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Read It Before They Screen It: The Next Harry Potter?

Since Warner Bros. is splitting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two parts, this summer's film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince won't quite be the penultimate chapter of the hugely successful series when it hits theaters on July 17th.

(View the trailer here.)

Thus, Hollywood has bought itself a little time to find a successor to the Harry Potter juggernaut — but not much.

In the Los Angeles Times, Rachel Abramowitz (co-author of Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?: The Truth about Female Power in Hollywood) takes a look at the upcoming contenders for the title.

The leading candidate appears to be Tintin.

Sony and Paramount are jointly producing "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn," a 3-D film directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson. The $200-million production is set to be one of the big event movies of 2011 and the first in a planned trilogy.

The Lone Ranger Despite the pedigree of the filmmakers, "Tintin" presents a difficult challenge for both studios: The comic is widely popular abroad but is largely unknown in the U.S.

But wait, there are more:

Sony and Paramount aren't the only Hollywood movie studios that are studying childhood classics and plotting strategy. Others are working on "Yogi Bear," "The Smurfs," "The Lone Ranger" (with Johnny Depp as Tonto) and a live-action adaptation by director M. Night Shyamalan of Nickelodeon's animated series "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

Fess up, readers — how excited are you for the day when the movieplex turns into Saturday morning TV?

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Portland Noir (Akashic Noir)
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  2. Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?: The... Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows...
    Used Hardcover $8.95
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood...
    Used Trade Paper $5.50
  5. The Adventures of Tintin:... New Set Hardcover $165.00

2 Responses to "Read It Before They Screen It: The Next Harry Potter?"

    Chris Tregenza May 28th, 2009 at 1:57 am

    As the man behind TintinMovie.org, I obviously think the Tintin films will be the next big thing.

    It has a huge, well established fan base with a wealth of material and merchandise already available. With two films being made by the two of the biggest film directors, it is going to get a lot of hype and press coverage.

    Unlike Harry Potter though, the Tintin films will need to be good in their own right.

    The HP films are great adaptations of the books but if you haven't read the books, they don't make a great deal of sense or have a lot to recommend them. It is by and large existing HP fans who watch the films.

    Tintin doesn't have such a rabid, uncritical fan base. The two films will have to do more than look pretty and have Tintin in the title to succeed. But with Jackson & Spielberg on the job, Tintin is odds-on favourite to succeed.

    Chris Bolton May 28th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Hey Chris, thanks for weighing in! I'm excited to see the Tintin movies, and crossing my fingers that Spielberg and Jackson can make them work.

    However, I have to disagree on one of your points: I've only finished the first Harry Potter book (started the next two but lost interest in the Scooby Doo plots), yet I've seen, liked, and understood all the HP films. I actually feel that the various directors (after Chris Columbus on the first two) have brought a great deal of style and storytelling brio that (please nobody kill me) just aren't in the books -- especially Alfonso Cuarón in the third one.

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