Warner Brothers creates new team to oversee “Potter” franchise

Variety is reporting today that Warner Bros. Entertainment has put together a team to oversee the massive Harry Potter franchise. The group, known as the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team, will “develop and execute a high level strategic vision for the Harry Potter brand.” The group will be based in both Burbank, California, and London. It will reportedly maintain control over the Fantastic Beasts films, the Studio Tour in London, all three theme parks (in Orlando, Osaka, and Universal City), Pottermore (which recently split with its original partner, Sony), and the future West End play.

This seems like a huge move, and could be bordering on redefining just what Harry Potter is. It seems like Harry Potter is no longer just a story or book series; it has become a brand. Having the same team over everything could be helpful in keeping continuity between different areas, such as artwork on Pottermore and design in the theme parks.

But does this make our beloved book series too commercialized? On a recent trip to the Studio Tour, a friend of mine commented that she was loving the experience until she walked into the gift shop. She felt that the whole experience just became a money making plea. This leads to the question: Where is the line between actually giving fans something new in their Harry Potter experience and riding the success of the series for profit?

And what are “future incarnations” of Harry Potter? Of course, the story has gone from a book series to a film series to theme parks and an interactive website, but when does it all become too much? Are we drifting too far away from the essence of Harry Potter, that is, the novels?

Regardless, this is sure to be an interesting move and will bring changes to the Potter world in the future.

What do you think of WB’s decision? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks to Dan Caddy for the tip!

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  • Ashley

    Are they hiring?

  • Allyce

    Yeah, it’s definitely commercialized, but it adds more fun and outlets to express our love of Harry Potter. I think most fans reading this on Mugglenet will always keep the novels at the heart of that love 🙂

  • Ray

    Yes. I went to the studio tour recently and absolutely LOVED everything except the gift shop. I really wanted merchandise but it felt as though they’re taking advantage of the fans to make some extra cash 🙁

  • Elaina

    It’s definitely getting more commercialized. The really worrying thing is that J.K Rowling seems less and less involved in these endeavors. She’s only an executive producer on the play, right? She’s not writing it?
    I’m not in any way saying she should focus all her creative energy on Harry Potter. Everybody needs to do new things and she seems to love Strike. But. As it stands I’ve got a “The Phantom Menace” feeling in stomach. I don’t know how good all this new Potter material will be if she’s not behind the wheel. This series was a stable of my younger years and if I’m honest, I’d rather it ended on a high note than spiral out of control with endless spin-offs, plays and merchandise that might not come from Rowling.

  • HinkyPuff

    I don’t like this…

  • Selabelle Vy

    As much as I love Harry Potter book series (bookworm here), and even the movies too, and always trying to explain and go deeper in the universe, this is becoming too much like Disneyland.