‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ to Get a Book Release This Summer

Harry Potter fans have spent a long time wondering if their favorite franchise was ever coming back. After the ending of The Deathly Hallows left the door open for sequels involving Harry’s children, it wasn’t unreasonable to hope for more in the near future. Excitement ran high when Warner Bros. green-lit the spin-off movie for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Themfollowed by the announcement of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage production.

The franchise is officially back in a big way, so it should as no surprise to anyone that soon, The Cursed Child will be released in printed form. J.K. Rowling certainly hasn’t struggled to move units for her various other post-Potter work, but a return the story that made her famous seems only right. The fans haven’t gone anywhere in the years since The Deathly Hallows, and they’re clamoring for all the new Harry Potter their little hearts can handle. With that, here’s what we know about the new book.

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be a “script-book”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling

Source: Pottermore

The Cursed Child won’t be exactly be the novelization many might be hoping for. In short, it’s not being described as “the 8th Harry Potter book.” Instead it’s the “8th Harry Potter story,” a major distinction when you note the difference between the two terms. Scholastic is officially dubbing it the “Rehearsal edition script book,” as the first version of the play by the same name, set to be unveiled on July 30 of this year.

While it’s not immediately obvious what that means for readers, it likely means that we’ll be getting the actual script from the early previews of the stage production. Sometime after the play debuts in London, we’ll get a “Definitive Collector’s Edition,” a version that will include any changes made after previews. It may not be quite the full-on novel we’d all hoped for, but it’s still new Harry Potter nonetheless.

2. The story

Harry Potter - Warner Bros

Source: Warner Bros

We don’t know much about the years in between Harry, Ron, and Hermione vanquishing Voldemort and the ensuing epilogue set in the distant future, and at least for now, that will have to continue. The Cursed Child will focus in on Harry’s role as a parent, and the pressure on his children following in his considerable footsteps. The official synopsis:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

The stage production will be told in two separate parts, while the “script book” will be consolidated into a single edition (a relief for readers to be sure). Also worth noting is the fact that the story will officially be considered canon within the Harry Potter universe.

3. The first new Potter story in almost a decade

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2'

Source: Warner Bros.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows released way back in July 2007, making The Cursed Child our first new story from J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world in nearly 10 years. The play and subsequent script book arrives a full four months before the Fantastic Beasts spin-off movie, combining to make 2016 the biggest year for the franchise across multiple mediums ever. It’s a year of firsts for Rowling as well: The Cursed Child is her first ever stage production, and Fantastic Beasts will represent her debut at penning a screenplay.

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