On July 21, 2017, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published. This was, what fans thought, the seventh book and final end to Harry’s story. Sure, there were three more films to come out, but JK Rowling said that Deathly Hallows was the final book. She didn’t lie. There hasn’t been an eighth Harry Potter book. But that hasn’t stopped her from expanding her world via other forms of media. In these ten years, Rowling hasn’t failed to deliver fans what they want: more from the Wizarding World. Below are just some of the ways she has expanded her world beyond the seven books.
Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
In September 2013, Rowling announced that she had written a screenplay for a film based around another wizarding figure. Based on a small supplementary released for charity, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a ‘magizoologist’ in 1920s New York City trying to recapture magical creatures that had escaped from his care. The film was a critical and financial success, even gaining the Wizarding World franchise its first Academy Award (Achievement in Costume Design, Colleen Atwood). For fans that prefer Rowling’s work in print, the screenplay was published in conjunction with the release of the film, beautifully formatted and designed by the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.
Of course, this was the start of something bigger. Rowling has since announced that this will be a series of five films. The first sequel, now in production, will feature none other than a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). With a cameo appearance of Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in the first film, diehard fans know that the series is leading toward the 1945 battle between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, which resulted in the former becoming the master of the Elder Wand.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
While Jo hasn’t published another book to continue Harry’s story, she decided to take his next chapter to the stage. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premiered at the Palace Theatre, London in summer 2016. The play, presented in two parts, follows Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley’s son Albus Severus in his years at Hogwarts, along with his relationship with his father.
The caveat, however, is that this story is not entirely JK Rowling’s own work. She, along with writers Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, developed the story, while Jack Thorne wrote the script. The script, which was published that summer as well, put fans in arms. The plot is rather eccentric, and many dismissed it from the Harry Potter canon. However, as this writer can attest to having seen it, Cursed Child is best when seen performed on stage. The special effects and acting are top-notch, and somehow make the eccentricities of the story work. So much is lost reading the script, and doesn’t create an equatable experience.
While getting to London may be tricky for many, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open on Broadway in 2018 at the Lyric Theatre. And, a performance featuring the original London cast was recorded for ‘archival purposes’, or maybe, hopefully, an international broadcast at movie theaters.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Announced just before the release of Deathly Hallows, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an immersive Harry Potter theme park experience, has become a haven for Harry Potter fans. First opened at Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort in 2010, fans were finally able to taste butterbeer, buy a wand, and visit Hogwarts. Since the grand opening, it has expanded to include Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, connected via an immersive Hogwarts Express attraction. Similar parks have since been constructed at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan, with the latter featuring Hogwarts overlooking a lake like in the books and films. Additionally, rumors are circulating of another expansion in Orlando that will include a Forbidden Forrest attraction, along with an immersive Ministry of Magic experience.
As JK Rowling said at the London premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 in 2011, “No story lives unless someone wants to listen.” Fans are still listening, and Rowling will undoubtedly continue to surprise fans with new and unique ways for Harry’s story to live on.