REPORT: JK Rowling Could Lose ‘Harry Potter,’ Insider Claims

in Harry Potter

JK Rowling's Closeup on the right (ABC Credit) and 'Harry Potter' Poster on the left

Credit: Inside the Magic

It’s been nearly 30 years since JK Rowling created the wizarding world fans know and love today, but could her time at the reigns of the franchise be coming to an end? Potentially, according to one industry insider.

The past few years have been bumpy for Rowling’s reputation. Since 2018, the author has increasingly put herself at the forefront of the conversation around gender identity. Rowling’s opinions – which some have dubbed transphobic – have sparked controversy among both former fans and stars of the franchise that made her famous.

JK Rowling visits the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Related: JK Rowling Threatens Legal War Against Former ‘Harry Potter’ Fans

Shortly after Rowling released a lengthy essay explaining her opinions, Harry Potter stars, including Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), came forward to defend the transgender community.

“While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment,” Radcliffe said in a followup essay for the LGBTQ+ charity.

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

“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe added. “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”

Not only has this caused tension between Rowling and the actors who have served as the faces of Harry Potter for over 20 years but it’s also led to the controversy around newly announced Harry Potter projects. Last year’s “Hogwarts Legacy” and the upcoming TV reboot of the franchise were both widely criticized as endorsements or dismissals of the damage Rowling has caused unto the transgender community.

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

For Warner Bros. Discovery – the studio behind these projects – this poses a problem. While “Hogwarts Legacy” was successful, and the reboot (despite calls for a boycott) will inevitably follow in its path, the chances of the franchise’s former actors ever starring in a follow-up Harry Potter seem to grow slimmer by the day.

Now, industry insider Jeffrey Sneider is suggesting that this could lead to Warner Bros. Discovery buying Rowling out of the franchise.

In the latest episode of his newsletter, The Insneider – which shares leaks and rumors from the entertainment industry – Sneider commented on the recent announcement of a new Harry Potter audiobook series and suggested that this is Rowling trying to make the most of the series while she can.

(L-R): Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: ‘Harry Potter’ Creator Blasts Franchise’s Original Leads, Effectively Banned From Reboot

“Reading between the lines of this announcement, this feels like Rowling squeezing as much juice as she can from the Harry Potter orange before WBD inevitably buys her out to get rid of her, as the original stars won’t return while she’s still around,” Sneider wrote.

The upcoming audiobook series will cast hundreds of actors to voice the characters in all seven Harry Potter novels. Produced by Rowling’s Pottermore Publishing, these will premiere on Amazon’s Audible service in late 2025.

JK Rowling on the red carpet at Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Credit: Universal Studios

For now, the logistics of how Warner Bros. Discovery would buy out Rowling are unclear. The studio currently owns the film rights for the franchise, while Rowling retains the book rights.

Last year, rumors emerged that Warner Bros. originally wanted to bring the original Harry Potter cast back for a ninth movie (potentially a film adaptation of the stage show “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”) but faced a roadblock due to their sentiments towards Rowling.

JK Rowling visits the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

It then allegedly tried to buy Rowling out of the franchise, but Rowling requested an “impossible amount.” As a result, it decided to settle for a seven-part TV series focussing on each book.

Rowling has infamously strict creative control over Harry Potter projects. The author served as a consultant for every aspect of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios theme parks, reportedly having every food served in the land flown to Scotland for her approval.

According to her contract with Universal, Rowling also has full veto power. “Any objection whatsoever by the Author with regard to any submissions relating to or concerning food and beverage and/or uses of Licensed Property in connection with third party names, logos or other third party elements is sufficient grounds for disapproval by Licensor,” the contract reads.

Would you support new Harry Potter projects without Rowling at the reins? Let us know in the comments!

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