Warner Bros Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels Says Harry Potter Franchise Expansion Has Just Begun
According to Gunnar Wiedenfels, Chief Financial Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery, the Harry Potter-led franchise has a very bright and extensive future expansion ahead of it. Based on the beloved novel series by writer JK Rowling, the Harry Potter film franchise first hit the big screen in 2001. After 7 sequels, a spinoff franchise, a stage play and a video game, it’s unclear how the wizarding world will continue.
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During a panel at Morgan Stanley’s investor conference on Wednesday, as reported by Variety, Wiedenfels hinted that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will continue to be a major franchise for Warner Bros. Discovery well into the future. The chief financial officer’s comments come on the heels of the recent success of the Hogwarts Legacy video game, and Wiedenfels said the company plans to further expand the franchise’s world in the years to come. Check out Wiedenfels’ full commentary below:
“Take ‘Harry Potter’, the wizarding world for example, and the fact that we are enjoying this huge success with the release of ‘Hogwarts Legacy’, 12 years after the last film was released, shows that there are so many opportunities and that we are only beginning to expand them. We have the new “Harry Potter” tour coming to Tokyo mid-year. In short, the coordinated management of franchises is probably one of the greatest opportunities for the company”.
After the disappointing box office performance of Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets last year, the future of the wizarding world has been in question. Later in the year, however, Warner Bros. Discovery chief executive David Zaslav said he hoped to continue the creative partnership with Rowling for future projects in that universe. HBO Max executive Sarah Aubrey echoed that sentiment, expressing her interest in bringing the world of Harry Potter to streaming.
Around the same time, it was reported that Zaslav was potentially interested in adapting the hit play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child into a film. As for the future of the franchise, both Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have expressed their interest in reprising their roles, but Harry himself, Daniel Radcliffe, appears to be less enthusiastic about the idea. Without Radcliffe’s return, it’s unclear whether a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child movie could work.
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While the cinematic landscape of the Harry Potter franchise is pretty murky at the moment, it’s possible that the wizarding world will make the leap to TV. Considering the recent success of Hogwarts Legacy, it’s also likely that more Harry Potter video games are in the franchise’s future. While it’s unclear what the next few years will hold for the beloved franchise, the Wizarding World looks set to become a major part of the entertainment landscape.