Transcript #606


MuggleCast 606 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #606, A Harry Potter TV Reboot is Coming!? We React and Pitch Opportunities

[“Max That” sound effect plays]

Show Intro

[Show music plays]

Andrew Sims: Welcome to MuggleCast, your weekly ride into the wizarding world fandom. I’m Andrew.

Eric Scull: I’m Eric.

Micah Tannenbaum: I’m Micah.

Laura Tee: And I’m Laura.

Andrew: And we’re going to be talking about the big, big news today. And clearly, it sets us up for a long future with you, the listener. And speaking of you, are you new to the show? Make sure you’re following the podcast for free in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. And if you are new to the show, here’s what you need to know about us: We’re your Harry Potter friends. It’s just that simple. So gang, we’ve been friends for a really long time. I’m not sure we ever imagined seeing this day. [laughs]

Laura: 18 years later.

Micah: Certainly not this soon.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Right. The big news, if you haven’t heard by now, is that Warner Bros. is reportedly working on a deal for a television reboot of the original seven Harry Potter books. The news was initially reported by Bloomberg on Monday, April 3, and it was quickly backed up by Variety and Deadline, so three very reputable Hollywood trade sources. There seems to be agreement between the publications that they’re aiming to give each book one season of television. According to Deadline, J.K. Rowling will be a producer, but not the showrunner. Bloomberg added that under the deal, Rowling would maintain a degree of creative involvement with the series, though she would not serve as primary creator. Deadline added that the importance of the Harry Potter brand has only grown after Warner Media and Discovery merged last year, and Deadline says they’ll look for a writer after a deal with J.K. Rowling’s team closes. So those are some of the basics.

Micah: It’s clear now what David Zaslav went to talk to J.K. Rowling about not that long ago, right?

Andrew: Yeah, there was a report about that. And I think I read in one of these reports, they’ve spoken together multiple times now.

Eric: Yeah. And like you’re saying, Andrew, this has been a rumor in the past that seems to finally be gaining the traction. But in anticipation of this day coming, we actually have more than one MuggleCast episode devoted previously to the idea of a Harry Potter TV series, both an episode where we gave our dream casting… although that was about 120 episodes ago on 483, so all of our youngins probably have grown up since then; we need to recast with even younger actors, I’m sure.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: And then, of course, we pitched just a whole variety of TV show premises that we wanted to do if they weren’t going to reboot the books, which seems to be what they’re doing. And that was Episode 566.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, yeah. And it’s possible there will be an official announcement during an event that HBO and WB are holding on April 12, but that’s not confirmed yet. There will be an event. Will the deal be closed by then? I feel like it’s a little too soon for that, but maybe some of this reporting isn’t entirely accurate and there will be an announcement on April 12. And we are currently recording, by the way, on Thursday, April 6.

Eric: Man, a midweek recording. This was like a “Drop everything and get online.” This was like when the Robert Galbraith news came out. This is like the…

Micah: Well, hold on.

Andrew: Wait, we’re going pretend this was spur of the moment? [laughs]

Micah: No, no. Well, I was going to say, Andrew and I did drop everything and get online to do an Instagram Live with ChloƩ, our Social Media Manager, which was a lot of fun.

Eric: Oh, right.

Micah: Coincidentally, this midweek recording was already planned.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: So Andrew, did you know this was coming down the line?

Andrew: Well, I knew that if we played that “Max that” sound effect enough times during Chapter by Chapter, we would will this into existence. Little did we know that “Max that” would actually be every little thing in the Harry Potter books. [laughs]

Laura: We manifested.

Eric: Wait, Andrew, are we recording on Thursday because by Saturday you’re going to be in LA there to announce this – or on the 12th – to announce this with Warner Bros.?

Andrew: I was planning on joking that if I’m not here next week, it’s because I’m trying to be appointed showrunner, because, you know, maybe I won’t be here next week.

Eric: Oh. You would have my support.

Micah: That’s why you’re coming to New York.

Andrew: Right, sure. All these theories? True. Every single one.

Micah: Nothing to do with Bruce. It has everything to do with Warner Bros.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: But I’m curious to get Eric and Laura’s initial thoughts here. Andrew, I mentioned you and I did the IG Live, but I want to know what Eric and Laura think.

Laura: Yeah, I think this is a massive opportunity to bring the wizarding world, specifically the Harry Potter story, into 2023 and make it resonate with audiences, both old audiences and new ones. I also think there is a ton of potential here to expand on the wizarding world through Harry Potter. What we talked about in our original “Max that” episode discussion were some areas where the story could be further fleshed out: thinking about having an entire episode dedicated to the lost day that fans have wanted to know about for at least 20 years at this point, going further into the lore behind Azkaban, learning more about St. Mungo’s… there’s just a ton of opportunity here to flesh this world out further, a ton of opportunity to make the Harry Potter story more diverse and representative of the world that we live in. And a great opportunity to find some new, unknown young actors to bring the trio to life once again. I’m excited.

Eric: I like what you said there, Laura, at the end there about giving an opportunity to find a young trio, because what I go back to in thinking about this and turning it over in my head is the Stranger Things cast, who were relative unknowns at the time that they were cast on Netflix’s big hit show. They have yet to release the final season of that show, but they’re household names, some of them are household names, and certainly the show has done extremely well the world over and become very popular. And so I think, much like Dan, Rupert, and Emma and all of the cast that have seen some success and really got their footing on the Harry Potter films, grown up to become very activist, very political minded, very equality-based young adults, I want to see more of that good nature and good vibe from a TV show that’s going to be as watched as this one.

Andrew: I’m very excited, too. I’m still kind of in shock that this is actually happening. I’m kind of surprised, and it’s also sad to an extent that they’re already defaulting back to rebooting the original books. They tried with Fantastic Beasts; it didn’t work out. They apparently have no other ideas that they’re feeling confident in, so they’re just reverting back to what in some ways is the easiest idea. It will not be easy to create this, but it’s the easiest idea. Am I mad about that? Not really, because this is what I think many of us have wanted: a television adaptation of the books, because the movies left so much out, and understandably so. So I’m just very excited to think about the potential here. To another extent, it’s stressing me out because now it’s like, “Okay, here it is. Here’s what we’ve been waiting for. Oh my goodness, please do not screw this up, Warner Bros. Get this right, and expand in ways we’ve never seen before,” to Laura’s point about, I think you mentioned, like, St. Mungo’s. We have some feedback. So many people have brought up the Marauders to us; “Why aren’t they doing a Marauder series?” Well, unfortunately, they’re not. I mean, that one seems like such an obvious one. But what about in the Prisoner of Azkaban television season, they spend a whole episode going back in time to give us the story of the Marauders? This is what I’m hoping for, spending a standalone episode just exploring different stories that we wanted that don’t exactly fit into the HP timeline.

Laura: That’s where my head is at too.

Eric: That was the craziest thing that you said, Laura, that I got giddy about, because if they do decide to do the missing day, they have to start with that, more or less. That’s the beginning of our story. It’s not the dull gray Tuesday on which our story starts. It’s the Monday prior.

Andrew: [laughs] The Monday prior.

Eric: It’s Dumbledore doing his whole, “All right, we’ve got to prep a street, we’ve got to get it all safe…”

Micah: But I think you can do that now, though, because the story is already out there. There’s nothing more that you really need to find. It is the lost day, but my point is you could really begin the story with James and Lily being murdered by Voldemort, maybe even what went into his decision-making in choosing the Potters versus choosing the Longbottoms. Again, because the story is already out there. It’s not like we’re waiting for another book to drop so that we can get that full plot; pieces were missing as we worked our way through the last couple of books. But what I find fascinating about all of this is with the first series, there was so much pressure that was placed on Dan, Emma, Rupert, David Heyman, all of the directors. Now I feel like there’s even more pressure that is going to be on the shoulders of whoever takes the place of Dan, Emma, Rupert, and whoever is at the helm of this production because, Andrew, to your point, there haven’t been many successful endeavors on the part of Warner Bros. since Deathly Hallows – Part 2 came out in July of 2011. You can look at the Fantastic Beasts series. You can also look, putting Warner Bros. aside, at Cursed Child, right? The narrative that has been written about that, the narrative that was written for Fantastic Beasts, it has not been well received overall. So it is kind of sad in a way that we’re already going back to that source material and rebooting the entire series. I agree there has to be the expansion element of it that Laura initially touched on. I think the one key word that you kept repeating, Laura, too, is “opportunity.” There’s a ton of opportunity here, but it needs to be done the right way.

Laura: Yeah, that opportunity comes with a big if. Right?

Andrew: [laughs] Right.

Eric: And what is that big if? Because I know what mine would be, but what is yours?

Laura: Well, I think there are several. One is if it’s not an attempt to rehash ground that the movies already covered, if there isn’t an attempt to expand the story, make it a little deeper, make it its own thing compared to the movies, compared to even the books, right? Because there is a ton to do creatively with these stories. I think maybe some would see it as a risk to do some of those things, but if there isn’t a risk, if they try to play it too safe and say, “We’re just going to regurgitate the same story we’ve already told before, just in a TV format,” I think it’ll fall flat. So they need to be brave.

Eric: Well, what I’m hearing here is, too, bring on a variety of writers.

Laura: Yep. 100%.

Eric: Finally let other people… this is how TV works. You have a team of writers, traditionally, with serialized storytelling of this high caliber. And J.K. Rowling’s credential as a writer of live action adaptation has been questioned and tested; the final Fantastic Beasts film, they brought in the screenwriter of the films, Steve Kloves, to assist with that. She’s not going to find herself having the time to rewrite what’s already been written. There will be, hopefully, a team of people with modern television sensibilities in mind in every sense, that is meant to really make it a hit show for this era. To your point, Micah, where you said, “Is it too soon?” Yes, the last film came out in 2011 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was it? But I remember going to see the first movie in 2001. That was 22 years ago. So whether or not it feels too soon to me is maybe leaning toward not, because it’s been over 20 years since that first one. And realistically – not to steal our thunder from later – but how soon do we think a TV show could even air at this point if we’re just getting wind of it now, Andrew?

Andrew: Yeah, Eric, I wanted to bring up these same exact points. Yes, Deathly Hallows – Part 2 just came out ten years ago, but when did the first movie come out? Like you said, November 2001. It’s been a really long time since that first one. And when will we get Deathly Hallows the TV show? November 2033. [laughs] Maybe, maybe. But yeah, let’s say the deal is signed tomorrow. When will we actually see this on television? Two years? You have to also remember this is special effects-heavy. This isn’t some straightforward half hour sitcom.

Micah: I think some of the challenge, though, lies in the fact that a lot of times when you do build upon the success of a series, you’re continuing the story, and a lot of the actors that were in that initial story are then brought back to be a part of that continuation. And we haven’t even tried that, really, in Harry Potter. We’re already jumping back to the source material from the standpoint of a book to TV series adaptation. That feels very quick to me, versus trying something that maybe goes beyond Harry’s time at Hogwarts. We tried Fantastic Beasts;it didn’t work, but I think people love the original material. Why not try that? I think they’re going back to what they feel is safe.

Eric: Well, if we also look over the last 20 years, the evolution of television as a storytelling medium…

Micah: Sure.

Eric: … that’s where you go, more than movies. And this was true even as early as the early aughts, right, that long storytelling really couldn’t cut it in theaters. That’s why there’s the extended editions of Lord of the Rings. There’s so much story there that’s just not going to fit into a theatrical release. And so television has been, for some time now, the way to tell the type of story that’s as complex as the Harry Potter books. So this could also be seen from one perspective as being the format that it was always going to be best for. And that’s an idea that excites me, particularly around the later films that I don’t have as much love for, or I’ll say nostalgia for. This series has the potential, just by being on TV, to do those stories, I think, adaptive justice.

Laura: I agree with that. I think the Potter series is going to be better served via a TV show format, but I also think it’s a point well taken that Micah brings up about the safe choice. And I would just observe, in relation to the landscape right now of TV and of the Discovery and Time Warner merger, it does seem like it makes a lot of sense for them to look at IPs that they know are safe options and are pretty much guaranteed to be some kind of success, right? Obviously, we all think there are things that they can do with this series to really level it up and make it something special, but I think bare minimum, because it’s Harry Potter, it’s one of their most recognizable IPs, they will see some level of success with it. And I think that’s what they’re thinking.

Micah: You know what I think? I think they saw the fact that we went back and restarted Chapter by Chapter and they were like, “We’ve got to do this too.”

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: We inspired them.

Eric: “We have to follow those guys.”

Andrew: “Look how deep these books are!”

Laura: “We’re going to do Episode by Episode.” [laughs]

Micah: Yeah. I totally agree with what you’re saying, though, Eric, about how the landscape has changed. And the truth of it is Warner Bros. needs to get in the game as it relates to Harry Potter. They’re missing out on a ton of money, and that’s another huge component of this, if we’re just being real here, that this is something that could really boost whatever their streaming service ends up being called in significant numbers.

Andrew: Yeah, there’s reports they’re going to rename HBO Max to Max, which is just silly. I mean, people love the HBO brand. I don’t know why you would want to get rid of that in your app’s title when you’re competing with, say, Disney Plus.

Laura: Are we going to have to change our “Max that” sound effect once this happens?

Andrew: No, I mean, it foretold the future. Max. Apparently it’s just going to be called Max.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: No, but we will have to change our name to MaxCast, though.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: That’s got to happen at some point.

Laura: Right. MaxCast Plus.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Couple of things I want to bring up: To the point about the IPs and using what’s familiar to people, this news came the same week as Disney announced that they are rebooting Moana in a live action film. That movie came out in 2016, and they’re already redoing that one live action. Not a sequel. Live action remake. That’s especially ridiculous. And the point about the lost day from a few minutes ago, I would love if the first episode of the first season began with things we hadn’t seen before, because that would be the message to viewers and fans, “We’re giving you something new here. You haven’t seen this before, and this is why you’re going to love to watch this, because we’re adding to the world.” If they opened with something unfamiliar and took the risks that we’re talking about, that’d be perfect, and that’d be such an awesome message to send. But it also is kind of safe to do that, because like I think maybe Micah, you were saying before: The Harry Potter movies, we all know the story, thanks to having seen the Harry Potter movies and read the books, so we don’t need the same introduction. We can get more. We can back up in the timeline a little bit.

Laura: Agreed.

Andrew: So I think that’s a wonderful opportunity for them. Will they take that risk? I don’t know. It seems a little ballsy, given how much money they’re probably going to invest in this.

Laura: Be ballsy, Warner Bros.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Laura: Be ballsy. Look at all of the shows in recent history that have seen high levels of success. It’s not because they were too scared to step outside the lines a little bit, have fun with it, be creative with it. That’s really what people are looking for.

Eric: Didn’t Amazon spend millions on the Lord of the Rings series? So that’s actually already had its TV adaptation there.

Andrew: But actually, that’s a good show to look at, because there was a report that came out, I believe earlier this week, that only 37% of audiences made it through the entire show. [laughs]

Eric: Oof.

Andrew: 37%!

Laura: I didn’t watch that one. But I don’t think that was actually about the Lord of the Rings trilogy; wasn’t it a prequel situation?

Andrew: It wasn’t a reboot, no.

Eric: It wasn’t a reboot. Yeah, it was additional.

Micah: I think you also have to keep in mind the fanbase, as well. I’m not sure it’s as massive as something as Harry Potter. And especially for those of us who have grown up with the series, I think it’s going to be something that we’re definitely going to dive into.

Andrew: But I guess my point is that by not using a familiar story, they could have – maybe they couldn’t have – but if they rebooted The Lord of the Rings, the trilogy, they would have had a lot more people watching all the way through. But people tune into this Amazon series; even though it’s the same fandom, it’s unfamiliar to them, so only 37% of them made it through. That’s a risk they would run with Harry Potter, too, if it was, let’s say, Fantastic Beasts. That’s what we saw happen.

Micah: Yeah. And somebody alluded to this earlier, but I think you have to study what has worked. I think Laura brought this up, right? Look at what Star Wars has done, because clearly they’ve had massive success. I’m sure they’ve had series that haven’t done as well, but they clearly have the recipe to at least take a little bit of a look at that and see what works for you, what doesn’t work for you. One of the other things, though, that came up when we did our IG Live, though, is when you go back to talking about how we’re not that far removed from the original series, you’re talking about some iconic roles, right? When you think about Alan Rickman as Snape, when you think about Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid… we’ve obviously unfortunately lost both of those individuals over the last several years. And even Dan, Emma, and Rupert, right? They really embodied Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and I’m sure we could get into a whole debate as to whether or not they embodied it for everybody, but that’s part of where I think it’s too soon. And do you connect back in any way to those actors? Do any of those actors show up in some way in this reboot? Or is that not possible? And then, of course, you’re talking about seven seasons, let’s just say, and will you get the consistency that the Harry Potter series got for eight movies, with the exception of Richard Harris being replaced by Michael Gambon? That’s tough commitment, even as we saw with the Fantastic Beasts series. So there’s a lot of questions. As much as there is excitement, there’s a lot of questions, and I won’t say skepticism, but there’s some hesitancy, at least, from my standpoint.

Laura: I get it.

Andrew: That’s the one thing I feel skeptical about, too; it is going to be strange seeing other people play these roles, because we grew up with not only these characters, but these actors too. It was really emotional when we watched the live stream from the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 premiere, because these actors were saying goodbye to these characters and these iconic roles, so to have them replaced and see… especially the people who have passed – Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman – it’s going to be tough seeing new people. But is there a specific number on what is the right amount of time? No. Another 40 years could pass and some people would still say it’s too soon. So I’m hopeful that it’s going to be a situation where yes, it’ll be strange at first. We get those early episodes, Hagrid dropping off Harry at the Dursleys’ doorstep, and it’s going to be like, “Oh, this isn’t Robbie,” but by the third or fourth episode, assuming all the actors are fantastic, I think it’ll be okay. And I won’t say we’ll forget about them, but we’ll be able to accept that new people are playing these roles.

Laura: I think we keep touching on this, but what I’m hearing is that this show really is going to need to differentiate itself from the movies so that viewers aren’t left feeling that way, or aren’t left wishing that they were looking at the actors that they recognized in those roles. If the show follows the beat of the movies too closely, I think we’re constantly going to be reminded of the movies. The show, very quickly, from the jump needs to take us out of that mindset, or else that’s the risk.

Eric: So it’ll just still be an adaptation of the first book, but from either varying perspectives, or something that just feels totally different.

Micah: I think one way to do that is to make sure that the cast is diversified.

Eric: Yep.

Andrew and Laura:: Mhmm.

Micah: Because let’s face it, it wasn’t in the initial series.

Laura: No.

Eric: The books aren’t.

Micah: Yeah, but this goes to Laura’s point about opportunity.

Eric: That’s what I’m saying.

Micah: We saw them attempt it to some extent with the Fantastic Beasts franchise, but I feel like now they have even more opportunity here, if you’re talking about something that’s going to be seven seasons long.

Andrew: Yeah, not to mention Cursed Child. And of course, Hogwarts Legacy, as we brought up in our review. It’s a very diverse game. And I think they are trying to right some of the wrongs of the original books and movies, so yeah, that’d better continue. If it doesn’t, that would be…

Laura: I’m sure it will.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] It seems impossible.

Micah: Along the same lines, do you think that they will cast only British actors, as they did with the first film series?

Eric: Oh, can we finally get Haley Joel Osment in a Harry Potter show?

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Just let him play Harry Potter. Present day.

Andrew: Look, as long as the accent is good, I don’t really care who’s playing the role. [laughs]

Micah: But that was something that was very important to the author, initially, when it was being adapted by David Heyman and Chris Columbus.

Andrew: It was.

Eric: And I would say that’s understandable for sure. It kept those films pure, it kept those films British in a key way. But I don’t know that you necessarily need that protection now, just because of how it’s different and changed since then. So the people making the movies didn’t have as much of an eye for why that sort of thing is important then. I think they do now.

Micah: Well, and I think that also gives you the opportunity to open up the world, if you’re not going to be so strict about making sure that you have British speaking actors in all of these roles. You can take one of the characters that’s well known and make them from a completely different part of the world, and they’re just there as a exchange student for the seven years that Harry Potter is at Hogwarts.

Andrew: All right, let’s take a little break. There’s still plenty more to discuss today; we have more of our own questions, and then we’ll get some feedback from listeners. So I thought we should also talk about who we want involved. We’ve mentioned cast members before; I think maybe somebody mentioned David Heyman too. We were talking on the Instagram Live a few days ago, and by the way, you can watch that on Instagram Live on Instagram still. Stuart Craig, the production designer, he’s done amazing work, but the dude is 80. Does he want to commit to this for ten years at 80?

Eric: Let’s get John Williams to score the first season.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: Yeah. He’s what, 92?

Andrew: I’ve seen some people say “Don’t touch ‘Hedwig’s Theme.’ Don’t use it.”

Eric: Oh. I love that as a take, but they’ll never not use it. They used it in Fantastic Beasts.

Andrew: That’s synonymous with Harry Potter.

Laura: They used it in the game, too, but they did change it up a little bit to make it unique in the game. I think they could do something like that for the show. I love the idea of getting some alumni on board when it comes to cast, crew, showrunners, things like that, but I would also like to see some new blood in here. In particular, from a showrunner perspective, I would love to see Craig Mazin do it. He has done…

Andrew: And who’s that?

Laura: He’s the showrunner for The Last of Us, also Chernobyl on HBO, but he has proven to be a really amazing showrunner. And I think that if paired with the right team for this project, he would nail it.

Andrew: There’s also that pre-existing HBO angle with The Last of Us being on HBO and this presumably going to HBO.

Eric: Oh, right.

Laura: Yep, that’s what I’m thinking. The cogs are turning. [laughs]

Eric: Well, if The Last of Us had not been renewed, which it has been, for a Season… they’ve announced Season 2, but it’s also been said very publicly that Season 2 won’t fit the entire second video game, so we’re looking at a few more years for Craig Mazin’s availability in particular. He’s also good at telling a very particular type of story, which has the weight of human choice and sacrifice and more drama than I would expect the early Harry Potter books to be; not saying he couldn’t switch gears, but you wouldn’t ultimately be looking in his wheelhouse necessarily. You’d be looking for another Chris Columbus; you’d be looking for somebody who is good with children, who can literally lasso them if needed, but get the performance out of them. That is absolutely key. I’d be looking to whoever was doing – was it the Duffer Brothers for Stranger Things?

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Eric: Who was working with them? Who were those early directors that were working with the children on set? And what are they up to now? Because they would be more… yeah.

Micah: It’s a great point.

Andrew: That show is wrapping up, but I think they’ve already announced a spinoff. At least, they might be working on one, so they might be out, unfortunately.

Laura: Yeah, I think Netflix…

Eric: Is it called “Justice for Barb”?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Laura: There will never be justice for Barb. Yeah, I was going to say, I think Netflix probably has an ironclad grip on the Duffer Brothers.

Andrew and Eric:: Yeah.

Micah: Most of the people that come to mind are probably folks that would serve better in the later books as opposed to the earlier ones. I was thinking of even Guillermo del Toro, after having watched Pinocchio. I know that that’s not a real child, but his adaptation was fantastic.

Eric: Wait, what? It’s not a real boy?

Andrew: [laughs] “I’m a real boy!”

Micah: I’m thinking of some of the darker storylines that come up later on in the series.

Laura: Sure.

Micah: And then Miguel Sapochnik, who did a number of the Game of Thrones marquee episodes, would be great, and there’s another HBO tie-in. So I would imagine there are going to be people chomping at the bit to jump into this.

Laura: I agree.

Eric: Here are my must-haves for a Harry Potter TV series. Number one – nonnegotiable – the color yellow.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay, Hufflepuff.

Eric: We have not seen it in a… no, this isn’t a Hufflepuff thing, man.

Andrew: Oh, it’s not? Oh.

Eric: No, bright colors have not been a thing in the Harry Potter visual narrative tapestry or wizarding world since 2007 or 2006, and that’s being generous. This is why I’m hesitant to recommend David Heyman, David Yates… do they just make these color-drained films that don’t look like anything?

Micah: Didn’t he work on Paddington?

Andrew: Heyman did.

Eric: Still a very blue movie.

Micah: And Winnie the Pooh? Anyway.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I mean, look, I’m obviously saying this in jest a little bit, but they need to re-light… they need to completely, from the ground up, rebuild how you light the wizarding world. I don’t care if they use the same sets. Light them differently…

Micah: Light ’em up.

Eric: … because those films that are early are so cheerful, and it all has to do with the production on this thing. Get people who know how to light a set.

Andrew: Okay.

Micah: Well, Eric, hopefully you’ll be happy; during the IG Live, we talked about how Harry’s eyes must be green in this adaptation.

Andrew: [laughs] I don’t know. I mean, that’s a tall order. “Sorry, we love this actor, but your eyes aren’t green.” I mean, I guess they can put in contacts, but again, seven years…

Micah: Well, didn’t it have to do with Dan not…? He had an issue with the contacts, right? That’s why he didn’t wear them, if I remember?

Laura: Yeah, they hurt his eyes.

Andrew: Okay. Yeah, so you’re going to make a kid deal with those for seven to ten years?

Eric: I’m going to go on record; I don’t care about the green eyes thing.

Micah: Well, you could probably at this point… special effects, you can just…

Andrew: Eric was giving his wish list.

Micah: I’m sorry, Eric.

Andrew: What else? Yellow?

Eric: Oh, yeah. So the color yellow. And yeah, more diversity. It’s just got to represent something closer to the real world. And actors… oh, this is the third, but the biggest. Marauders have to be the current age that means they were only in their very early 20s when Harry was born.

Andrew: Got it.

Eric: Because I genuinely in my brain cannot conceive of what that would look like, because we didn’t get it in the films, and I have no idea what it looks like. But I need it, because that will inform my canon.

Andrew: That’s fair. And let’s say they do a single episode in Season 3 dedicated to the Marauders. They could use that as a backdoor pilot to potentially launch a whole other separate series that is just Marauders-focused, and I think maybe they could use that standalone episode as a test balloon. How do people respond to this episode? Did it receive extra viewership numbers? I bet it would. I bet people who aren’t watching the series would dive into that; longterm Harry Potter fans, they would not be able to resist a standalone Marauders flashback episode. And that could potentially tell them, “Okay, we’ve got a great cast here with these Marauders. We came up with a great story. Let’s push this into a series of its own.” You think about… Eric and I love Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. They spun off Saul Goodman into his own series after the Breaking Bad show ended, and it turned out great. They tested it, it worked, they decided to turn it into a whole series. They can do something like that. I think Supernatural has explored this too. I don’t think there’s been any series that were really successful, but they tried backdoor pilots.

Micah: Do you think, then, that they felt the need to reestablish the series before doing these spinoffs? Meaning get the actors in the roles, right? So let’s say Season 3, Prisoner of Azkaban, you have your Marauders cast. Now, you can then spin off with the same actors and do a completely different series.

Andrew: Exactly.

Eric: That’s a good… yeah, you know what? I just had the most cynical but yet the most probably realistic thought, which is that the contracts, the types of contracts they’ll be writing for these actors are going to include a lot of their future plans of the Harry Potter global franchise development team or whatever. So you know how we managed to get Dan and Rupert and – well, not Emma – back for the theme park? The Hogwarts ride, the train ride? And Harry – Dan Radcliffe is on all the bags that you get from the gift shop there. That’s luck, because he didn’t have to do that. They obviously went back later and added those contracts. Whoever is involved in this TV show is going to be signing all sorts of stuff for spinoffs, especially if they’re playing a character that they identify as being potential for a spinoff. You’d better believe they’re signing their life away.

Micah: Eric, though, you made me think about something: There’s opportunity here for them to sit down with whoever is cast in these new roles. It can almost be like a mentor/mentee type of relationship, particularly for the younger actors. I could see that with Dan, and Emma, and Rupert – even Tom – sitting down with whoever gets cast in those roles. Because again, regardless of how good they may be, there’s going to be a ton of pressure on them from the start.

Andrew and Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: It will be unfair, but that’s the state of the world and consuming media. I’ll just say…

Laura: Well, we won’t stand for it here on MuggleCast.

Andrew: Well, some criticism. ot hating on children or anything, but I mean, there’s going to be pressure to get this right.

Laura: Of course, of course. But I mean, as we’ve seen, especially with online bullying, criticism can very quickly bridge into being hateful, just being a jerk. And we won’t stand for that here.

Andrew: No, no, no. I will say, I’ll be a little mean for a moment. I don’t want David Yates near this. He did seven movies; that’s enough. We don’t need that. David Heyman, yes. David Yates, no. No?

Laura: [laughs] What, you don’t want another 3D battle?

Andrew: No, I’m just saying, he got…

Eric: That’s not David Yates. You can’t pin that on him.

Andrew: That was a studio thing, probably. No, it’s just, he had his time. We were talking about we want a fresh take, right? David Yates is not going to give us a fresh take on Harry Potter.

Laura: No.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: I agree there should be some legacy people like Heyman, the producer, to carry over the spirit. But in terms of casting and the storylines and all that, I don’t want Yates involved.

Micah: I think you could be… I know you joked earlier about Stuart Craig, but MinaLima are still around, and they would be great, I think, to bring back. They love the series.

Eric: Although, that for me might make it too close to the movies for me. If you think about it, you really…

Micah: Well, you’ve got to imagine they’re going to reuse some things, though, right? They have Leavesden Studios at their disposal.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, no, no. Well, and that’s the thing that leads me to believe this actually will be similar. I joked earlier about them using the same sets, and they probably likely won’t do that, but at the same time, why would they not with certain things? And the MinaLima thing, though, to me is like, so much of the Harry Potter movies is MinaLima that if they do it for the TV show, it might be jarring for me. It might be too much for me.

Andrew: And I think the showrunner has to be a real fan of Harry Potter.

Laura: Yes.

Andrew: A true, genuine fan. We’ve commented that Hogwarts Legacy seems like it was created by true fans. If we can get some of that energy coming over to the TV show, I think we’ll be in pretty good shape. It would be frightening if we found out that the person who’s running the show or even writing it is not a pre-existing Harry Potter fan. That seems like bad news. [laughs]

Micah: No, we played that game already.

Andrew: What we’re going to do is when they name the showrunner and the writers, we’re going to go into the MuggleCast email archive, which dates back to 2005, and we’d better find this person’s name in our email inbox to prove they’re a real fan. [laughs]

Eric: So basically, if we have an email from them, they’re okay by us. They passed our litmus test.

Andrew: [laughs] Right.

Laura: I like how we’re gatekeeping who is going to be able to serve as the showrunner.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Hey, look, I feel like we’ve really resisted that for a very long time; now it’s time to start giving into it.

Micah: Yeah, if anybody has a say, we do.

Eric: Oh, man.

Micah: But I will say, though, I think one of the things that could work in favor of this series is the fact that so many of the cast now that will be in this series could have grown up reading Harry Potter, and I think that’s something that was possibly lacking in certain cases from the original cast. I think we have a pretty good sense of who read the books and who didn’t read the books. And so I think that could be interesting to see how that affects the cast of this TV series.

Andrew: Yeah. So should we get to some listener feedback?

Eric: We got a bunch of it.

Andrew: We did; thanks to everybody who participated on social media. I already mentioned, but I’ll briefly bring up again: We got tons of feedback asking for a Marauders series, or “Why not do a Marauders series at least before this?” So shout-out to everybody who’s been wanting Marauders. Who wants to take the first one? And by the way, some of this feedback is pretty negative. I was honestly a little surprised.

Micah: It’s Twitter, though.

Eric: Good. It’s all the things I want to say and am holding myself back to.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: All right, I’ll go first.

Andrew: Okay.

Micah: Tom X says, “The only way I would be able to accept it is in animated form. The movies are only slightly a decade old. Makes no sense to repeat the same story when we’ve got so much to explore in the wizarding world (Marauders, Founders, Tom Riddle’s early years, First War, a proper sequel, perhaps?)”

Andrew: I think in order for this to make the biggest impact, it has to be live action. And that’s not a slight on animation; animation is a beautiful art form. But think of the prestigious Sunday night HBO television. That’s gritty live action dramas. [laughs] Not always gritty.

Eric: Oh my God, a gritty 11-year-old Harry Potter adaptation.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: No, you’re right, though. HBO has a reputation that it keeps time and again solidifying. But think about what animation would solve as far as what we’re talking about, actors aging out of the role or being hard to get. You wouldn’t need them all in the room at the same time; there’d be a lot more flexible schedule. Jenny Slate could play Hermione; it would be great. Just a variety of opportunities in the animated way. Worth consideration.

Micah: Yeah, the one thing I would just say that I think would hurt from an animation standpoint is the perception of the series, right? I generally think people associate animation with kids for the most part. I’m not saying that that’s right one way or the other, but to the point earlier about HBO on Sunday night, I don’t know how many people are going to turn into an animated series, right?

Andrew: Agreed.

Micah: You think about HBO Sunday night, you think about The Sopranos, you think about Game of Thrones. But I do agree it would solve a lot of problems. [laughs] Whether or not they do that is a totally different story.

Andrew: Well, and I’ll throw in a point I think Laura will appreciate: Disney Plus has this Marvel series called “What If…?” It’s an animated series, and in this show, it answers simply “What if,” you know, somebody else had Captain America’s shield? Or whatever other plot lines they want to explore. And they have the freedom to explore those alternate scenarios because it is animated. So I’d like to see something like that animated at some point.

Laura: And that would be a great spinoff idea. If they just want to rip off Marvel? Go for it. [laughs]

Andrew: They might be in our spinoff episode, in fact. One of the ideas that we pitched.

Laura: It is.

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: “Harry Potter’s Time-Turner Adventures.”

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, that’d be cool!

Eric: If something went drastically wrong and we got this offshoot of the timeline. Everyone’s doing a multiverse. Speaking of into the multiverse, Across the Spider-Verse now that’s happening, that’s an example of an animated film that I think transcends age quite well. But there just aren’t enough examples, to your point, Andrew, of really showing that that could be a way that they would realistically consider going for something as big as Harry Potter.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Well, I do think that there are probably a lot of fans of animated shows that would maybe disagree with us here. I don’t know why I keep coming back to this, but I keep thinking about Castlevania on Netflix. That was an animated portrayal of that story, obviously based on a video game, so it was adapting from a video game dynamic, but the show was still very adult, and not something that I would put on in front of children. So it is possible. I think it’s easier for them to walk the line if they do live action.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, look, there’s episodes of The Simpsons and Family Guy I wouldn’t put on in front of children. [laughs] But by rebooting the series, and you’re looking for mass appeal, I don’t know that animation is going to be the right way to go.

Andrew: Exactly.

Micah: I think some of the other recommendations that you had, where you’re doing that “What if” scenario, could be very cool. But I think they need to get their feet wet again and establish the series, and the only way that they do that is through live action.

Andrew: Right. When you think prestige TV, you think live action. And like you said, Micah, they want to do numbers, they’ve got to do live action to appeal to everybody. There’s definitely animated shows for adults. I love Bojack Horseman on Netflix; there’s plenty other examples there. And again, animation is an awesome, very special, meaningful, important art form. But just for this right now, it’s not the time. I’ll read the next one from Chad, and here’s a little more criticism: “Honestly,” Chad says, “except in various limited capacities, I’m just done with Harry Potter and anything JKR-affiliated. She has really killed any sort of joy or comfort I previously found in her writing because of her hateful rhetoric against trans people. Not saying I wouldn’t maybe eventually watch this, but right now I can’t dredge up even a fake level of excitement for the possibility of this existing.” End quote. And we’ve seen a lot of feedback like this.

Eric: Yeah, I think… this series was announced at the same time you said Deadline said J.K. Rowling would be a producer on this show, and obviously, I can’t see a world where this is adapted where that doesn’t be the case, although I would say, the involvement of a producer on any one particular show, some of them are legacy namedrop producers. But look, that being the only person who’s officially attached to this series, it’s hard to get excited for it. I’ll go there. I think that we have yet to see what kind of accommodations are made – not accommodations, but adjustments are made to also cope with the updated political climate of this era. And that’s going to be as big or bigger than whatever adjustments they’re making to transform or adapt this show, the books, into TV.

Micah: I think it’s near impossible to separate her from this type of a series. It’s her work and she’s still around, and it’s just not going to be something that I think she would probably feel comfortable with having been rebooted without having a say in how it turns out. So I think that’s something we’re going to have to grapple with, as we move forward in covering the TV series. And I had put this in the chat earlier, but I think it’s worth talking about, because it’s probably going to happen at some point: What is the reaction, whether we’re talking about within the community or from the author, when they do cast a trans actor in the series? Because I think it’s a very good possibility.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s a can’t-win situation for them. They’ll be applauded by some people, and others will be like, “You’re just doing that because of everything that’s gone down with J.K. Rowling.”

Eric: This is why it’s so important to get more writers on it. And honestly, we’ve said multiple times that the Fantastic Beasts series has failed. Do we even know why it’s failed? Because I kind of point to J.K. Rowling on that. She had this amazing opportunity in telling the stories. The first movie I would consider to be flawless, or one of the best of all wizarding world films that exist, and yet the story itself petered out. The movies stopped being interesting on a very, very core fundamental level. And so the gift for storytelling, the person that we need to revive this series for a new era, is everybody but J.K. Rowling, who has been in charge of the Fantastic Beasts films. We need tons more people writing in this space, and they need to be allowed to do what they need to do.

Andrew: And I think by using the Harry Potter books, by rebooting the Harry Potter books, they get a chance to depend less on her because she’s already created the whole mold, the whole overall story, all the beats that they need to hit. They need to hire a bunch of writers who are just going to jump from beat to beat and expand in a way that we didn’t see in the movies. So I think that’s probably another reason they’re attracted to this idea, because if they said right now, “We are launching another spinoff series,” or “We’re rebooting Harry Potter and it’s only going to be written by J.K. Rowling,” they would receive a lot more backlash than they probably will when they say, “Rowling will be an executive producer or a producer, but she won’t be writing or showrunning.” And they can, again, get away with that because they already have J.K. Rowling’s mold, the overall story that they’re just going to fit into.

Micah: Yeah, and I know we brought this up on the IG Live, too, but I think when we’re talking about Fantastic Beasts, this does spell the end of that franchise. Do we agree with that?

Andrew, Eric, and Laura:: Yeah.

Andrew: I think that’s probably safe to say. And I liked Movie 1 too. Movie 2 was just so bad. Movie 3, I thought, got it back together. That’s probably in part because – who was it? – Kloves got involved, so he probably resurrected it at WB’s request. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, but there was just no coming back from that second movie. unfortunately. The third movie could have tap danced and sang and I don’t…

Andrew: They did tap dance, didn’t they? Around those bugs?

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: That was a crab dance, Andrew. Very similar, I understand.

Andrew: Oh, a crab dance, sorry.

Laura: Yeah, they were crabs. Get it right.

Eric: Manticore dance.

Laura: Know the lore, Andrew.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Yeah, I just don’t think there was any coming back from that. And I agree, this is definitely a signal that WB is moving on from Fantastic Beasts.

Eric: Although, they could still cast Jude Law as Dumbledore.

Andrew: I’d be in favor of that. I think that’d be a fun crossover.

Eric: Because I think we touched on it on the show when it became clear that Movie 3’s box office was only just okay, that we were like, “Well, could they employ these actors to do a fundamentally different thing?” And Jude Law’s Dumbledore I think was more or less universally well-received.

Andrew, Laura, and Micah:: Yeah.

Laura: He would be great. He just wouldn’t be young hot Dumbledore anymore, but that’s okay.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: All right. This next one comes from MTSchefers, and they say, “Do we get to see Peeves now? Maybe all of the Weasley family will be included this time. Ron gets to keep his lines.” Yes.

Eric: Ha!

Laura: Plus one, thank you. “Hopefully we get to see the book version of Ginny.” There you go, Eric. And, “Important plot points won’t be cut out for timing and pacing.”

Eric: That’s right.

Laura: Everyone’s favorite, the pacing.

Andrew: Justice! Sweet justice!

[Laura laughs]

Eric: [imitates Vernon Dursley] “Justice.” I never, ever, ever want to hear the word “pacing” again. Give us the Peeves episode, the Peeves backstory episode.

Andrew: Well, look, I mean, they still have to be concerned about pacing, but hopefully more will be included. [laughs]

Eric: Well, yeah. No, you’re right, you’re right. Because here’s the other thing: HBO does not have a history of television series with very many episodes per season.

Andrew: I know.

Eric: I think they’ve explored the lowest possible episode count. And if HBO only had nine, yeah, maybe for the first film, sure, or the first book, but for the later books, you’re still going to brush up against a lot of hard choices to make.

Andrew: Yeah, and I mean, I could foresee a scenario where Season 1, Sorcerer’s Stone, is just six, seven episodes. And then as the books get longer, the seasons get longer, too, and maybe by…

Eric: Split into two for any season.

Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. By 5 or 6, split it into separate seasons. I just wonder – obviously, they’re going to have to cast children who will be quickly growing – will they just shoot Seasons 1 and 2 right up front, back to back, before the kids get too old? There’s going to have to be some serious considerations like that, I think.

Laura: They could always do a recast situation like what they’re doing with House of the Dragon. Also, The Crown over on Netflix, they recast every couple of seasons.

Andrew: Yeah. I wouldn’t hate that. I think we have a little bit of feedback like that.

Eric: This comment comes from Evenlynda: “Honestly, I would have loved new stories. Even something set in this time. It would have been great if we had a show that propelled the series forward. Maybe bring in other creators who are more inclusive than J.K.” That’s a fair point. What are wizards doing in the…? What did they do about Y2K? We don’t know, because the books end in 1997, right?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: So what do the wizards do? Yeah, where have the wizards been? Where has the wizarding world, that we’ve heard so much about and lived in for so long, where has that been in the last 25+ years, or 30, maybe, by the time this series gets its footing? So that’s a fair point, that this is not moving the story forward. I agree with what we said on this show; it’s been safe to make this kind of a decision. But ultimately, there is that open question of what happens really after Harry Potter? And don’t tell me Cursed Child.

Andrew: [laughs] Well, it could move the story forward once we get to Season 8, 9, or 10. Let’s say this show is a smashing success; it’s beyond our wildest dreams. HBO is not going to want to walk away from it. They’ll do as many seasons as they think they could keep the momentum up with.

Eric: Ahh. This could be the next Grey’s Anatomy.

Andrew: Yeah, which is not necessarily a good thing. [laughs] Some people are very tired of the show at this point, but others continue to watch.

Eric: Or Supernatural.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, totally. This is a new baseline for them. If I’m being extremely optimistic about this, this is a new slate. They’re starting over. They’re in a way forgetting the movies, and they can use this to go beyond Book 7.

Micah: Totally.

Andrew: They can use it to give us the prequels. There’s lots of opportunities for them here outside of the basic series.

Micah: Yep, that’s the key word. Laura said it earlier. Yeah, it’s opportunity.

Andrew: This week’s episode is just titled “Opportunity.” [laughs]

Eric and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: Well, Andrew, you mentioned this earlier. DHFan: “Recast the trio every year like House of the Dragon. It’ll remove the time constraints per season and improve the quality of the show.”

Laura: Yeah. Thanks, DHFan.

Andrew: And Danielle said, taking our last bit of feedback that we’re reading from Twitter, “Too soon, too transparently a money grab (when they’re already out there canceling newer IP or canning finished films.)” They didn’t do that, but they definitely canceled Fantastic Beasts, or at least we think so. And Danielle says, “too tone deaf because it’s further lining the pockets of someone with outwardly harmful views.” Yeah, and we’ve addressed bits and pieces of this already. I will say, in this current streaming war era, yeah, it’s going to be a money grab, it’s going to be a subscriber grab, it’s going to be a “Grab Harry Potter fans somehow, because currently, we’re not grabbing them.”

Laura: All right, moving over to some feedback we got on Facebook. Jenny says, “I’m very excited! My friends and I have already said we’ll get together at each other’s houses to watch together every week. My only worry is that I will be comparing the new cast to the old cast. Many of the actors they chose for the movies walked straight out of the books for me, and I have a hard time imagining anyone else in the roles.” Yeah, I think that’ll be a common concern for folks.

Eric: Yeah. See, that to me is what I was saying about MinaLima, too; that’s straight out of the movies. [laughs] So this one comes from Nathan. They write in, “How do they make the TV show differ from the movies? While they have costumes and sets from Leavesden (some that can and should be reused), it needs to be a different feel. Also, do they keep the live all-British cast? They need to make the cast look differently than the movies. And, with costumes, can we get 1990s style, please?”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: And for reference, I don’t remember what 1990s style was like. But fortunately, in our live Discord, somebody has posted. Kathleen has given us this amazing almost Beverly Hills 90210-esque 1990s version of the Harry PotterSaved by the Bell? Oh, that’s probably what this is actually from. I recognize Screech.

Andrew: A lot of denim, baggy clothing, frosted tips. We’ve got to do it all. Fully lean into the ’90s.

Eric: Absolutely.

Laura: God, it was so bad.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: But yes, they really… I mean, they should.

Andrew: They should? No. No, they should not.

Laura: No, I mean, not to the extent that we’re seeing in this picture. But I will say, when you watch the movies, they’re wearing what is clearly 2010s style clothes, and when you know what time period the story takes place in, it does kind of take you out of it. I actually preferred the Muggle clothing that they showed in the Sorcerer’s Stone film; it’s one of the things that I actually preferred about that point in the series. When the kids were wearing Muggle clothes, they were very nondescript. They weren’t things that caught a ton of attention; they didn’t have logos on them. They weren’t distinct to a particular fashion era. Whereas in the later movies, you’re like, “Oh, they went to Forever 21 to get that outfit.”

Eric: Or Abercrombie and Fitch. Yeah, well, that reminds me. My fourth must-have for this series: Keep them in robes all the damn time.

Andrew: [laughs] You listening, Alfonso?

Eric: School robes the whole time. Don’t care. They’re at wizard school. They’ve got to dress the part. Dress for the school that you want.

Laura: I don’t agree with that. Because in the books, they don’t wear robes the whole time.

Eric: Really?

Laura: No.

Eric: Really?

Andrew: I don’t agree with any of this.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I want it exactly the same as we saw in the movies.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Micah: No clothes? Is that what you’re going for?

Andrew: [laughs] No, I liked what they wore the movies. I had no problems.

Micah: Carmel says, “It’s more Potter content. If they can do the books justice, I’ll be happy! An appropriate Book 4 Dumbledore mood, and get the final Book 7 duel right!”

Eric: [laughs] “An appropriate…”

Andrew: Imagine Twitter the night the new Dumbledore does, [speaks calmly] “Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?”

Eric: There you go.

Micah: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: Andrew, you’re still my favorite casting for Dumbledore.

Andrew: Aww, thank you. Next feedback; we’re jumping back and forth here between positive and negative, it seems like. This is from Travis: “This is sure to be a massive disappointment. With so much Potter lore out there, they’ve allegedly decided to remake an already iconic story? The movies are terrific as they are. Sure, they had to leave some stuff out, but as standalone films, they get the job done and then some. Why not have a series surrounding the Hogwarts founding, the rise of Voldemort, the founding of Ilvermorny! Perhaps even the chaos surrounding what is now Azkaban? Or even a series about the story in Hogwarts Legacy? But no, we are going to try and remake the story that has already been done so well.” Again, safest option.

Laura: Yeah. Travis, I agree with you. All of those are great ideas. I don’t think that the studio is confident to be able to put together compelling original content that will do well. They tried it with Fantastic Beasts, started out compelling, and then… we know where it went.

Micah: I think, as we were saying earlier, they want to reestablish the base first and then spread out from there.

Laura: Well, this next one comes from Heidi, who says, “Woot woot! I love this idea.”

Micah: Aww, Andrew, your mom.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: “My son and I have been reading the books together…”

Andrew: Oh, it is my mom. Wow.

Laura: Andrew, this is so sweet.

Andrew: It’s not my mom. It’s not my mom.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Laura: “My son and I have been reading the books together at bedtime for years…”

Andrew: [laughs] Oh, wait, this is my mom.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Heidi, I’m so sorry that we keep getting cut off on this email. Andrew’s mom is named Heidi, so we’re just having some fun with this. Can somebody do some fan art of present-day Andrew reading bedtime stories with his mom?

Eric: Absolutely.

Laura: [laughs] Please.

Andrew: I have Midjourney now, the AI art generator, so I can just instruct it to do that.

Laura: Do it, do it, do it.

Eric: Oh, what happens if you get it to generate something based on your likeness? That’s kind of like inviting the devils into the… like, the vampires into your kitchen, right?

Andrew: Yeah, it’s a problem.

Laura: That’s the problem with AI, a lot of people are discovering. Anyway, back to Heidi’s email, not Andrew’s mom. “Literally, we have read through the series countless times, and to be able to watch the books come to life on TV with him would be amazing. He likes the movies and so do I but there is so much they had to leave out, to be able to see some of our favorite parts that aren’t in the movies would be fantastic. And poor Ron will actually get to say and do the things he does in the books. The movies did him dirty.” Thank you, Heidi. Thank you.

Eric: Ron, who is a smart character, gets to be a smart character.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Yes.

Andrew: I love the Ron love that we’ve seen today in the feedback.

Laura: I know. I want to to start a Ron Weasley Apologists Club.

Andrew: See, any listener who’s seeing some of this feedback, and maybe some of these ideas are coming into their mind for the first time, maybe you’re being a little swayed in terms of the potential here for the series.

Micah: Moving over to the ‘gram. Randy says, “I’m not ready to -“ This is your whole family.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: “I’m not ready to see a new trio yet, but I will be addicted nonetheless.”

Andrew: Yes, my brother in law is named Randy.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: All right, next up from Becca, my sister… oh, wait, no.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: BeattieShelton: “Each book after Chamber should be AT LEAST two seasons long!” Yeah, I agree with that.

Eric: From MattyHDot, “Episodes from different characters perspectives,” and an example is “Mrs. Norris petrification from Filch’s perspective.” That could be real good.

Laura: Okay, at first I read that as like, Mrs. Norris’s perspective of being Petrified.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: First of all, yes. Just a whole episode from the cat’s perspective, the way they did that episode of Supernatural from the car.

Micah: Well, I mean, for this, you could just show David Bradley’s reaction when Arya shows up.

Eric: Oh, right.

Laura: Ooh, yep. And that’s an HBO property; they could just…

Micah: It is.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Oh, they could just slice that in.

Laura: … pop that straight over.

Andrew: Cut and paste.

Eric: Yeah, no problem.

Micah: Ellie wants to “See the Hogwarts kitchens.” So if you want to see them before the show, you can get Hogwarts Legacy and tickle the pear. But yeah, I mean, this does provide… we talked a lot about characters, but I don’t know we talked as much about places that we’ve never been in. I know we did say Azkaban and St. Mungo’s, but there’s a lot of other places that in the movies, we’ve never gone to.

Eric: The Gaunt shack.

Andrew: Yeah. And speaking of house-elves, Winky and SPEW. That whole plotline could be brought back.

Micah: Hokey and Hepzibah Smith.

Eric: The Quidditch World Cup, because the five and a half minutes we got on the film did not count.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Some more Quidditch in general would be nice.

Eric: [softly] But the budget!

Laura: Well, that gets hard as the story goes on, because there was less Quidditch in the books as they went on.

Eric: Quidditch fatigue.

Andrew: It’s true. You know what, though? I just had this thought: I think there’s a lot of opportunities here.

Laura: I agree. I love that word, opportunities. Are you listening, WB?

Andrew: [laughs] Well, that’s our discussion on this for now. I think we are at the outset of many, many, many, many, many more discussions. We didn’t even discuss what this means for MuggleCast, but certainly, there are some exciting ideas that we could kick around for the future of this show. But again, this is still a long way off, so for now, we’re just going to have to look forward to new casting developments and all of that before we get to actually see this thing. If you have any feedback about today’s discussion, or maybe you have some feedback about our Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter by Chapter series – because we are in the middle of that right now, and we will get back to that next week – you can send an owl to, or you can use the contact form on You can also send a voice message just like Ron did last week; just record it using the Voice Memo app on your phone and then email us that file. Or you can use our phone number, which is 1-920-3-MUGGLE. That’s 1-920-368-4453. And in light of this special episode, we will skip Quizzitch this week, but it will be back next week. Right, Eric?

Eric: That’s right, everybody brush up on Remus Lupin’s middle name and submit that over to us on’s form.

Micah: So I still have time.

Eric: You still have time.

Micah: But Andrew, the other thing I was thinking about, too, really quickly, is we’re going to get invites to the set and go to premieres.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: No, we won’t. No, we won’t. We are blacklisted.

Andrew: By probably not being in the good graces of Warner – we can try to get at least screeners, right? They can send us some screeners.

Micah: Why wouldn’t we be? We’re their good graces, come on. We just haven’t talked to them in a while.

Andrew: I think… well, they don’t love the JKR criticism, I would guess. Who knows?

Eric: Well, that’s not going anywhere.

Andrew: Right. [laughs]

Laura: They also probably don’t love that JKR is putting herself out there for that kind of criticism, I would have to guess.

Andrew: Oh, that’s true. So we’re even.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Micah: Look, we’ve got some time here to work things out.

Andrew: We do. To rebuild the bridge, to Reparo any bridges that might be a little wobbly right now.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Well, we couldn’t do this without your support, because we definitely don’t have Warner Bros.’ [laughs] I’m sort of kidding.

Laura: Please leave that in. [laughs]

Andrew: We really couldn’t do this without your support, it’s true. We would really appreciate your financial support at, and you’ll receive lots of great benefits in return, including instant access to years of bonus MuggleCast installments. You get access to our recording studio; we typically record on Saturday mornings, so you can join us live. You also get access to our exclusive Facebook and Discord groups. And if you’re pledging at certain levels, you’ll get a new physical gift every year. And it’s fair to say I think we won’t have a lot of time for more TV talk on the main show because we’re very busy with our lovely Chapter by Chapter series, so you can stay tuned to future bonus MuggleCast installments for a lot of talk about this TV show. Sure hope it happens, now that we’ve done a full episode on it. [laughs]

Laura: I know.

Micah: Right. It seems like we might get some more info next week, potentially, right?

Andrew: Possibly. Possibly. “Max that!”

Micah: Max. Just Max.

Andrew: “Max that,” yeah.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: We’re going to… so you’re saying we should call the segment “Max” now because they’re dropping a word?

Micah: No, “Max that” is fine.

Andrew: Okay, cool. Last but not least, don’t forget to follow us on social media. We’re @MuggleCast on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. Thanks, everybody, for listening. Don’t forget to follow the show for free in your favorite podcast app if you’re a new listener, and leave us a five-star review if you enjoyed this and our other episodes. We’ll see you next week. I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Micah: I’m Micah.

Laura: And I’m Laura.

Andrew: Bye, everybody.

Eric, Laura, and Micah:: Bye.

Andrew: Accio television remote!

[“Max that” sound effect plays]