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Merlin's beard! Harry Potter TV series reportedly in development at HBO Max

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Jan 25, 2021, 11:47 AM EST

The news has officially arrived via owl: HBO Max is reportedly developing a brand-new TV series based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project is in the very early stages, but "executives at the WarnerMedia-backed streamer have engaged in multiple conversations with potential writers exploring various ideas that would bring the beloved property to television." However, it's unclear if the show would be a direct adaptation of the seven original books or explore a different era of the Wizarding World timeline (à la a prequel about the founders of Hogwarts, the rule-breaking Marauders, etc.).

In a statement provided to THR, Warner Bros. and HBO Max denied the existence of any such TV effort to plumb the rich magical universe: "There are no Harry Potter series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform."

The Harry Potter novels were already brought to the big screen in eight feature films that collectively brought in over $7 billion at the worldwide box office. WB is currently in the midst of rolling out a franchise of prequel films under the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them banner. The upcoming third entry — five in total are planned — is currently shooting in the U.K., with the hope of opening in theaters next summer. So far, the first two installments have made over $1 billion globally. The Potter brand has even made its way to the stage with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a sequel story to Deathly Hallows, which, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, had live performances all over the world.

For years, Potterheads have discussed the medium of television as the best way in which to do justice by the books, which could only include so much detail when translated for cinema. In addition, fans have also clamored for projects that shine a light on aforementioned topics, like Hogwarts and its four famous founders (Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin), as well as the creators of the Marauder's Map (James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and Remus Lupin).

"Expanding the world of Harry Potter remains a top priority for HBO Max and Warner Bros., which along with creator J.K. Rowling, controls rights to the property," adds THR.

This isn't the only fantasy series that WarnerMedia is mining for new content. Just last week, it was confirmed that another Game of Thrones prequel, Tales of Dunk and Egg, had entered early development at HBO. It joins a growing roster of projects based on the Westeros-based writings of George R.R. Martin. Elsewhere, a prequel series centered around the Targaryens, House of the Dragon, is already moving forward with a core cast already in place.