Rumor has it ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ might come to theaters — and Chris Columbus is on board
The play might be the next installment in the ‘Harry Potter’ movie franchise
Get ready Harry Potter fans — the wizarding franchise might expand. There is chatter about bringing the stage play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” to theaters. And the Gryffindor trio (played by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint) might be involved.
“Warner Bros are currently looking at how to bring The Cursed Child to the big screen,” a source reported to The Sun. “At the moment it is in very formative stages and they are discussing the next steps to move it forward.”
Fans of the beloved “Harry Potter” movies might have mixed feelings about Warner Bros’ decision to cash in on the franchise. Its most recent endeavor — the “Fantastic Beasts” movies — were slammed by critics. So much so that filmmakers put a halt on completing the five-movie series after just three installments, per 7news.
“If the series were to fizzle out, that would be a relief. No amount of movie magic can save it now,” panned Shirley Li in The Atlantic, after the release of the most recent “Fantastic Beasts” installment.
After the “Fantastic Beasts” flop, Warner Bros is allegedly “full steam ahead” in making the “Cursed Child” series, but significant changes could be necessary to impress audiences. The West End production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” has received its own slew of bad reviews.
What is ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ about?
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is a play written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.
The play catches up with Harry 19 years after his defeat of Voldemort in the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry’s life looks different now — he’s a husband and father of three who works for the Ministry of Magic. And he is still haunted by his traumatic past.
His eldest son, Albus, is grappling with his own set of challenges — following in his famous father’s footsteps at Hogwarts. Albus sets off on a much different path than Harry when he gets sorted into Slytherin, the Hogwarts house notorious for breeding dark wizards, and befriends Scorpius Malfoy, son of Harry’s childhood nemesis, Draco.
How long is ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’?
The original play was nearly six hours long and split into two parts. Once “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” got put on stages across the world, a condensed, roughly three-hour version of the play was written.
Where is ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ playing?
In July 2016, the play was brought to Palace Theater on the West End. It is now showing in theaters across the world: Broadway, Melbourne, Hamburg, Toronto and Tokyo, according to the Cursed Child site.
Adapting ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ into a movie
Transforming the “Cursed Child” play could prove to be difficult — fans of the play and the original “Harry Potter” series have lofty expectations.
Critics received the “Cursed Child” with mixed reviews. Vulture called it “record-breakingly extravagant, and extravagantly entertaining.”
But some critics feared that the “dense” plot might be “tricky” for moderate “Harry Potter” fans to follow — as in those who have only seen the movies and maybe read the books one time through.
“I ... worry that people who’ve only watched the films might have trouble with portions of the play,” Vanity Fair wrote. “‘The Cursed Child’ is a tall order, asking people to pay a lot for something that cannot stand on its own.”
Despite the show’s intense plot, critics gave loads of praise for its visual effects.
“Tiffany spares no indulgence as his lavish production unfolds, giving us acrobatic wand fights, polyjuice transformations, flying Dementors, and a stunt involving water that still has me boggled,” wrote Vanity Fair. “There’s a giddy bravado to a lot of this stuff ... Tiffany smartly contextualizes the spectacle, figuring out how to make a live ‘Harry Potter’ show feel magical in a way that’s unique to the theater.”
The New York Times shared, “there are loads of films — even those with the extravagant C.G.I. budgets of the ‘Harry Potter’ movies — that come nowhere near approaching the magic of Tiffany’s staging.”
There is no doubt that CGI is capable of incredible stunts, but will it be able to recreate the magic of visual effects on stage? The visual effects provided audiences with high expectations. If movie makers can recreate the magic effects of the stage show, it is sure to impress audiences.
How will the two-part play get condensed into a movie?
The length proved to be the show’s weak point. At almost six hours in length, the excessively long and pricey play was not accessible to young kids and families. So, as the play made its way to stages across the world, the plot got condensed into a three-hour version with cheaper ticket prices.
Critics were pleased with the shortened plot. It felt more straightforward and easily understood.
“Without so much gratuitous small talk, lackluster punchlines and ineffective jabs, whatever has survived the cut is much more impactful than before,” wrote the Los Angeles Times.
“This is especially true of its emotional beats. ... These situations, once diluted by dialogue, have been rewritten into simple, more straightforward sentiments — brief monologues or emphatic one-liners, each given seconds to sink in.”
It is likely that the movie adaptation will be broken up into two installments based on the condensed version of the play.
“The hope at the moment is that ‘The Cursed Child’ could be made into two films — both of which would pack as much punch, if not more, than the stage show,” according to 7news.
Chris Columbus is on board
Chris Columbus — director of the first two “Harry Potter” movies — expressed interest in directing a “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” movie.
“I would love to direct ‘The Cursed Child’,” Columbus told Variety in 2021. “It’s a great play and the kids are actually the right age to play those roles. It’s a small fantasy of mine.”
Movie makers are hopeful for a Daniel Radcliffe return
The “Cursed Child” takes place 19 years after Harry’s defeat of Voldemort, which would make the original actors (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint) the perfect ages to play their older selves in a movie.
“The dream would be to have major stars returning, including Daniel Radcliffe, but that is still incredibly far off,” a source told The Sun. “Everyone who works within the Harry world wants Daniel to be back, but first they have to iron out the plan for how many films it will be, a reworked script and budgets.”
Hermione Granger (played by Watson) and Ron Weasley (played by Grint) also have major roles in the “Cursed Child,” but their return has not been confirmed. Although Grint said he would be open to reprising his role as Ron Weasley.
Grint said he would return to the franchise “if the timing was right and everyone was coming back. It was a character that was important to me, we kind of became the same person,” per the Daily Mail.
Will there be a ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ movie?
There are no official confirmations that a “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” movie is in the work, but if all the stars align, it might just happen.