“They were great men with huge flaws, and you know what – those flaws almost made them greater.”
Book to Box Office: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Based On: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Throne, John Tiffany, and J. K. Rowling
Expected Release Date: Currently a stage production at the Palace Theater in London
Director: Jack Thorne
Summary: We return to the Wizarding World 19 years after the conclusion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where Harry and Ginny’s son Albus is struggling with flourishing under the pressure of his father’s legacy at Hogwarts. His only friend turns out to be Scorpius, the child of Draco Malfoy, who suffers under the spotlight of a vicious rumor that he is the illegitimate son of Lord Voldemort. The two misfits discover something that leads them to believe they can change their fate, but leads them into a realm of uncertainty that could change the course of the world forever.
Working For It: The most obvious benefit this book has is the existing fanaticism that surrounds the Harry Potter Universe. J. K. Rowling could write “See spot run” and we would gobble it up. Potterheads around the world can’t help but want to return any time the opportunity is presented. Also, the format of this book makes it ripe for adaptation, as it’s been created using a draft of the script for the live theatrical production that will likely be sold out until the end of time.
The premise of The Cursed Child is ripe for the big screen, with elements that, though difficult to imagine coming to life on stage, have the potential to translate into astounding visuals in a film version that could rival those of the original franchise. Scorpius is a standout addition to an existing enchanting cast, rounding out one of the most fleshed out groups of characters in film. This new generation of Hogwarts students has potential to successfully carry on the torch passed down by Harry and his friends.
Working Against It: Speaking of Harry and his band of magical misfits, one of the major flaws contained in The Cursed Child is the lack of familiarity the original characters hold. Harry is a stiff, jaded, short tempered father who lacks any semblance of spark showcased by the boy who lived. Hermione is void of the snarky brilliance and snappy banter of her adolescence, and her adorably naive husband’s effortless sense of humor is suddenly vaporized and replaced with pranks and jokes of the caliber of Fred and George. The original cast, as stellar as it is, is better off being nonexistent than so underutilized that it taints the memory of the beloved trio.
Wild Card: The script. Although this story is immediately at a disadvantage with the lack of descriptive language and sensory imagery that usually accompanies Rowling’s whimsical writing style, the novelization of a play should be able to rely heavily on the quality of the dialogue to fill those gaps. Unfortunately, the majority of the dialogue in The Cursed Child is paper thin, falling flat and feeling disjointed from the caliber of diction Rowling normally pens. A silver screen adaptation could provide an opportunity to clean up the script and cement some creative emphasis that’s lacking in the text version.
Verdict: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would undoubtedly be a massive success, J. K. Rowling and friends might be better off focusing their attention on the expanded universe rather than revisiting the same small circle twenty years later. But, as always, anything carrying the Harry Potter name can take my money right now.
Featured Image: Arthur A. Levine Books