‘Harry Potter’ Prequel Blows Up Online as Recasting Announcement Looms

in Harry Potter

Harry Potter reacting to Sirius Black's death in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Credit: Warner Bros.

The Wizarding World has seen plenty of unrest this year, whether it’s the scandals surrounding actors Johnny Depp and Ezra Miller, the poor box office performance of the latest Fantastic Beasts film, or pretty much anything to do with Harry Potter creator JK Rowling.

More importantly, Warner Bros. is apparently looking to reboot the Harry Potter universe, and, according to a recently reported leak by @WDWPro, is also looking to recast the characters for a project that will emerge in the next few years.

Eddie Redmayne Defends JK Rowling
Credit: Debra Hurford Brown/Rowling

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However, there’s just as much turmoil on the gaming side of the franchise, as Hogwarts Legacy (2023), the upcoming open-world title that will serve as a prequel of sorts to the Harry Potter timeline, once again finds itself at the heart of controversy.

In reference to fans purchasing Hogwarts Legacy upon its release next year, the user “GrizzlyPeak72” posted on the subreddit “GamingCircleJerk” a picture of the game’s poster alongside Rowling, with a caption that reads as follows:

“A friendly reminder from your modteam that this woman [JK Rowling] is a TERF and anyone who pledges to support her monetarily is also a transphobe.”

“TERF” means “trans-exclusionary radical feminist”, a shorthand name JK Rowling has picked up following a number of tweets that have been considered transphobic. Naturally, the subreddit post has elicited thousands of responses and has torn the fanbase down the middle.

Tom Riddle's Diary in Hogwarts Legacy
Credit: Warner Bros.

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Hogwarts Legacy might have enjoyed plenty of positive press lately, with gameplay showcases that reveal everything from character customization to the many open-world environments, but the truth is that it has been shrouded in controversy since its announcement two years ago.

Earlier this year, a number of Harry Potter fans threatened to boycott the game due to its involvement with JK Rowling, who has become a highly controversial figure after sharing tweets that many consider to be transphobic.

Time-lapse in Hogwarts Legacy
Credit: Warner Bros.

While Rowling hasn’t been directly involved with the game, the official Hogwarts Legacy website does state that the developers have collaborated closely with her, saying:

J.K. Rowling is not involved in the creation of the game, but as creator of the wizarding world and one of the world’s greatest storytellers, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World. This is not a new story from J.K. Rowling, however we have collaborated closely with her team on all aspects of the game to ensure it remains in line with the magical experiences fans expect.
Onyx Hippogriff flight in Hogwarts Legacy
Credit: Warner Bros.

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With that said, the game does appear to be retconning elements of established Wizarding World lore, and isn’t necessarily considered canon with the Harry Potter films or books.

Whether or not this new wave of boycotting will have any impact on the game’s sales, or on the more cinematic side of the Harry Potter universe, remains to be seen.

However, it’s possible that this will affect the rumored Harry Potter reboot, especially with the Wizarding World’s fellow Warner Bros. franchise, DC, currently cleaning house and canceling several upcoming projects.

In other words, Warner Bros. will undoubtedly be looking for ways to manage all this mischief.

The Wand shop in Hogwarts Legacy
Credit: Warner Bros.

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As per the official Hogwarts Legacy website, here’s the synopsis for the game:

Hogwarts Legacy is an immersive, open-world action RPG set in the world first introduced in the Harry Potter books. For the first time, experience Hogwarts in the 1800s. Your character is a student who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. Now you can take control of the action and be at the center of your own adventure in the wizarding world. Your legacy is what you make of it.

Brewing potions in Hogwarts Legacy
Credit: Warner Bros.

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PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Hogwarts Legacy will now be released on April 4, 2023. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series versions will be released as planned on February 10, while the Nintendo Switch version will be released on July 25.

Wizarding World locations in Hogwarts Legacy
Credit: Warner Bros.

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Will you be purchasing Hogwarts Legacy despite all the controversy surrounding JK Rowling? Let us know in the comments down below!

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