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Daniel Radcliffe on Someone New Playing Harry Potter? It’s ‘Destined to Become Like Sherlock Holmes’

The upcoming TV series passes down the story of The Boy Who Lived to a whole new generation of fans.

By Benjamin Bullard
Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe GETTY

If the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is anything at all, it’s larger and more magical than life. Over seven books, eight main movies, and a series of spinoffs whose number still grows, Hogwarts and its lore-rich fantasty setting have captured fans’ imaginations the way few franchises this side of Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever have.

It’s a fantasy playground so big, in fact, that original Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe sees infinite possibilities when it comes to putting fresh future faces in his iconic big-screen role of The Boy Who Lived. On the heels of Warner Bros. Discovery announcing a new, decade-long TV series set to be based on author J.K. Rowling’s epic books, Radcliffe told Deadline he feels Harry Potter as a character enjoys the same archetypal status in fans’ minds as that of the other literary greats who’ve made the leap from page to screen.

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“I think it's like Harry Potter was always destined to become like Sherlock Holmes,” shared the actor, who played young Harry in all the mainline films from 2001 to 2011. “The people that saw Basil Rathbone play Sherlock Holmes then [were] like, ‘No one could ever do this!’ They're gonna, though. It'll get passed on to somebody.”

He’s got a point there. These days, fans are more likely to think of Robert Downey, Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, or perhaps even Henry Cavill when they think of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous super-sleuth — even though dozens of actors, including Rathbone, have inhabited the role through decades that date all the way back to the early silent-movie era.

Max and Warner Bros. Discovery haven’t shared casting details yet for the upcoming Harry Potter TV series, though it’ll definitely be a completely new adaptation of Rowling’s original novels. That means young new actors all around to star as Harry and Hogwarts besties Hermione Grainger and Ron Weasley (played in the films by Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, respectively).

Though Radcliffe’s clearly at ease with seeing a new small-screen star becoming synonymous with the character he helped make famous, he does have firsthand perspective on just how big a deal it is to be known by millions as the face of Harry Potter.

“The weird thought I have now is like, ‘Oh, that’s probably like an 8 year-old kid out there somewhere whose life is going to change in a couple years,” he said. “My brain does go there.”

Can’t wait for Harry Potter to bring more magic to your small screen? Spin up some spells right now at Peacock, where fantasy hits like Grimm, The Last Unicorn, and Beauty and the Beast all are streaming right now! And keep an eye on SYFY to catch the Harry Potter films!