Despite JK Rowling Controversy, 'Harry Potter' TV Series Could Come to HBO Max

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday January 26, 2021

HBO Max is in the midst of "exploratory conversations" regarding a spinoff series set in the "Harry Potter" universe despite ongoing controversy surrounding author JK Rowling's comments about trans people, Deadline reports.

The Deadline article notes that "A spinoff series is a logical move for the franchise," citing the example of Disney, which "has series on its streaming platform for 'Star Wars' and the Marvel Cinematic Universe."

But any potential series may be derailed before it even gets on track; pushback against the idea has already started, according to Insider. Twitter users weighed in, letting their opposition be known, slamming the idea of more royalties going to Rowling.

The controversy began last summer when Rowling posted comments that many saw as being transphobic. The author took exception to an op-ed that referred to "people who menstruate," posting a tart tweet in which she wrote, "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

The following month she sparked fresh outrage with a tweet that suggested teens who are not actually trans are being "shunted towards hormones and surgery," and calling gender affirmation treatments "a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people."

Then, last month, Rowling reignited the controversy when she said in an interview that "Many women are concerned about the challenges to their fundamental rights posed by certain aspects of gender identity ideology."

Celebration and condemnation alike may be premature, however. "There are no Harry Potter series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform," HBO Max and Warner Bros. said in a statement, Deadline noted.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.