‘Harry Potter’ Writer To Adapt World’s Most Popular Book

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Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) watching Buckbeak die in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakban'

Credit: Warner Bros.

The writer behind the most acclaimed entry in the Harry Potter franchise has a new project, and it’s the most popular book in the entire world.

Harry Potter stares ahead in fear in front of a tombstone
Credit: Warner Bros.

While Harry Potter was created by author JK Rowling, who has become arguably more famous for her strident, allegedly anti-trans views than her fantasy series, she is not the only prime creative player in the franchise.

Since the series proper ended with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007), in which the Boy Who Lived finally triumphed over the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, the franchise has split in two directions. In one, the author kicked off the Fantastic Beasts prequel guides (and the accompanying movie adaptations), along with a number of short story collections.

In the other, the acclaimed and massively popular play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child hit the West End in 2016. The play was celebrated by fans and critics alike and is generally considered one of the best installments of the franchise.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child poster
Credit: Warner Bros

Related: ‘Harry Potter’ TV Series: Everything We Know About the Reboot Nobody Asked For

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was initially credited as having been written by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. But over time, those credits have been adjusted to credit the story to the trio but sole script credit to Thorne.

Now, Jack Thorne is being given the responsibility of adapting The Alchemist (1988), the hugely successful novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, to film for the first time ever (per Deadline).

The Alchemist book cover
Credit: HarperTouch

There have been many attempts to adapt The Alchemist, which holds the Guinness Book Record for most popular translated novel by a living author, for the screen, including by TriStar and the Weinstein Company. However, Legendary Pictures has finally got ahold of the rights and is moving ahead with Harry Potter writer Jack Thorne to adapt.

The Alchemist follows an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago, who goes on a quest to find a treasure from a recurring dream. Along the way, he encounters a number of bizarre figures and gains inward knowledge of the self; its allegorical themes and folklore-like structure made it an immediate global success.

In addition to writing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jack Thorn wrote the recent HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, starring Dafne Keen, James MacAvoy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Enola with Sherlock Holmes and Watson
Credit: Netflix

He also wrote the screenplays for Enola Holmes and Enola Holmes 2, the massively popular Netflix series starring Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill.

Related: Harry Potter: The Four Hogwarts Houses

Not coincidentally, Legendary Pictures is the production company behind the Enola Holmes movies, as well as the recent Godzilla Monsterverse films (also starring Millie Bobby Brown), the Timothee Chalamet-starring Dune series, and the Jurassic World franchise.

At the very least, that is a very impressive pedigree for a potential adaptation of The Alchemist.

Will anyone be able to make an adaptation of The Alchemist work? Is Jack Thorne the right choice, or should he have stuck to Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments below!

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