On the 20th anniversary of the big-screen introduction to the boy who lived, it appears like the fitting time to ask — within the age of cinematic universes, the place do Potterheads go from right here?
In this, the golden age of geekdom, Sounds Geek To Me is a column that seeks to debate and dissect the most recent from the varied fandom universes, new and outdated. From Marvel to Middle Earth to The Matrix, sci-fi sensations to superheroes, galaxies far far-off to wizarding worlds, the column goals to tell, opine and take fantasy storytelling far too critically.
“Yer a wizard Harry,” says a shaggy eight-foot tall tower of a person to a bespectacled, wide-eyed 11-year-old boy who, like us, didn’t know his world was by no means going to be the identical once more. This day, 20 years in the past noticed the US launch of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (no, it isn’t Sorcerer’s Stone, the lazy, watered-down, spoonfeed-y American title – don’t even get me bloody began).
It was the beginning of a beloved eight-part fantasy film franchise based mostly on an much more beloved e-book sequence that launched 1,000,000 aspiring wizards and witches. The definitive younger grownup fantasy sequence that a complete technology grew up with and acquired completely misplaced in. A sequence of films which, to at the present time, have the ability to move us again to a less complicated time. An age the place we might solemnly swear we have been as much as no good.
Aside from laying the constructing blocks of one of the vital profitable film franchises of all time, director Chris Columbus’ Philosopher’s Stone launched us to the on-screen adaptation of JK Rowling’s richly detailed and wondrous Wizarding World. A world of spells and sorting hats, Horcruxes and hallows, Butterbeers, Boggarts, and Bertie Bott’s each flavour beans (and so they actually do imply each flavour). Of Shrieking Shacks, Remembralls, Quidditch, practically headless ghosts, patronuses, Polyjuice potions, work with persona, and past. Not to say imprinting an unlimited array of magical vocabulary and spells into our unconscious. Objectively ineffective data that we’ll ceaselessly treasure.
The eight Harry Potter movies collectively earned practically $eight billion, and Rowling’s e-book sequence is without doubt one of the bestselling in historical past with greater than 500 million copies bought. But the wealthy legacy and enduring fanbase apart, on the 20th anniversary of the big-screen introduction to the boy who lived, it appears like the fitting time to ask — within the age of cinematic universes, the place do Potterheads go from right here?
At a time when far much less impactful franchises are getting spun into huge worlds of spin-offs and continuations, it appears like one of many greatest fandom universes stays comparatively untapped. What now we have had submit the books and flicks, is an attention-grabbing if unlikely combined bag of controversies, (sort of) continuations, and spin-offs.
First off, to handle the Quidditch-pitch-sized elephant within the room, you’ve an more and more problematic writer who, for all of the marvel she has given the world, now appears hellbent on inflicting the Cruciatus curse to her profession and popularity. An unlucky flip of occasions that has led to many Potterheads being pressured to have these delicate but dreaded but artwork vs artists conversations. (I legitimately wouldn’t be stunned if, within the time taken to learn this, Rowling has tweeted one more random character revelation nobody requested for, like “OMG BTW Dobby was a Death Eater, and Hogwarts was a metaphor for the Middle East this whole time!”).
Then there’s the Fantastic Beasts spin-off prequel sequence centered on Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander Not in contrast to the Hobbit sequence, Fantastic Beasts gave us a beautiful first movie that allowed us to revisit this world we so cherished with genuinely endearing characters. The movie that adopted, nevertheless, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of
Meandering Storytelling And Spectacular Miscasting Grindelwald, was one other story. (Jude Law as younger Dumbledore? Really? Go make out with a Dementor). And sure, there’s an unlucky third instalment on the best way.
There was additionally Harry Potter And The Cursed Child (2016), the printed script of a play, set 19 years after the occasions of the books. Despite all of the hopes and hype connected, The Cursed Child was a poorly written but bold Star Wars: Force Awakens-style continuation of the Harry Potter sequence, which informed the story of the subsequent technology of Weasleys and Potters, whereas nonetheless holding the now older Harry, Ron, and Hermione within the combine.
But now, within the age of mental property and a franchise-fuelled film trade pushed by cinematic universes, what of the Wizarding World? Or maybe the extra urgent query is: would a sprawling fandom universe made up of countless spin-offs, sequels, and prequels be good for this world we love a lot?
Is a Harry Potter cinematic universe even a superb factor? Why is it sufficient for us to not cherish what’s, reasonably than specializing in what subsequent? Should we not be fulfilled in simply reveling in and relishing these motion pictures and books as they’re?
In concept, sure. But at a time the place cinematic universes are both always increasing (Game Of Thrones, Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe) or there’s a fixed mad sprint by studios to create new ones (The Boys, The Witcher), it is just pure that now we have change into accustomed to those worlds being mined for extra. So as an entitled fan, my greatest reply as to if I’d need extra Harry Potter tales on display could be — sure… however provided that they’re good.
And if it was to hold on, what would that appear like? Small display or large? Existing characters or new ones? There are rumours of a Harry Potter-associated TV sequence at the moment in early improvement at HBO Max. It’s an concept that’s arduous to not be excited by. Back in 2011, popular culture publication IGN put out a bloody cool fan-made trailer for The Aurors, imagining what a wizarding US TV present might appear like, and it’s arduous to not get your thoughts working.
More not too long ago, Philosopher’s Stone director Chris Columbus mentioned in an interview that he would like to direct The Cursed Child film, contemplating the unique forged is now the fitting age (please god no — somebody obliviate this man). As as to if all or any of those come to fruition, solely time, and the selections of most likely white male studio executives behind closed doorways, will inform.
But coming again to relishing and celebrating what’s reasonably than getting misplaced in what if, regardless of what’s to change into of the Wizarding World, the very fact stays that 20 years in the past, we noticed the beginnings of one of the vital beloved fantasy tales of all time. An epic story which, regardless of its whimsical world, was, at its core, concerning the significance and energy of affection and connection. One of essentially the most enchanting good vs evil tales ever seen on display, the Harry Potter sequence did much more than simply contact hearts and endure. It made us imagine in magic.
Suchin Mehrotra is a movie journalist and film junkie who sincerely believes motion pictures can change the world. You can discover him on Twitter at @suchin545.