JK Rowling Will Take Active Role on Harry Potter TV Series

The Harry Potter TV series is moving along faster than the Hogwarts Express. (Is that the name of the train? I think it is.) Deadline reports that a series of writers are sending in pitches to Warner Bros. Television and HBO Max, with the top picks from this round of auditions moving on to the next. The writers are “an interesting mix of Brits and Americans,” with Martha Hillier (The Last Kingdom), Kathleen Jordan (Teenage Bounty Hunters), Tom Moran (The Devil’s Hour), and Tom Lesslie (The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) among them. But the part of Deadline’s report that’s causing apoplexy among the woke is their assertion that JK Rowling is an executive producer and is “ expected to be involved in the decision-making on the series.” Here’s Discussing Film’s reaction to that:

“Known transphobe.” This is what they’ve reduced her to; someone who thinks there’s a difference between men and women. Imagine being outraged that the woman who wrote the books and created the world and characters is involved in the Harry Potter show and then calling yourself a fan. Rowling has said that she has nothing against the trans community, but she doesn’t like the idea of biological men being let into women’s spaces, like sports, prisons, or bathrooms, and that a result is the minimization of violence against women (of which Rowling has suffered, and for which her critics have seemingly no remorse, for her or anyone else). Rowling has even started a safe house for female victims to ensure they have somewhere to go where their safety is prioritized, so she’s not just looking to get attention.

But all this is beside the point. JK Rowling created Harry Potter; that is her world, and those are her characters, and the idea that she can be forcibly removed from it because some people don’t like her opinions is revolting. On a recent stream (I can’t remember which one because he has so many), Mauler discussed a similar situation with Joss Whedon, who has been unpersoned by Hollywood because he’s mean and made Ray Fisher cry. While talking about Slayers: A Buffyverse Story, a recent audio novel co-written by former Buffy: The Vampire Slayer actress Amber Benson, Mauler said it’s disturbing how they’re trying to minimize Whedon’s importance to Buffy, which he created, if not outright divorce him from it. I agree, and that’s what’s happening to Rowling as well, albeit less successfully. (Ironically, Slayers proved how vital Whedon’s involvement was to Buffy’s success.)

If anything, this outrage will probably backfire. Remember how mad these people got over Hogwarts Legacy, last year’s Harry Potter video game? It was the best-selling game of 2023, the first in fourteen years that wasn’t either a Call of Duty or Rockstar game. And at least part of its success has been attributed to people who were fed up with the disgusting protests and played it out of spite. So go ahead and whine about Rowling being a part of the Harry Potter show; Warner Bros. will laugh all the way to the bank.

As for the writers, I don’t know the first three, but Tom Lesslie wrote The Little Drummer Girl, the miniseries based on the John le Carré novel of the same name. The Little Drummer Girl was not only excellent, not only an improvement on its source material, but a smart adaptation that translated some elements of the book that must have seemed almost impossible to put on film. Long stretches of Florence Pugh’s character reciting her cover story as she trained for an undercover spy operation are handled so well that reality and fantasy blur, and you’re caught up in the cover as much as she is. I don’t know if that means he’s right for Harry Potter, and it’s not my place to say, but he can adapt a book well, so he’s got my uninformed vote.

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