This week, the Harry Potter play – Harry Potter and The Cursed Child – got a brand new look, and it's prompted a whole lot of excitement, as well as speculation. It all started when the play's signage at theatres in New York, London, and Melbourne was quietly changed.
If you're thinking that this logo looks familiar, you'd be right. The typography is now in line with the Harry Potter film franchise, which is based on the original illustrations for the books, created by Mary GrandPré. The redesign also included a brand new poster (see more inspirational poster designs here).
Compare the new look (above) to the old one (below). It seems the boy within the snitch is no more. Plus, JK Rowling's name has been added, and the 'parts one and two' disclaimer removed.
So why has a typography change caused so much speculation? First of all, there are rumours that Warner Bros, which owns the rights to the films and the Wizarding World, has bought the rights to the play. This has in turn sparked more rumours that the play could be made into a film (or two, or three).
Back in 2017, JK Rowling said that there was "NO TRUTH" in the rumours about a Cursed Child trilogy. Pottermore, "the digital heart of the Wizarding World", retweeted this tweet yesterday, adding that "there is something exciting coming later on from @CursedChildNYC, but it's not a movie."
There is something exciting coming later on from @CursedChildNYC, but it’s not a movie… https://t.co/iGoKf7cGSOSeptember 5, 2019
JK Rowling also prompted more speculation with her first tweet in several months, which showed a rather ominous image of the Dark Mark, and the tagline: 'Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places'.
Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places #HarryPotter #CursedChild pic.twitter.com/TQb68WtqizSeptember 5, 2019
Last night saw a Harry Potter 'takeover' in New York's Times Square, which could explain the above tweets.
Pottermore has today explained that JK Rowling's words, written by her as the original tagline to the play, are now the play's official tagline. Pottermore says the new designs and tagline mark "a new chapter for Cursed Child". The play is soon to open in San Francisco, Toronto and Hamburg. Pottermore doesn't mention Warner Bros, but the new poster (below) contains the Wizarding World logo.
It's also unlikely to be a coincidence that's there a new book on the making of the play coming out soon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey. And of course, the book features the same Harry Potter logo.
So what's this all about? Is it just about getting the branding for the separate Potter elements in line, ready to become one huge magical (corporate) world? Is a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child film coming soon?
Muggle Net reports the following from an official statement from Cursed Child NYC: "Cursed Child continues to be produced by Sonia Friedman, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions in London, Broadway and all around the world, and there are no plans whatsoever for a movie. WB has always been a valued partner of Cursed Child since it’s [sic] inception. Their role has not changed."
So that's the 'official' line. It also reports that some of the employees of the New York play have now become official WB/AT&T employees, suggesting that Warner Bros has purchased a controlling right in the production.
For now, we'll just go back to looking at JK Rowling's Twitter feed.