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A Hogwarts Legacy TV show is more trouble than it’s worth for HBO Max

Published Feb 23rd, 2023 2:57PM EST
A screenshot from the video game Hogwarts Legacy.
Image: Warner Bros. Games

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Despite the controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling, it was likely just a matter of time before Warner Bros. pulled the trigger on a Harry Potter series. In truth, it’s rather shocking that a series set in the Wizarding World has yet to surface, especially given the massive franchise’s enduring prevalence. According to a recent report, the wait may be nearing an end, as HBO Max is reportedly working on a show based on the new game Hogwarts Legacy.

Hogwarts Legacy might become a TV show

Giant Freakin Robot, which has a very spotty track record when it comes to accuracy, claims that a trusted source told them that a Hogwarts Legacy series in in the works. The report didn’t include any further details other than that the series is still in the early stages of development.

We are taking this report with a grain of salt until other, more reliable sources chime in, but from a business perspective, this move would make sense. Warner Bros. Games has yet to share sales figures, but the game has been dominating sales charts worldwide since its debut.

Hogwarts Legacy is definitively the most ambitious Harry Potter game to date, taking place 100 years before the events of the books and giving players the ability to explore an open world that includes all of Hogwarts, Hogsmeade Valley, the Scottish Highlands, and beyond. You play as a student of Hogwarts tasked with uncovering the secrets of ancient magic.

There are dozens of new characters and storylines that a show could adapt, but the Harry Potter franchise has become a minefield due to the neverending spout of transphobic comments from its creator. Some outlets chose not to review or cover Hogwarts Legacy, citing Rowling’s problematic statements. HBO Max needs Rowling’s permission to move forward with any Harry Potter series, and there will inevitably be backlash waiting on the other end.

Given how many feathers WBD has already ruffled by shelving, cancelling, and removing original shows and movies from HBO Max, the media conglomerate is probably looking to avoid needless controversy in the coming months. There’s little doubt that a Harry Potter series would be a hit for the streamer, but given how long HBO has gone without one, it might be more trouble than it’s worth to thread this particular needle after all these years.

Furthermore, there are countless other IPs to mine instead. Based on a PlayStation 3 game from 2013, The Last of Us has been a record-breaking success for HBO. The streamer also has more Game of Thrones spinoffs in the works that will undoubtedly find an audience.

Beyond all of that, the projects building upon the original books have been a mixed bag. While the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been a hit, the Fantastic Beasts movies failed to sustain themselves after a promising start. The third (and possible final) entry, 2022’s The Secrets of Dumbledore, was an outright flop. In other words, making a successful Harry Potter spinoff isn’t as simple as slapping a recognizable word in the title.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.