The Harry Potter franchise has branched out into many forms of media, and one pop icon even wanted to make it into a musical: Michael Jackson.
Since the first opus was released in 1997, the Harry potter the franchise has been a staple of pop culture. The series of books, which follows the main character as he learns magic at a witch and wizard boarding school, has spawned many theme park adaptations, spinoffs, and attractions. However, there are still a few mediums that the series has yet to address. One of these mediums is the musical. While there have been several fan-made musicals in the past based on the character, there is no official musical piece yet in the growing catalog of Harry potter media.
Ultimately, there was one celebrity who intended to turn the book series into a musical. During 2010 interview with Oprah, JK Rowling has revealed an interesting anecdote. After being asked if she had ever been reluctant to “increase the empire,” the author mentioned that she had already been approached by Michael Jackson, who gave her a rather unusual speech.
He wanted to develop a musical based on the adventures of Harry Potter. However, she ultimately refused, citing her caution in saying yes to things and how she accepted certain plans, such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, because she knew they would become “amazing”.
While there are no further details on this hypothetical play beyond this interview, it leaves fans wondering what a musical based on Harry potter would have been like, especially with Michael Jackson at the helm. Such an endeavor could probably have been very successful financially, especially since the franchise and the musical artist were popular, but there could have been many good reasons to be wary of the idea.
For example, the concept of turning such a popular franchise into a musical could have ended in disaster no matter who was attached to it. It’s no easy task to turn seven books into one musical feature film without completely changing the source material. There was also the fact that, despite being one of the most iconic musicians of all time, Michael Jackson had no previous experience with musicals on stage. That’s not to say he couldn’t have done a good job with it, but it certainly would have made the task harder to accomplish. We will unfortunately never know if this could have influenced the quality of the product, but it is interesting to think about what could have been.
The Harry potter the franchise finally got a play six years after Rowling’s interview, but not a musical. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premiered at the West End in London on July 30, 2016. It is said to be the official sequel to the books and has received mostly positive reviews since its debut. The play made its way to Broadway two years later.
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