Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. is close to a deal for a new online TV series based on Harry Potter, the best-selling young adult books, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Each season of the series will be based on one of JK Rowling’s seven books, said the people, who asked not to be identified since the deal hasn’t been announced, suggesting years of fresh fare from the popular stories.
The company is hoping the series can be one cornerstore of a new streaming strategy that will be announced next week by HBO’s parent, Warner Bros. That company’s chief executive officer, David Zaslav, and HBO chief Casey Bloys have worked to convince Rowling to produce a new series that will debut on HBO and online, but the deal hasn’t been completed.
The series would allow the writers to delve further into the world of Rowling’s books, many of which are longer than 500 pages. Warner Bros., part of the same media giant as HBO, previously turned each of the seven books into a hit movie, culminating in a two-part movie based on the final instalment.
Warner Bros. has been eager to do more with one of the best-selling book series of all-time. While Rowling blessed a stage play adaptation and a theme-park attraction, she had yet to sign off on new movies or a TV show.
A spokesman for Warner Bros. declined to comment.
The author will be involved in the series to ensure it remains loyal to her original material but will not run the show day to day or serve as its primary creator, the people said.
Warner Bros. is preparing to announce a new streaming strategy, including the name Max for its flagship online service, which debuted as HBO Max. Key to that strategy will be having new content, especially films and TV show based on stories and characters that viewers already know.
Warner Bros. has a deep library of programmes that fit the bill, including Rowling’s Wizarding World, the Lord of the Rings material and a league of superheroes that includes Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
The books tell the story of a young wizard whose parents were slain when he was an infant and is then raised by his non-magical aunt and uncle. He discovers he is a wizard and is invited to attend Hogwarts, the world’s leading school for wizards.
The Potter brand has spawned a series of successful products and spinoffs. Working with Salt Lake City-based Avalanche Software, Warner Bros. in February published the highly anticipated Hogwarts Legacy, a role play game based on the Potter world.
The series has also spawned a stage production, ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’.
But its the books themselves and the seven films that have had the largest impact. According to the US publisher Scholastic Corp., the book series has sold 600 million copies in 85 languages over 25 years, becoming the all-time bestseller.
The eight films based on the series generated worldwide ticket sales of more than $7.7 billion (Dh8.28 billion), according to Box Office Mojo.