When Warner Bros Studio announced that it would be continuing the Harry Potter film franchise – with JK Rowling on scriptwriting duties no less – the fandom erupted with excitement. However, this frenzied anticipated quickly gave way to bewilderment once Warner Bros. confirmed that the first of these new spin-off films would be based off flimsy tie-in novel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Since then, Eddie Redmayne has signed on as lead Newt Scamander and we’ve seen glimpses of the Fantastic Beasts‘ never-before-seen magical New York setting, making the spin-off plans seem a bit more viable than was first apparent. Now, we’re left wondering what other tales of the Wizarding World might make it to the big and small screens, given the richness of the fictional universe Rowling has created – not to mention the willingness of Warner Bros to green light anything related to The Boy Who Lived quicker than you can say,”Accio cash!”.
So let’s make like Professor Trelawney and try to forecast what other Harry Potter spin-offs might be headed our way!
5. Quidditch Through the Ages
Why not? After all, fellow charity benefit release Fantastic Beasts hardly seemed a logical choice at first, either. That said, I can’t really see this one sustaining a full feature-length film, let alone a trilogy. Instead, an adaptation of Quidditch Through the Ages would probably work best as a one-off special for TV/streaming services.
Given Rowling has previously expressed her disinterest in ever writing another fixture of the Wizarding World’s favourite sport, it seems unlikely that she would pen this one herself. But under her guidance, another talented scribe could make this work as a whimsical, Horrible Histories-style mockumentary – possibly hosted by Ludo Bagman! – covering the rise and rise of the most dangerous recreational activity that never was
4. The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore
Every entry on this list is based off an existing piece of Harry Potter fiction published either in the real world or within the fictional reality of the series itself. The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore falls under the latter umbrella, and as its title suggests, this spin-off would function as an origin for everyone’s favourite supremely powerful headmaster, one which would cover much of the material revealed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but cut from the film adaptation.
Dumbledore’s full backstory is a tragic one, and (unlike its use in-universe) the film’s title would be meant ironically. Not only would The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore cover the venerable wizard’s early days – including his troubled family life and near-seduction to the Dark Arts – it could also potentially further explore the beginnings of the man who would become Lord Voldemort and link up with another spin-off starring the Marauders (more on that later).
More importantly though, this would be the first major blockbuster film to feature a gay protagonist – yet another reason for this one to happen.
3. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Another one for the small screen, The Tales of Beedle the Bard would work best as an anthology series, with each episode featuring a different wizarding fairytale. Picture something like Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, right down to the inclusion of framing scenes featuring the show’s narrator – probably a new character, and most likely a Hogwarts professor.
Thanks to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I, we’ve already seen “The Tale of the Three Brothers” brought to life, so it’s clear that these stories (and others like them) will translate to magic when realised in live-action. The series could start with Rowling’s five original Beedle stories, before branching out to create new ones – that’s right: new Harry Potter content!
2. A History of Magic
Hogwarts was founded by the four greatest wizards and witches of the age many centuries ago, and it’s time their legendary story was told in full. After all, what we know of the school’s origins and the lives of founders Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff and Salazar Slytherin makes it pretty clear that this would really soar on screen.
For one thing, we’d get to see the Wizarding World during a vastly different time period, which is bound to be fun (and let the production design department cut loose!). For another, watching the Four Founders come together to build the School, only for their relationships to breakdown – quite dramatically, in the case of eventual Dark Wizard Slytherin – means that pathos is virtually guaranteed.
(As an aside, I know hardcore fans will argue that a film like this should really be called Hogwarts, A History, but that’s a pretty rubbish title for a movie.)
1. The Marauders
Back in 2008, Rowling caused a massive stir by writing the opening chapter of an untitled Harry Potter prequel, which she auctioned for charity. While the author quickly made it clear she had no plans to ever write a book about the adventures of James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and (Boo! Hiss!) Peter Pettigrew, a lot of fans were left wishing she’d reconsider.
Now, I’m not really sure that a Marauders spin-off should happen, however, it’s hard to deny that it would be nice to see a lot of the history surrounding this group brought to life on screen. This is especially the case since, like Dumbledore’s backstory, most of this material that was condensed or excised from the cinematic franchise.
There’s also plenty of key moments from the Marauders story that we haven’t seen in either novel or film. This includes how James finally grew into the man whom Lily fell in love with, and the three times they defied Lord Voldemort together (as outlined in the prophecy central to the the Harry Potter series itself). We’d also get a glimpse of James and Sirius as the Fred and George Weasley of their era, ensuring that the movie has more than its fair share of fun and laughter, too.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter or Facebook!