Working with JK Rowling is, shall we say, a bit challenging these days. But Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslov doesn’t mind the transphobia as long as it’s bringing in money: The executive told investors during a call that the studio is actively trying to court Rowling so that they can make more movies starring the not-so-much-a-boy-anymore wizard, Harry Potter.
“We’re going to focus on franchises,” Zaslav said on Thursday. “We haven’t had a Superman movie in 13 years. We haven’t done a Harry Potter in 15 years. The DC movies and the Harry Potter movies provided a lot of the profits for Warner Bros…over the past 25 years.”
Now, you might be scratching your head thinking that a Harry Potter movie came out this very year with Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third movie in a planned five-movie series. However, Zaslav is specifically discussing WB movies with Harry Potter in them, not spinoffs of the franchise. That’s because the Fantastic Beast films have seen diminishing returns over the course of their releases, with the third film only netting $405.1 globally — a paltry sum compared to the success of the original set of films. Plus, with Zaslav’s penchant for cutting anything that isn’t making the kind of money he thinks it needs to, there’s a question up in the air of if we’ll even get to see the last two Fantastic Beasts films.
That means, in the mind of David Zaslav, that the Harry Potter movie franchise should go forward at WB with Harry Potter himself, and they need Rowling for that. “If we can do something with J.K. on Harry Potter going forward,” he would like to pursue it, Zaslav said.
That may be an incredibly big “if.” Rowling has received backlash for her transphobic stance, which she has not backed down from. It appeared that WB and she had distanced themselves from each other when her name started falling away from Harry Potter-associated things, though both denied that. There’s also the fact that most of the stars of the original eight films have publicly come out against the author’s views on trans people. Zaslav doesn’t seem to share that reservation, however, and this very public show of support means that they may be already actively planning something like an adaptation of the stageplay of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.