We don’t need a Harry Potter reboot on Max – not now, not ever

Harry Potter
(Image credit: HBO)

Warner Bros. has announced that its streaming service HBO Max is to be renamed simply Max, and that new content is heading to the platform, including the rumored reboot of Harry Potter.

That’s right: the iconic franchise that already exists as a seven-part book series and eight-part film run (plus a handful of mediocre spin-offs) is to be reimagined yet again, this time as a multi-series TV show on the newly rebranded Max streaming service.

According to Max boss Casey Bloys, this reboot will be a “faithful adaptation” of the original books’ story, will run for “10 consecutive years” – which is slightly at odds with the rumor that it would be a seven-series show (one per book) – and will hit our screens in 2025 or 2026.

But do we really need a Harry Potter reboot? And do we need one now? I don’t think we need one, ever – here's why.

No Time-Turner required 

First, it’s just too soon for a Harry Potter reboot.

The original Harry Potter books trickled out between 1997 and 2007, and the film adaptations were released between 2001 and 2011 (you can check out our guide for how to watch the Harry Potter movies in order). By the time this TV show rolls out, it’ll only have been 15 years since we last saw Harry and his pals doing magic onscreen.

Best Harry Potter movies ranked - Harry, Hermione and Ron

It's too soon to return to Hogwarts, especially with the same old characters and stories (Image credit: Warner Bros)

Reboots are nothing new in Hollywood. In the decade between 2007 and 2017, we saw three separate actors – Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland – don red and blue spandex to play Spider-Man, but at least each Spider-Man story was different from what came before.

Sure, some of the story beats matched – we saw Uncle Ben perish on screen more than once – but Peter Parker was at different places in his life, had formed different relationships, and even faced off against different villains with unique evil schemes.

This Harry Potter reboot, on the other hand, looks set to rehash a lot of what we’re already familiar with onscreen. The films did leave some of the novels’ content on the cutting room floor – we never saw Harry and co smuggle a dragon out of Hogwarts in their first year, and we never met Winky the house elf who inspired Hermione to establish S.P.E.W. – but many of the same beats will be repeated. We’ll see Harry best Tom Riddle with his own basilisk yet again, Cedric Diggory will be unceremoniously murdered a second time during the finale of the Triwizard Tournament, and Voldemort’s evil schemes will be thwarted when Harry reassembles the Deathly Hallows to cheat death as we know he does.

If the films were a few decades old, I could understand rehashing these beats as audiences would be less familiar with how the story goes. Right now, however, I can’t see myself wasting time watching actors go through the same old motions when there’s a surplus of fresh content I could ingest instead.

Wastedous opportunitous 

On that note, one option that’s a better fit, in my mind, would be to further expand on the Wizarding World – though Warner Bros. would have to try a little harder than it has before.

I was pretty darn excited about Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them when it was announced. Still high on the Harry Potter buzz of the early 2010s, I was ready to explore more of the world outside of Hogwarts and the boy wizard with a silly scar.

But rather than an exciting romp focused on discovering the magical monsters of the Wizarding World, we got a generic adventure in which the fantastic beasts felt like an afterthought rather than the main focus. What seemed intended as a major expansion of the franchise instead felt an inch-deep, and basically killed my interest in the world. I’ve not seen either of its sequels, and I don’t ever plan to.

Spinoff series are my favorite way to return to a fictional land. When done right, they can hit the sweet spot of familiar yet fresh. They can even win back disillusioned fans if treated with the appropriate care.

Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian

Grogu (Baby Yoda) from The Mandalorian has helped show that good spinoffs are The Way (Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Just look at Lucasfilm. Its superb animated show Clone Wars has made a whole generation look back on the Star Wars prequels with love rather than disdain. The Mandalorian has made Star Wars exciting again following the rather lackluster sequel trilogy. I was pretty disappointed by The Rise of Skywalker, yet I’m now super hyped to see Daisy Ridley return in an upcoming film about Rey rebuilding the Jedi order – a few years ago, I couldn’t have cared less.

Warner Bros. has had its own spinoff success too. Its Game of Thrones expansion in The House of the Dragon was well received by audiences and critics alike and has helped many of us forget the dissatisfying rushed season eight ending of the original show.

If we're set to return to the Wizarding World, give us something fresh. Let’s explore magic in new cultures, show us more of what the world was like centuries before Harry went to Hogwarts, or give us insight into how wizards fare in our modern Muggle world – technology has progressed a lot from the 1990s when the original books are set.

Or better yet, leave Harry Potter behind and adapt something we’re less familiar with.

Undesirable No. 1 

It’s impossible to ignore the elephant in the room whenever Harry Potter is brought up now. In recent years, author J.K. Rowling has been accused of being transphobic based on her actions and opinions, and many fans’ feelings towards her once-beloved work have soured.

Even for long-time Harry Potter fans, it may be hard to justify buying a ticket to Fantastic Beasts or picking up a copy of Hogwarts Legacy when they know a portion of their money will go to someone whose views they deeply oppose.

So let’s just leave Potter in the past.

Hogwarts Legacy: Two students flying on the backs of Hippogriffs over the Hogwarts lake

Let's fly away from Harry Potter on a Hippogriff, we don't need it anymore (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

There’s no end of novels worthy of being adapted for film or TV. Moreover, there’s no end of coming-of-age stories about young magical misfits.

Off the top of my head, I can think of several suitable books. Midnight for Charlie Bone is an eight-part series about a boy who can magically interact with paintings and photos and goes to an academy to hone his powers. The Shapeshifter series tells the story of a young boy who can turn into a fox and is sent to a school for abnormally gifted young'uns. I’d also love to see Skullduggery Pleasant get a TV show or film – though apparently, Warner Bros.’s first attempt was dreadful, according to author Derek Landy.

Not only would these be fresher ideas for audiences to sink their teeth into, but they’d also be free from the moral dilemma that plagues Potter and its spin-offs.

Unfortunately, Max is almost certainly going to get a Harry Potter reboot instead of any of these alternatives. It’s a shame, but Warner Bros. is likely betting that the recognizable Potter name will help attract people to its rebranded platform – and if the show’s any good, help it rise up the ranks in our best streaming service list. However, I already know I won’t be tuning in when the show drops. I don’t need more Harry Potter in my life, and while it doesn’t realize it yet, Warner Bros. doesn’t either.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.