J.K. Rowling announces a Harry Potter prequel play while simultaneously exploding millions of Potterheads everywhere


By Pilar Clark (@daspilar)

J.K. Rowling is teaming up with British producers Sonia Friedman (Book of Mormon) and Colin Callender to create a prequel-turned-play about Harry’s early years. Yes, a play.


Warner Bros., the studio behind the upcoming Potter bi screen spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is said to have a hand in its development too. Whatever that means.


An announcement posted on the author’s official Facebook page Friday is what sent muggles everywhere into a perpetual nerd squee:


“What was it like to be the boy in the cupboard under the stairs? This brand new play, which will be developed for the UK theatre, will explore the previously untold story of Harry’s early years as an orphan and outcast. Featuring some of our favourite characters from the Harry Potter books, this new work will offer a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard. A seemingly ordinary boy, but one for whom Destiny has plans…”


Sounds interesting, sure, but do we really want to hear the story that took place before Harry grew up at Number Four Privet Drive? Are we all that interested in anything that went down before his 11th birthday, when he received an invitation to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Can we sit through a story that doesn’t involve magical creatures, Quidditch, Ron or Hermione?


Eh, you know we’re going to.


Mainly because Harry Potter wins at all the things, and Rowling is convincing when she says, “… Sonia and Colin’s vision was the only one that really made sense to me, and which had the sensitivity, intensity and intimacy I thought appropriate for bringing Harry’s story to the stage.”


And we all know she’s a tough sell, so…


But here’s the thing. The whole thing has the potential to turn into a Matilda-meets-Annie redux. Granted, one was never an orphan and other was, but still. Think about it. Harry uses psychokinetic powers like the precocious little genius girl, and Dumbledore is totally Daddy Warbucks. Except beardy. And wizardy. And old. So unless the plan is to go full stage musical (no), staying dark and magical will be challenging.

Will you dust off your sorting hat, sling your House scarf about your shoulders, and make plans to apparate in London two years from now to see what Harry was up to before anyone cared?

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