Warner Bros. Discovery is in the midst of preparing to undergo some significant alterations. Most particularly regarding streaming. The streaming services HBO Max and Discovery+ are slated to merge and be known as Max. The name, and business strategy in general, have been questioned by many. But a number of the announced projects planned to be released on the platform have gotten buzz.

There has seemed to be an emphasis on crafting new releases from familiar franchises from the Warner Bros. catalog. This endeavor seems to apply to both theatrical projects and ones on television.

'Harry Potter' series greenlit for Max

A new take on the "Harry Potter" novels is in development. The series is likely to be released over an extended period of time, expected to be more than a decade. With an approximate ratio of one season per book. It's unclear if "Deathly Hallows" would receive a two-part treatment, as it did with the 2001-2011 film series. Or if the eventual follow-up book and play, "Cursed Child", is part of the equation.

An official title was not given, quite possibly not having been decided upon yet. Initial indicators are that none of the movie cast will participate in the new television series. Giving weight to the belief that the series will be a complete reboot. Reports had been swirling for several days before the official announcement.

Some had apparently theorized that it would be more of a prequel than a reboot.

Controversial author of the novels J.K. Rowling is also slated to have a creative role. How much or how little remains to be seen. Rowling released a statement saying that she was "looking forward" to being involved.

Reports and rumors also continue to swirl that the studio executives are still itching for at least one more cinematic release.

Evidently in this case with the original cast involved. A number of the unconfirmed reports pointedly zeroed in on Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. Less so on Rupert Grint.

Rowling has accumulated several detractors in recent years

Executives very well may be eager to see the familiar cast members make a comeback, they themselves might be less so.

Some outlets, again unconfirmed, have claimed that they are reluctant to be attached to J.K. Rowling again. Whereas all three once shared a warm relationship with her, it's gotten more complicated as of late. Grint perhaps summed it up best, comparing his relationship with Rowling to that of an aunt and nephew. "I don't necessarily agree with everything my auntie says, but she's still my auntie. It's a tricky one."

The change in feelings towards Rowling stems from her outspoken views on gender and identity. Apparently most especially the notion of doing away with areas or facilities designated for biological women only, giving her experiences as a victim of domestic violence and assault as her reasoning.

For context and full disclosure, this has been a subject of recent pointed political debate in the United Kingdom. A policy similar to apparently concerns Rowling went into effect in Scotland, where she resides, earlier this year. Unintended consequences of which quickly became noticed. Likely playing a role in the downfall of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Rowling has said or been otherwise associated with a number of other contentious comments, including but not limited to the definition of womanhood. At times also taking on something of a combative nature about, which probably hasn't helped.

Some cast members from the "Harry Potter" films and the related "Fantastic Beasts" movies have defended Rowling, including Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and the late Robbie Coltrane.

Actress Evanna Lynch recently went into depth about it in an interview. "I just felt that her character has always been to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society. The problem is that there's a disagreement over who's most vulnerable. I do wish people would just give her more grace and listen to her."

There is a debate over how much it has effected the franchise's popularity

The intense reaction to Rowling's positions has almost certainly had an impact on the popularity of the "Harry Potter" franchise. The amount is less certain. In 2022, "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" failed to meet box office expectations. Onlookers were quick to point to the gender controversy, which may have played some sort of role.

There were other factors to consider as well, such as the movie's competition at the box. Possibly even other controversies. The previous installment, "The Crimes of Grindelwald", received backlash for keeping Johnny Depp in the cast. Depp supporters would later criticize "The Secrets of Dumbledore" for removing him.

But the franchise overall, even with the tensions, has remained a massive money-maker. The Hollywood Reporter recently touched on how Amazon plans to capitalize on its lucrativeness. The record-breaking success of the tie-in video game "Hogwarts Legacy" further illustrates this.

HBO President Casey Bloys was asked about the heated opinions after the new series was announced. "That's a very online conversation, very nuanced and complicated and not something we're going to get into," he said. Bloys would elaborate more on the subject. "Obviously, the "Harry Potter" story is incredibly affirmative and positive about love and self-acceptance. That's our priority - what's on screen."