Movie producers are planning a ‘woke’ Harry Potter series that would see a trans woman as the wizard’s mother amid JK Rowling’s gender line
- The reawakened version of Harry Potter is set to shoot in America in June and July
- Many characters will be played by transgender and non-binary actors
- The producers plan to stream the production online as a web series
- However, the producers could be sued by JK Rowling if they use her characters
Movie producers are planning a woke version of the Harry Potter films in which the magical characters will be played by transgender and non-binary actors.
In what will be seen by many as a challenge to JK Rowling, who has come under attack for questioning the claim that trans women are identical to biological women, the filmmakers are seeking a more diverse line-up for the lead roles.
They insist that some of the characters in the new releases – which will be released as “web series” – cannot be played by white actors, including the lead role of James Potter, father of the boy wizard Harry.
According to the casting notes, this role is only open to an actor “of Asian, Black, African, ethnically ambiguous, multiracial, Indigenous, Latino, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, South Asian, Indian, South Asian ancestry. Asian or Pacific Islander”. The producers didn’t specify who they wanted to play Lily Evans, Harry’s mother, but said they wanted a “non-conforming, non-binary transgender woman”.
American film producers plan to release a new Harry Potter movie featuring transgender and non-binary actors. Pictured are original cast members Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who are not involved in this new production
JK Rowling, pictured, is not believed to have given permission to the film’s producers to use her designs which could lead to a lawsuit with Ms Rowling protecting her copyright
Cast sheets for Sirius Black, originally played by Gary Oldman in the film adaptations, call for a non-white actor.
All genders can audition for the role. The project’s creator, TikTok video producer Megan Mckelli said: “We aim to reflect the diversity of the fanbase in its beloved characters, featuring people of color, queer stories and characters from different denominations.”
But the producers, who are based in the US, are almost certain to face a legal battle from Ms Rowling, who allegedly wouldn’t grant them permission to use her characters.
Although the filmmakers wrote their own script, which does not feature Harry – played by Daniel Radliffe in the original films alongside Emma Watson as Hermione Granger and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley – as central character, he is based on the books written by Ms Rowling, who protects her copyright.
His characters such as Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Marlene McKinnon and Dorcas Meadowes will feature in the series, which is to be filmed in the Pacific Northwest region of America in June and July.
Lupine, the producers say, can be played by all genders, but Pettigrew must be played by “a non-conforming, non-binary transgender man.”
It’s not yet known when the series will screen, but Ms Mckelli has hired Los Angeles-based casting agent Hannah Schill.
Ms Rowling, 56, did not respond to requests for comment on the company.