It’s been nearly a year since it was first confirmed that the Harry Potter franchise was in development as a television series. The streaming service it will be on was still known as HBO Max at the time. Since then, we’ve heard very little about the new series, but it appears the wheels have been turning. And they may be about to speed up, as it’s being reported that the showrunner is close to being chosen, and fans of other HBO series might be excited.
Deadline reports that Francesca Gardiner, who was a consulting producer on the third and fourth seasons of Succession, as well as an executive producer of HBO’s His Dark Materials series is one of the finalists for the gig. She also co-produced AMC’s critically acclaimed Killing Eve.
Gardiner certainly has some strong credentials, as well as a history working with Warner Bros. Discovery that may help her get the inside track on the new Harry Potter TV series. There are reportedly two other writers being considered alongside Gardiner.
Four other writers had been previously reported by Deadline as being under consideration, The Last Kingdom’s Martha Hillier, Kathleen Jordan, who is currently working on a TV adaptation of The Decameron, Tom Moran, who created The Devil’s Hour for Amazon, and Michael Lesslie, who most recently wrote the screenplay for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The other two writers under consideration are likely among those four, but there’s no indication which they could be.
The Wizarding World franchise has been named by WBD chief David Zaslav as one of the franchises that is seen to be key to the studio’s future, ripe with opportunity for creating more movies and series. While this first series is expected to be a new adaptation of J.K. Rowling's original novels, there is interest in creating multiple projects within the Wizarding World.
While the initial Harry Potter films were a massive success for Warner Bros., and some were among the best movies of the 2000s, the follow-up Fantastic Beasts series failed to catch on with audiences, with each film doing worse than the last. At one point, there were plans for five Fantastic Beasts films, but following a trilogy, it appears to be done.
With the race apparently down to three, a decision is likely imminent. Once they have settled on a showrunner who has a direction for the new series, pre-production will likely get underway in fairly short order, though that process will still take time. We’re probably still at least two years away from seeing this show on Max.
The Wizarding World will still expand in the interim. This week’s Universal Orlando Resort confirmed that a third Wizarding World theme park land would be coming to its new Epic Universe park, scheduled to open in 2025.