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The Harry Potter franchise is back, and it looks like it’s here to stay awhile.
And I don’t know about you, but I’m excited.
In a movie world saturated with remakes and flooded by book-to-movie adaptions attempting to capitalize on current crazes, it only makes sense that such a lucrative and popular brand as J.K. Rowling’s world wouldn’t be out of the headlines for long. I mean, seriously, how long did it take for them to cast a new Batman? “The Dark Knight Rises” came out, like, last year. The last Harry Potter movie, on the other hand, came out in 2011. Definitely time for some new stuff.
But only if the new stuff is actually, you know, new. (I’m getting really tired of your remakes and reboots, Hollywood.) And if the current news is true, then these upcoming movies be as new as it can get.
When I saw the first headline for this scroll down my Facebook wall, I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic. Not my fault, there. The headline was misleading. All it said was there were new Harry Potter movies on the way. It didn’t say anything about them being based on “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a textbook featured in the books and actually written as a real book by Rowling, and the book’s fictional author. The new movie series is, in short, a spinoff.
But it’s a little more unusual, actually. Sure, spinoffs in general are hardly uncommon. For example, there’s “Torchwood” and “The Sarah Jane Adventures” for “Doctor Who” fans and “The Legend of Korra” for “Avatar: The Last Airbender” groupies (the second season of “Korra” premiered on Friday, and all I will say is I will be reserving judgment). The most recent TV series spinoff from a movie that I can think of is “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” from “The Avengers.”
However, all those examples bring in or focus on characters from the parent TV series or movie. The new Harry Potter movies’ relation to the title character and friends is promised to be found solely in the world they share. Which can be both good and bad. On the one hand, it may be a disappointment to many fans who have been dying for a prequel or sequel featuring some of their beloved characters. This might make it a tougher sell.
On the other hand, being a “Harry Potter” fan, I know how many fellow fans think — if it’s anything “Harry Potter”-related, then I’m there. I’m excited for new characters and new stories set in a world I grew up loving. It didn’t hurt “Star Trek” to venture off with new crews and new ships. It won’t hurt “Harry Potter” to focus on new witches and wizards. In fact, if “Star Trek” is any indication, it’s only going to make the franchise more popular, longer-lasting. After all, this is something we haven’t seen before. We don’t have to worry about whether this actor played this character better than the first one or which movie adaptation had the best scenes. We can move on to bigger and better things.
And as a fan, that’s all I really hope for.