By Steve Hopkins
“Our priority is what’s on the screen.”
The boss of HBO has been forced to address JK Rowling’s involvement in a new, decade-long Harry Potter TV series, that has divided fans.
On Wednesday, it was confirmed that the franchise would be brought to life on the small screen, in a “faithful adaptation” of the popular books about the boy wizard, written by Rowling, who has been embroiled in a transphobia row since June 2020.
As happens with every new iteration of the franchise, some fans are concerned Rowling will make more money.
The TV series will feature a different cast to the films, with each season promising to be “authentic to the original books” and bring Harry Potter to new audiences. The series will be available on Max – currently branded as HBO Max – a streaming service from Warner Bros, the production company behind the original films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.
Rowling, 57, has said she is “looking forward to being part of this new adaptation which will allow for a degree of depth and detail only afforded by a long-form television series.”
Some fans are concerned, with Rowling being an executive producer, whether her views may impact casting choices.
During a Q&A with press, CEO of HBO and Max content, Casey Bloys, was questioned about the concerns over Rowling’s involvement. He said the conversations around the series were “very nuanced and complicated”, and tried to avoid getting into it.
Bloys said the Q&A was “not the forum” to discuss hiring possible talent.
“No, I don’t think this is the forum,” Bloys stated, adding: “That’s a very online conversation, very nuanced and complicated and not something we’re going to get into.”
“Our priority is what’s on the screen…Obviously, the Harry Potter story is incredibly affirmative and positive and about love and self-acceptance.
“That’s our priority — what’s on screen.”
When asked about Rowling’s involvement in the series, Bloys said, as an executive producer, her “insights are going to be helpful”.
“The TV show is new and we’re excited about that, but, remember, we’ve been in the ‘Potter’ business for 20 years. This is not a new decision for us, we’re very comfortable being in the ‘Potter’ business.”
While Rowling’s involvement has been the central concern for many, some Potter fans, simply wondered if the TV series would hold up, or “ruin the franchise further”.
Another wrote: “[the] funniest part about a Harry Potter TV series is the average fan is in their 30s or pushing 40 now. And I bet it’ll get canned after a season or two.”
This article originally appeared on Joe.co.uk.