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JK Rowling reveals she never actually wanted to make Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Susan Devaney
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Since the Harry Potter saga came to an end 10 years ago after the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling hasn’t exactly let go of the wonderful wizarding world she created (and neither have we).

As the world’s richest author in 2017, Rowling has written four adult novels, published several short stories, a film script, as well as becoming the takedown queen of Twitter.

But there’s one piece of the saga she really didn’t want to do: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as a musical.  



The play, published in 2016, follows Harry as an overworked father-of-three with a “family legacy” weighing heavily on his youngest son, Albus.

The onstage play by Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany – presented in two parts – is the eighth story in the franchise, and opened at the Palace Theatre in London in 2016.

As it heads across the pond to Broadway, Rowling has revealed a few home truths about its inception.

“Michael Jackson wanted me to go to Neverland and talk about a musical Harry Potter. And I didn't want to do it. No, I genuinely didn't want Harry to go onstage. I didn't want a musical. I felt that I was done,” Rowling said on CBS’s Sunday Morning.

Harry Potter

Sonia Friedman, Jack Thorne, J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Colin Callender attend the press preview of 'Harry Potter & The Cursed Child' at Palace Theatre on July 30, 2016 in London.

"It wasn't until [theatrical producer] Sonia Friedman came to see me to talk to me about the possibility of doing something onstage that I started to think, 'Okay, what you're proposing is something that I could be creatively excited about’.”

Rowling stressed that she’s not motivated by money, but through passion.

“Because to answer your question equally directly, we all know I don't need the money. Life is too short. I only want to do things that I enjoy, or that I think are good or worth doing.”

But she admitted that she’s now really glad she was persuaded to do it, as she really wanted to work with both Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.

“Harry's story, now, I think I'm done. I'm done. I needed to be persuaded to do ’19 years on’ and I'm really glad I was persuaded, because I'm so proud of this play.”



If, like us, you were hoping to see Harry’s son Albus go off to Hogwarts then we have some bad news for you:

“No, we're not going to see Albus's son go to Hogwarts," Rowling confirmed.

“Well, not on my watch. In 100 years' time, I'll come back and haunt the person who does it!

“Just because people want a lot doesn't mean they should have everything that they want. We'll just give them what's good for them.”

And because all true Harry Potter fans are loyal to the bone, #KeepTheSecrets will still remain as it reaches Broadway in April 2018.

You can read the full transcript of the interview here.

Images: Rex Features / Getty

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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