J.K. Rowling is working on a stage production prequel to the Harry Potter universe, following Little Orphan Harry in his hijinks as a magical scamp who lives under his asshole aunt and uncle's staircase. The story will evidently "offer a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard. A seemingly ordinary boy, but one for whom destiny has plans..." I think we're familiar with these plans, no?
The play is meant to open in London's West End in two years, but here's the thing that makes it less exciting: Rowling isn't writing the play. She's co-producing and collaborating with a playwright under the guidance of producers Sonia Friedman (The Book of Mormon) and Colin Callender (Nicholas Nickleby). No word on the writer or director yet.
Have we reached Harry Potter oversaturation yet? I'm asking because in October I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and it was the single greatest day of my life. I, no joke, had to buy a duffle bag at the airport to fit all of the dumb-but-amazing souvenirs I purchased (no regrets!). I rode the Hogwarts ride three times and I still think of it longingly. And I feel nothing but a rather tepid, "huh." kind of interest in this news. Probably because Rowling isn't writing it, which feels like she's finally letting loose her iron-clad grip on the franchise, a grip that has served it well and kept it from spinning off into something scarcely recognizable as that universe I love so much. The main reason I felt any enthusiasm about the other other Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them, is that Rowling is writing the script.
At any rate, here's what Rowling says about the play:
Over the years I have received countless approaches about turning Harry Potter into a theatrical production, but [this version] was the only one that really made sense to me, and which had the sensitivity, intensity and intimacy I thought appropriate for bringing Harry’s story to the stage.