More “Harry Potter” movies may not be a fantasy. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav wondered Thursday if the company “can do something” more with the franchise with controversial “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.
Variety reported that during Thursday’s earnings call, Zaslav was asked how content will be “different” under Warner Bros. Discovery compared to the AT&T-run WarnerMedia era. Zaslav responded that the company is going to have “a real focus on franchises.”
“We haven’t had a ‘Superman’ movie in 13 years. We haven’t done a ‘Harry Potter’ movie in 15 years. The DC movies and the ‘Harry Potter’ movies provided a lot of the profits of Warner Bros. Motion Pictures over the last 25 years,” he said.
“So a focus on the franchise — one of the big advantages that we have, ‘House of the Dragon’ is an example of that, ‘Game of Thrones,’ taking advantage of ‘Sex and the City,’ ‘Lord of the Rings,’ we still have the right to do ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies. What are the movies that have brands that are understood and loved everywhere in the world?”
Rowling penned the hugely popular “Harry Potter” series, which was turned into a blockbuster set of eight movies released between 2001 and 2011. Rowling has since been accused of transphobia.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased,” the author tweeted in June 2020. “I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
Rowling has been labeled a “TERF” — a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” — someone who pushes for women’s rights while excluding transgender women.
“Harry Potter” stars have come forward to oppose Rowling’s divisive stance.
“Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are,” Emma Watson tweeted in June 2020.
“Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I,” Daniel Radcliffe wrote in an essay at the time.
Variety cited a studio source who claimed there are no active discussions with Rowling about developing another “Harry Potter” movie.
Yet hit franchises are top of mind for Zaslav.
“When you have a franchise movie, you can often make two to three times the amount of money that you make in the U.S., because you get a slot. And a focus on the big movies that are loved, that are tentpoled, that people are going to leave early from dinner to go to see — and we have a lot of them,” he said Thursday.
“Batman, Superman, Aquaman, if we can do something with J.K. on ‘Harry Potter’ going forward, ‘Lord of the Rings,’ what are we doing with ‘Game of Thrones’? What are we doing with a lot of the big franchises that we have? We’re focused on franchises.”