'Harry Potter's Plans To Keep J.K. Rowling Away
It’s been twenty whole years since the theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone -- or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for all those Americans who don’t know what a philosopher is and were incapable of a simple Yahoo search back in 2001. To celebrate the anniversary, we’re getting a lot more Harry Potter-themed content in the coming months that thankfully in no way include the villainous Grindelwald and his evil plan to … prevent the Holocaust from happening? Yikes.
First off, we’re getting a game show hosted by Helen Mirren. While sadly not a wizard version of The Price is Right in which contestants are forced to guess the costs of various potions and shiny new broomsticks, the Hogwarts Tournament of Houses is a trivia contest for adults and children too nerdy for even Jeopardy. It also features celebrity guests like Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy, Shirley Henderson, who played Moaning Myrtle, and -- holy crap, what the hell happened to Neville Longbottom?
There’s also going to be a reunion show on New Year’s Day featuring the original cast and director Chris Columbus, but pointedly not J.K. Rowling, author of the original Harry Potter series and, more recently, a bunch of transphobic garbage.
While fans have been wrestling with whether or not the series can ever be separated from its creator and her penchant for publishing hurtful, wildly inaccurate screeds against the trans community instead of, say, doing literally anything else that a billionaire can do, this decision is seemingly just the latest step for the franchise itself to sideline Rowling. Previously, Warner Bros. used Rowling’s non-involvement as a selling point for the upcoming Hogwarts Legacy video game, and then there was the assignment of co-screenwriter Steve Kloves on the next Fantastic Beasts sequel.
It very much feels like the Harry Potter franchise is making strides to be seen as an entity that can exist without the now-tainted Rowling. Of course, this is ultimately for appearances, and any financial support you give the Potter franchise will presumably also support Rowling, which is part of the ethical calculus many fans are being forced to make right now. And while the upcoming Potter programs don’t feature Rowling, at least they have He Who Shall Not be Named.
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Top Image: Warner Bros.