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    I reckon it's a mixture of corporate timidness in the face of a lagging brand, be it Potter or WB itself! Going back to formula being seen as the safer bet than taking a chance on a new story - especially as technically, to the been counters, they already tried than with Fantastic Beasts.

    They probably are hoping for lots of vital chatter and hype of the "who will be cast as Harry??", Cos worth remembering tha while many will roll their eyes at this whole announcement, many also are social media addicts who'll hype this cos their favourite thing is being made again.