Good news: there’s a new Harry Potter movie and TV series in the works! Bad news: it is in no way the Harry Potter that you’re thinking of.
In 1986, director John Carl Buechler released Troll, a low budget urban fantasy that’s since gone on to become something of a cult hit. The movie centred on a young boy’s quest to save his sister after she becomes possessed by a troll (who is also an ancient wizard, obviously). The boy’s name? Harry Potter, Jr.
It’s this character that will be at the centre of the upcoming Troll: The Rise of Harry Potter, Jr., a 3D animated movie that revives the 80s film. It will be produced by SC Films International, with a TV series preceding the cinematic outing.
The film has already attracted some interesting talent too. Oscar-winner Patricia Arquette will voice a kindly witch who aids Harry in his adventure (likely the character Eunice St Clair, originally played by June Lockhart) and original creator Buechler returns to the piece.
While having the name “Harry Potter” in your title is pretty brazen given the global phenomenon of JK Rowling’s literary version, because the Troll character appeared first, the creators appear to be entirely within their rights. Even so, they make it very clear that the upcoming animated take is nothing to do with the better known Boy Who Lived.
“Harry Potter and Harry Potter, Jr. and his family were characters in the 1986 motion picture Troll which was independently created and distributed 11 years before J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was written and published,” the studio said as part of its announcement. “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 JK 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.”
Copyright and trademark can be complicated areas though, and it’s almost certain that Warner Bros will try to force a title change on the Troll feature despite Harry Potter Jr. preceding Harry Potter, son of James and Lily Potter. It’s a similar situation that allows both DC and Marvel Comics to have a character called Captain Marvel, but only Marvel can use the character’s name in a title.
As far as the “actual” Harry Potter goes, or at least the actor who played him, Daniel Radcliffe will next be playing an undercover FBI agent infiltrating a white supremacist group in the upcoming Imperium. Which is a bit like those time he fought the Death Eaters, when you think about it.