On July 15, 2011, I trudged out of the movie theater with red, puffy eyes and a lump in my throat — I had just watched the last Harry Potter film.
J.K. Rowling assured fans during the last Harry Potter film premiere that the magic would live on when she said, “Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
And she was right, of course. The magic was still there, but it was an odd feeling not having another Potter premiere to look forward to. However, I had both the books and movies to enjoy over and over.
Fast forward a couple years to September 2013 when the news broke that J.K. Rowling would be writing a screenplay based on the companion novel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which had been released in 2001.
I could feel the magic coursing through my veins, but not everyone I knew felt the same.
I had friends who were upset and turned off by the idea, since it would be set about 70 years prior to the Potter timeline we had become so familiar with.
Just a few months later, I remember watching TV with my parents when a news story broke about about Harry Potter.
I made a mad dash for the remote and turned up the volume. J.K. Rowling had just revealed that a play based on Harry Potter’s children had been brewing for about a year.
At first, I couldn’t contain my excitement. To me, new Potter content was fantastic, and I didn’t care if it came in the form of a prequel or sequel. In this case, we got both.
I soon realized that, once again, many of my friends were upset by the idea of a play and became cynical.
“She only does it for the money,” was a popular comment by those doubters. I remember being bothered, because J.K. Rowling is well known for donating all the proceeds from other projects to charity.
Despite champing at the bit for the new movie and play, the novelty eventually died down, and it became easier to put them on a back burner and wait patiently for the official release dates.
Now we find ourselves in present day, smack dab in the middle of the release of the screenplay of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and the movie premiere of “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.”
While half of the Potter generation would like to pretend that “Cursed Child” didn’t happen or that “Fantastic Beasts” will not impact the original Potter universe, the other half is teeming with excitement, and I think you can tell by now where you’ll find me.
The magic of Harry Potter is not confined to the first seven books. It is a vast world wherein people from all different walks of life can take refuge. It is an entire world open to interpretation, and it has always been that way.
From fan-fiction, to Wizard Wrock, to real-life Quidditch and all the magic in between, I believe that the fans have always had the desire to embrace the content and create more ways to enjoy it.
Don’t let the new material tarnish your love for the scrawny, messy-haired boy with a scar whom we all grew up with. Take the good with the bad, pull on your big-kid robes and march into the theater with an open mind come this November.