“Are there any wizards out there? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?” No, PopWatchers, I’m not the one asking, Hollywood is. You’d think that the smashing debut of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this past weekend would have studio suits launching high fives across conference-room tables Tinseltown-wide. But not so fast.
Here’s the problem: The successful premiere of yet another HP movie means that the series is getting closer and closer to its finale. And no fantastic family-film franchise has emerged to pick up the slack once Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows leaves theaters (probably in 2010). Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events was supposed to be the big savior, of course, but that movie disappointed a few years back with a $118.6 million domestic gross, and followup films seem unlikely. How unfortunate!
So Hollywood is starting to sweat. Studios are jamming the pipeline with all sorts of possible HP heirs. In recent weeks, the rights to Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series and P.B. Kerr’s Children of the Lamp books have been snapped up by producers, and Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson said that they’re going to turn the classic Tintin comics into a string of animated features. There’s also a film adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles due next February. But will any of them work? I mean, would you go see a Tintin movie now that you’re like, not 11 years old anymore? And what other series do you think movie execs should be considering?