It’s been nearly 20 years since Warner Bros. released its first Harry Potter movie and turned J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard into an adolescent cash cow. Now, the studio has signaled plans to ramp up their expansion of the franchise. Variety brings word that WB has selected Tom Ascheim to oversee all projects under the Wizarding World banner.
According to the report, Ascheim will serve as the studio’s primary representative in its relationship with Rowling and her own reps, agent Neil Blair and Blair Partnership Chief Creative Officer James McKnight. Last summer, Ascheim was also chosen to head up WB’s kids, young adults, and classics division. In his new role, Ascheim will be “expanding the Wizarding World property for the studio’s various outlets and platform partners.”
This news seems like it’s been in the making for a while. Warner Bros. began to explore the Harry Potter universe beyond Rowling’s original book series when they released Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016. A sequel to this film followed in 2018, with a third entry slated for release in 2022. It’s still not clear what other Potter-adjacent stories the studio has in the works. But since the announcement mentions various platforms, it seems likely that they’re also tooling around with developing a TV series for HBO Max.
Meanwhile, Rowling has come under fire over the last year due to comments she’s made about the transgender community. Her remarks prompted several people closely associated with the Harry Potter brand, including the original films’ star, Daniel Radcliffe, to issue statements disavowing her stance on the issue. Warner Bros. also released its own statement claiming to support a “diverse and inclusive” environment. Regardless, they clearly aren’t planning to sever ties with Rowling anytime soon.
What kind of Wizarding World stories would you like to see onscreen in the future? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Two-Volume Hardcover Book Set
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