J.K Rowling Co-producing ‘Potter’ Play Following Harry’s pre-Hogwarts Years

Dec 22, 2013 by     Comments Off on J.K Rowling Co-producing ‘Potter’ Play Following Harry’s pre-Hogwarts Years    Posted under: Entertainment, Screenplay

Hold on to your seats Potter fans here is some exciting news regarding our favorite boy wizard. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is sending her boy wizard to the stage. A play following Harry’s pre-Hogwarts years is now in development for London’s West End.

There had been an update on Friday morning from Team Rowling in the form of a post on Rowling’s official Facebook page. It went like “What was it like to be the boy in the cupboard under the stairs? This brand new play, which will be developed for the UK theatre, will explore the previously untold story of Harry’s early years as an orphan and outcast. Featuring some of our favourite characters from the Harry Potter books, this new work will offer a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard. A seemingly ordinary boy, but one for whom Destiny has plans…”

The play is going to be produced by Sonia Friedman and Colin Calliender and J K Rowling will co-produce.

The Daily Mail says Warner Bros. is involved with the show’s development. Note that this is not a musical, but exciting nonetheless.

A quote allegedly from Rowling says that Friedman and Callender’s idea for the play “was the only one that really made sense to me, and which had the sensitivity, intensity and intimacy I thought appropriate for bringing Harry’s story to the stage.” She adds, “After a year in gestation, it is very exciting to see this project moving onto the next phrase.”

The play is said to come out in 2014 so at least we won’t have to wait long! If all is said to be true, the news caps off a year in which Rowling already surprised fans twice: First with the publication of The Cuckoo’s Calling, then with the announcement of a Harry Potter spinoff movie franchise based on her Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them book and now a play! I think I speak for all Harry Potter fans when I say we’ve certainly had an exciting year!

So now the question is : What was Harry up to in those years before Hogwarts? After being placed at the doorstep by Albus Dumbledore in 1981, Harry was essentially a prisoner in the Dursley family home. He was never told about his magical abilities because Vernon and Petunia wanted him to live a life as a muggle. Harry watched from his cupboard under the stairs as his elders showered their son Dudley in gifts and good care. Dudley and Harry went to school together, and the latter was often bullied on the playground by his cousin.

According to the Harry Potter books, there were a few instances in those ten years that Harry used his magic. One time Petunia cut all of Harry’s hair, then overnight he grew it back after being frustrated by the cut. On another occasion Dudley and his friends were chasing Harry at school when he magically transported himself onto the rooftop. Another time Aunt Petunia was trying to fit Harry into one of Dudley’s old ugly jumpers but to her dismay it seemed to shrink the more she tried to force her nephew into it finally giving up and saying it must have shrunk in the wash.

These tidbits don’t open up potential story lines that a play could focus on, so Rowling will have to introduce us to other aspects of his childhood that she hasn’t made references to before. These tidbits don’t open up potential story lines that a play could focus on, so Rowling will have to introduce us to other aspects of his childhood that she hasn’t made references to before. Here are some fascinating ideas for the play I came across written by enthusiastic fans –

1) The enemies: A supporter of Voldemort can keep an eye on Harry from a distance as he goes to and from school. This will have to involve more than one Voldemort follower so that they can talk about their intentions.

2) The family: The Dursley family’s hatred towards Harry – and their decision to keep him unaware of his own magical powers – can be explored. What are Vernon and Petunia doing to keep the Wizarding World out of Harry’s eyes? And just how crazy is Petunia? And on a related note…

3) Harry’s unintentional magic: Whether it was magic he performed unknowingly or the times he bumped into wizards and witches who wanted to meet him, we’d like to see how Harry reacted to any sort of magic.

4) Dumbledore and Hagrid: What are they doing during this time? We’d like to see them towards the end of the play as they try to get Harry’s Hogwarts letter into his house.

5) Hermione and Ron: These two kids obviously exist at the same time as Harry, so could we see their early lives as well? The Weasley family could inject some much-needed magic into the play and also offer endless fun moments between the red-headed family members. On the Granger side, we could see how she came to learn about her magical abilities and how her parents reacted to the news.

6) The ending: We’d like to see this Harry Potter play end with Hagrid uttering his most iconic line, “Yer a wizard, Harry.” If the story brings us to this point, we could see Dursley’s attempts to hide Harry’s letters from Hogwarts and his eventual discovery of them. This would offer an iconic climax.

How can this play appeal to a wide audience? Or are they simply accepting that they can’t hit a mass market with this? Even casual Harry Potter fans will be less-than-enthused with this concept unless Rowling is going to tell us that she’s dropping a ton of new information that shaped who Harry became. Then again, Rowling isn’t writing this play like she is the Fantastic Beasts movie script. So could that be a good thing or a bad thing? As a Harry Potter fan do you think this play could be a success?

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