Since 1997, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has remained a centerpiece of young adult fiction, a cultural icon, and one of the highest selling books in history. Its adaptation to film is also one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, with eight films already completed, and three more films based on the Fantastic Beasts “textbook” on the way.
The films also made the franchise so visible that Universal Studios Florida has built two of the most successful expansions in theme park history based on the IP, with Universal Studios Hollywood set to open their own in 2016. Combine that with Pottermore, an online virtual community/experience where book readers are privy to extra content, the series remains as strong as ever.
When it was first announced that there would be another Harry Potter story, many fans began to speculate what the book would be about. However, it was later revealed that this story will not be a book, but instead a play in London’s West End. The play, titled Harry Potter and Cursed Child, was still a relatively unknown commodity. However, there’s finally some news on that front.
According to the official synopsis, released on Pottermore,
“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
There’s a lot to dissect here, namely that the story will take place after the events (and apparently epilogue), of Deathly Hallows. It also seems like Albus will be the focus of the new story, rather than strictly Harry. It’s hard not to speculate that a new series may be on the way, centered on Albus and his adventures at Hogwarts instead of Harry’s life. At the same time, many fans have wanted Harry Potter books based on life after Hogwarts. A world travelling Harry is also in play with the story.
To top it all off, we also got a poster for the play. It’s definitely creepy looking, recalling pagan imagery in the process. It’ll be interesting to see what story Rowling is looking to tell with her return to the Wizarding World.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens on West End in 2016.
For more information, a brand new full website has been launched at http://www.harrypottertheplay.com/.