Tag Archive: jk rowling


A few weeks ago I posted on Twitter (sarcastically) that in around twenty years time a reboot of Harry Potter would be made and Daniel Radcliffe would be limited to a cameo as one of the Hogwarts’ ghosts. And ever since I posted that tweet it seems like Warner Bros. and JK Rowling are doing their best to prove me right.

 

Everyone knows why Hollywood is obsessed with reboots and sequels: because they make money. A whole host of films have been rebooted recently including Clash of the Titans, Total Recall, Evil Dead and there are more in the pipeline: Oldboy, Robocop and Fantastic Four to name just a few. One of the biggest money making franchises ever was the Harry Potter series, and rightly so because it was a perfect franchise that managed to ignite the imaginations of audiences worldwide in a way that I haven’t seen matched in any way, shape or form. Anything branded under the Harry Potter umbrella is guaranteed success commercially, which makes expanding that universe ever so appealing to all the movie bigwigs.

Harry Potter’s story finished back in 2011 and already there are plans to milk the franchise dry for every penny it can possibly produce. That began with the announcement that JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be the spark that sets up a new series of films set in the wizarding world. And is it just me that thinks that is a horrible idea considering the book was released to raise money for the charity Comic Relief and the benefits of the film will more than likely be lining the pockets of Warner Bros. executives? But anyway, who has been asking for an adaptation of that book? I can barely remember the number of times I’ve heard people express their longing to see Newt Scamander on the big screen.. oh actually I can. Zero. This is probably the most obvious money making decision in the history of film making.

And that may not be the only Harry Potter spin-off in the works at Warner Bros. as news that they have trademarked Quidditch Through the Ages and Tales of Beedle the Bard has been announced. When quidditch first appeared in the Harry Potter films it was a revelation and the sequences of the game are fantastic, one of the highlights of the series but this is yet another money making scheme by expanding a universe that nobody has any interest in. The only thing Harry Potter fans want is to see another Harry Potter film, i.e. a film with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson playing Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

 

So how long can Warner Bros. appease fans with their explicit commercially led ventures and have no regard for the opinions of fans? My guess is not long (of course I could be wrong but lets see shall we). Soon Warner Bros. will be receiving millions of please for a new Harry Potter film and what will they do then? They will realise the amount of money they can make by remaking all eight of the films adapted from JK Rowling’s books and that reboot will be ultimately greenlit.

Even the most die hard fans of Harry and his friends had just come to accept that there would never be more adventures told of the boy wizard and that would be absolutely fine. But now this reignites the flames of desperation and it won’t be soon before Daniel Radcliffe is thrown out of the series and replaced with another eleven year old boy with a lightning bolt on his forehead and broken glasses abridge his nose.

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The Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises are too of the highest grossing in cinematic history, with the boy wizard being ranked at number one. There is a lot of debate among fantasy fans as to which franchise is actually better and audiences tend to fall on one side or the other, rather than both.

There are many similarities between the two film series’: the unsuspecting hero (Harry and Frodo), the ever faithful best friend (Ron and Sam), the tale of friendship and companionship, both taking place in completely new worlds and the battle between good and evil. Both franchises are based on books by British authors, also; Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.

Return of the King is joint holder of the most Oscar awards won by a single film.

If we go by recognition from the Academy Awards then there is, of course, a clear winner in terms of which film series is better. Whilst the Harry Potter series won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, it received zero Oscars, despite six of the eight films being nominated for 12 between them. Lord of the Rings, however, was nominated for a total of 30 Oscars, winning 17 of them including best picture for Return of the King.

Throughout the course of the Harry Potter series it remained British in its casting. It made child stars of the main three newcomers Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson but accompanied them with some of the best British actors around. Some of the best include Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Julie Walters, Helena Bonham Carter and Maggie Smith.

Whilst some of the actors in Lord of the Rings are British Peter Jackson (director and creative mind behind the films) went abroad too for Elijah Wood and Viggo Mortensen. Lord of the Rings also combined the new actors and old actors by pairing Orlando Bloom with the likes of Ian McKellen and Sean Bean. So both film series have superb casts, there is no doubt about that.

Dobby won the hearts of audiences the world over throughout the Harry Potter series.

 

The special effects for both films are again fantastic. Both franchises had to create these brand new worlds for audiences. Harry Potter had it slightly easier because it’s world is still based in human territory really but did what it had to; the flying cars, Dobby the house elf, the massive basilisk, the whomping willow, werewolves and the brilliant scenes of the Quidditch World Cup.

 

Lord of the Rings created the Shire, Mordor, Mount Doom, Rohan and more. Making each place look as though it belonged on the screen and looking as though you could actually be there. The creative process that went into those scenes is unimaginable. And where Harry Potter created the basilisk and the house elves, Lord of the Rings created Gollum, the Balrog and Sauron himself.

There is no doubt that the two franchises are up there with the best of all time, but there is one factor that, I think, separates them. That is the rewatchability factor. When I like a film, really really like it, I want to watch it again and again and enjoy it as much as I did the first time. As much as I like Lord of the Rings every time I consider watching them again it dawns on me how long they are and as the first one is slightly slow paced it seems like a much daunting task than perhaps it is. This is even more true if you happen to own the extended cuts.

Millions of children have grown up with Harry, Ron and Hermione.

This is where Harry Potter triumphs, in my eyes, as each film is an enjoyable journey. Despite the story getting darker and darker as each film progresses the films manage to keep a light heartedness about it that makes it easy to watch, easy to follow and easy to watch again. As well as this, Harry Potter is something for the whole family to enjoy, whereas Lord of the Rings is perhaps targeted at a more mature audience.

As you might be able to tell, I fall into the category of Harry Potter fans. I do think that this series is better than the Lord of the Rings. This is not a slight on Lord of the Rings at all, as I still think it is a superb trilogy and look forward to The Hobbit later on this year. But for sentimental reasons, perhaps more than other reasons, I think that The Boy Who Lived will always be my favourite film series no matter how long I live.