Weasleys May Be Portrayed by Actors of Color in ‘Harry Potter’ Reboot

in Harry Potter

Fred and George Weasley in the Black house in 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'

Credit: Warner Bros.

The Weasley family may be portrayed by actors of color in the Harry Potter reboot.

It’s hard to ever imagine a time when the Harry Potter franchise was controversial, but these days it’s tricky to bring it up in conversation without the likes of Johnny Depp’s infamous trial, Ezra Miller’s assault allegations, or JK Rowling’s divisive tweets being mentioned. Even the open-world game Hogwarts Legacy (2023) carries its fair share of dark magic.

For a long time, the future looked uncertain for the Wizarding World, owing thanks to the failure that was the Fantastic Beasts spinoff trilogy. Thankfully, between the fan-pleasing video game title and an upcoming television series, the past year has seen Harry Potter find its feet again. So, there may be plenty of magic yet to come from this beloved IP.

Harry Potter screaming "he was their friend" in Prisoner of Azkaban
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: HBO’s ‘Harry Potter’ Could Finally Embrace Dumbledore’s Sexuality

Earlier this year, Warner Bros. announced that a Harry Potter television series is in development; one that will reboot the eight films in the series and be a more faithful adaptation of the seven Harry Potter books by author JK Rowling.

As such, the new HBO series will be unrelated to the eight films: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part II (2011).

Harry Potter holding his wand for the first time
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: HBO’s ‘Harry Potter’ Casting Call: Will Your Child Wear the Sorting Hat?

While some fans are excited to see the Harry Potter story spread across seven seasons, each one dedicated to one of the books, which will allow for storylines and character development that never made it to the silver screen, there are many who are against the idea, whether it’s because reboots of beloved properties are often frowned upon, or because JK Rowling, who remains a highly controversial figure, is executive producer.

It’s no mystery that Rowling has upset the trans community and beyond on several occasions in recent years due to her views on gender identity. As such, many fans have parted ways with Harry Potter as they don’t wish to support someone they consider to be transphobic, or a “TERF,” which means “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”

Harry Potter characters stand in front of the lake in a promotional picture for 'Goblet of Fire'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: ‘Harry Potter’ Actors Slammed by Famous Writer for Criticizing JK Rowling

But regardless of what you may think of Rowling’s views, Harry Potter seems to have become more diverse recently. The open-world video game Hogwarts Legacy features many diverse characters, including a transgender bartender at Hogsmeade’s Three Broomsticks named Sirona Ryan (played by transgender actress Rebecca Root).

That said, the game was boycotted in the months leading up to its release due to its affiliations with Rowling. A popular gaming forum even banned it from being mentioned. Unsurprisingly, it still became one of the highest-grossing video game titles of the year.

Castle at sunset in 'Hogwarts Legacy'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: New Wizarding World Installment May Recast Harry Potter

Going back even further than Hogwarts Legacy, the West End stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (2016) cast the Eswatini-born actress Noma Dumezweni as an older version of Hermione Granger. Since then, the character has been played by a number of non-white actors, whether in London or in other versions of the play, such as Broadway.

In 2016, Rowling was accused of “jumping on the bandwagon” — a term that has now been replaced by the word “woke” — for casting an actor of color to play a character long established as White. However, the author insisted that Hermione’s ethnicity and skin color are never revealed in the books, despite readers calling out the line “Hermione’s white face was sticking out from behind a tree” from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Tom Felton Returns to Play New Character in the Wizarding World

Following the announcement of the Harry Potter reboot, Warner Bros. said that it’s making a “concerted effort” to make the HBO television series as diverse as possible. This likely stems from recent criticisms of the film series for not having enough representation.

Earlier this year, Marvel star Anthony Mackie blasted the films, telling Inverse, “Harry Potter had no f***ing Black friends. Frodo walked across the entire universe and never met a Black dude. I want to see Frodo in the Hood, which if I ever do Saturday Night Live, is going to be a skit I’m going to do.”

Hermione (Emma Watson), Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), and Ron (Rupert Grint) in magical creatures class in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Will Ralph Fiennes’ Brother Play Voldemort in HBO’s ‘Harry Potter’ Reboot?!

So, it’s likely a number of characters will be portrayed by actors of color in the HBO series. Hermione Granger is perhaps the most likely when you consider Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, however, it’s possible Harry Potter will, too, along with many other students and members of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry faculty.

Conversations that have taken place on Reddit since the announcement of the reboot point towards the Weasley family. This would make a lot of sense, as it would allow Warner Bros., the showrunners, and Rowling, who reportedly has “final say” on casting, to make the new Wizarding World as diverse as possible, as there are several members of the Weasley family, including Ron, Fred, George, Bill, Arthur, Molly, and Ginny, who are played by Rupert Grint, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Domhnall Gleeson, Mark Williams, Julie Walters, and Bonnie Wood, respectively, in the films.

That said, recasting the Weasleys with actors of color probably wouldn’t go down well with a lot of fans who are precious about the way characters are described in the source material. One Reddit user says, “Can you imagine the Weasley family as anything other than pasty, freckled redheads?”

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.

Related: Nick Frost Could Play Hagrid in ‘Harry Potter’ Reboot, Following Simon Pegg’s Casting

It could be a while before we hear any further updates about the Harry Potter reboot, so in the meantime, check out the cinematic trailer for Hogwarts Legacy below:

Related: ‘Harry Potter’ Sequel Unveils New Cast, With Some Characters Portrayed by Actors of Color

Hogwarts Legacy stars Simon Pegg (Phineas Nigellus Black)Luke Youngblood (Everett Clopton), Lesley Nicol (Deputy Head Professor Matilda Weasley), Kandace Caine (Divination Professor Onai), Sohm Kapila (Astronomy Professor Satyavati Shah), Asif Ali (Ravenclaw student Mahendra Pehlwaan), and Jason Anthony (Nearly Headless Nick and the Sorting Hat).

Per the Hogwarts Legacy website, here’s the synopsis:

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.

Hogwarts Legacy is available on all major gaming consoles. There’s no release date for the Harry Potter reboot.

Would you like to see more representation in the Harry Potter reboot? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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