Pottermania awakens as new play, book, film revive magical world

Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:21pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy and Melissa Fares

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - It's been five years since fans of "Harry Potter" tearfully said goodbye to the boy wizard they had grown up with, but a new play, book release and spin-off film are casting his spell all over again.

Fans around the world went into mourning after the final movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" in 2011, cemented the end of the seven-book series from J.K. Rowling.

But the announcement in 2013 of three "Fantastic Beasts" films, a London play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," opening this weekend, and a corresponding book release of the script has expanded the Potter universe and re-awakened fandom.

"It seems like (Rowling) had the break she needed and she's now ready to get back to the Potter world in a big way," said Andrew Sims, 27, co-founder of young adult fandom website Hypable.com.

"People who read the book as children or teens, today they're in their twenties and thirties. We've all grown up together with Harry and events like book release parties coming up will be us returning to our childhood," Sims added.

The seven "Harry Potter" books about an orphaned boy wizard in a magical universe have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.

The movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," opening in November and written by Rowling, is a spin-off from the Potter stories with new characters and plot, set in New York City in 1926.

The script of the "Cursed Child" play, being billed as the eighth "Harry Potter" story, is already a U.S. best-selling book with the most pre-orders since 2007.   Continued...

British author JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series of books, poses during the launch of new online website Pottermore in London June 23, 2011.  REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo