Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Rise of Harry Potter Jr.

Interesting press release today:

July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- 1986 cult classic film "TROLL" to be reprised as an animated film and television series titled "TROLL: The Rise of Harry Potter, Jr."

Academy Award winner Patricia Arquette has been signed for the voice of the witch, and up and coming child actor Baxter Bartlett is slated to be the voice of young Harry Potter, Jr. Plans are underway to round out the remainder of the characters. Cast members in the original 1986 live-action feature included Noah Hathaway, as Harry Potter, Jr., along with Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack, June Lockhart and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

The film is being represented and distributed internationally by London-based SC Films International, a sales, distribution, production and finance company. SC Films International confirmed they are also in final negotiations with 3D animation studios in Canada and China to provide production services for the project.

The new animated feature will revisit the world of the wizardry originally created in the 1986 TROLL movie in which a wicked, magical troll wizard envisages taking over the world. Only Harry Potter, Jr., with the help of a magical witch, can save the planet from the clutches of the troll wizard and his evil force. ...

I read "Harry Potter Jr." and my brain snapped to attention.


But then, further down, there is this snippet: ...

The reprise of "TROLL: The Rise of Harry Potter, Jr." has not been prepared, approved or licensed by any entity that created or produced the J.K Rowling series of Harry Potter books or the Warner Bros. series of Harry Potter motion pictures. TROLL: the Movie LLC is not affiliated with J.K.Rowling or Warner Bros nor has this motion picture been endorsed or authorized by J.K.Rowling or Warner Bros. The characters "Harry Potter" and "Harry Potter, Jr." depicted in TROLL are not related to, or inspired by, the book and film characters of J.K.Rowling and Warner Bros. ...

So it would seem everything is ship-shape and nicely battened down, lawsuit wise. The name HP Jr. was (apparently) part of the 1986 property, so the WB and Ms. Rowling have no claim on that.

But hey. Through the greatest stroke of good luck and boffo box office (not to mention towering book sales), "Harry Potter Jr." has some real bankability in this modern age. Which likely goes a long way to explaining why this particular property is being launched at this particular time.

Or am I too cynical by half?


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