But it won’t be the number of movies. Already we’ve heard word that Warner Brothers plans to split the last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” into two films. (Help us with where to break that film here.)
Could the powers that be, though, actually want a ninth?
That’s the word from the “Sunday Mirror,” which ran an item last week stating that J.K. Rowling had written a brand new Potter story that would be turned into a mini-movie starring the films’ principal cast, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson.
The article claimed that the movie would be shown as part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the new themed land at Universal Studios in Orlando.
First things first. I spent the better part of yesterday morning on the phone tracking down representatives from Universal Studios. After repeated calls and emails this is what they sent me this morning.
“We’re working hard to make the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort an exciting and authentic experience for our guests — but we’re not ready to talk about its development.”
That’s the official statement, such as it is. As Dumbledore himself might (and did, in fact) say, “From this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork.”
I’m guessing this story is somewhat real.
First, the statement from Universal is patently untrue. Here’s an example of the very same people who told me they weren’t going to talk about the park, talking about the park — on the Universal homepage no less. They have a FAQ and you can even sign up for email updates.
Secondly, and we’re in real “murky marshes” here, the feeling I got from talking on the phone with reps was that something WAS going on, and that they were trying to figure out how best to spin it. I had more than one conversation end with the person I was speaking with promise to send me “information.” Not a statement, not confirmation or a denial. But “information.” Something’s going on, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find out that it was a mini-movie.
And, frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me for the simple reason that I always expected it anyway. Anyone familiar with theme parks knows these sorts of things happen all the time. If you’re a fan of Disney World, think the mini-Muppet movie before their show, or Eric Idle’s little talk before “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience,” or C-3PO in the line at “Star Tours.” There has to be something to watch while waiting in line, and Harry Potter is no different.
I have no doubt that this will include mini-movies with the stars of the films, and since J.K. Rowling has been so involved with the process, I have no doubt it will include her as well.
But what are your thoughts? Does the statement add anything to your gut feelings on this? Knowing what rides are at the parks, what kind of story would make sense? Sound off below.