David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, would like to operate the company’s franchises – and that includes the opportunity to earn more Harry Potter movies, if anything can be worked out with author JK Rowling.
“We are going to focus on franchises,” Zaslav said during an investor conversation on Thursday. “We haven’t had a Superman movie in 13 years. We haven’t done Harry Potter in 15 years. The DC films and the Harry Potter films have been a major source of profit for Warner Bros. for the past 25 years. …
The director noted that the studio still has the theatrical rights to Lord of the Ringsand went back to the idea of more Harry Potternoting that he’d like to see more: “If we can do something with JK on” Harry Potter moving forward.”
It is noteworthy that Zaslav dangled the possibility of more Potter at an investor meeting, where the venue suggested it was more than just wishful thinking.
Warner Bros. brought eight . from Harry Potter movies from 2001-2011 that grossed $7.7 billion worldwide. It teamed up with Rowling on the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which was a case of diminishing returns at the box office. The most recent episode, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, debuted in April and earned $405.1 million worldwide. It’s unclear if the studio will move forward with the two planned films to complete the five-shot arc.
In the years that followed PotterRowling has become a controversial figure and has been accused of transphobia. Star Daniel Radcliffe has been among those who have responded with support for the trans community in light of tweets and comments Rowling has made.
Zaslav’s overture to Rowling comes after there have been incidents that fans have interpreted as signs of tension between Warners and the author, which both sides have denied. She was not part of the recent HBO reunion special (she later said she was invited but declined). Previously, her name was almost completely omitted from the first trailer for Secrets of Dumbledore. The studio released a statement refuting reports of disagreement: “For 20 years, Warner Bros., JK Rowling and her team have worked together to delight fans around the world with spectacular stories and the magic of the Wizarding World.”
Rowling was working on the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Childwhich debuted in 2016. Chris Columbus, the filmmaker behind the very first Potter, has expressed interest in directing an adaptation.