Photographer: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
Culture

Harry Potter to Come to London Theater for First Time, J.K. Rowling Says

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling announced a new play will open in London next year, extending her blockbuster child-wizard franchise to the theater for the first time. 

“It will tell a new story, which is the result of a collaboration between writer Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and myself,” Rowling said on her verified Twitter account.

Rowling, 49, said the production will be called “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and insisted it's not a prequel to the seven-part book series.

She added: “I don't want to say too much more, because I don't want to spoil what I know will be a real treat for fans.”

 In an attempt to pre-empt questions about why a book isn't being written about the “Cursed Child,” the author said: “To answer one inevitable (and reasonable!) question - why isn't #CursedChild a new novel? - I am confident that when audiences see the play they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story.”

The news comes on the 18th anniversary of the U.K. publication of Rowling’s first book about the wizard, “Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone.” Rowling described the play as an “untold part of Harry’s story.”

Media giant Time Warner Inc. turned the book series into a film franchise, making global stars out of young English actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. A number of famous faces of British stage and screen also appeared in cameo roles throughout the series, which was filmed in Britain.

 

The success of both films and books prompted establishment of “Harry Potter” experiences at two Universal Orlando’s theme parks in Florida, and a Warner Bros. studio tour at Leavesden, northwest of London. Theme park experiences were also constructed in California, Japan and Australia.

A “Harry Potter” movie held the global box office opening record until two weeks ago, when Universal Pictures’ reboot of the dinosaur franchise, “Jurassic World” generated $511.8 million in receipts, Universal said in a statement.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” previously held the global record, since 2011, when it took $483.2 million.

The Associated Press said the production is expected to premiere at London's Palace Theater, with tickets on sale in the fall.

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