The Harry Potter books have been adapted in several different ways over the past two decades, receiving movies based on Harry’s story, a spinoff series of prequel films, and even a stage play. However, while fans have created and revamped songs based on their interest in J.K. Rowling’s magical tale, the books have never been turned into an official musical.
Apparently, they could have been.
Pop icon Michael Jackson once approached Rowling with ideas for a musical iteration of her story. She recounted the pitch during a 2020 interview with Oprah Winfrey, where she offered some insight into why she turned him down.
Winfrey questioned whether Rowling was hesitant about expanding the Harry Potter universe too much, and judging by her stance on the possibility of a Harry Potter musical, the author wanted to be strategic about what she said yes to.
A Harry Potter musical?
“Were you reluctant to increase the empire?” Winfrey asked Rowling in the interview. “Meaning the theme parks, the doll figures. I mean, there is an entire Potter universe. Anything you can imagine in the world, it’s been Potterized.”
“I can only say to you, it could be so much worse,” Rowling replied. “Michael Jackson wanted to do the musical. I said no to a lot of things. I have a say. For me, I love the films, I love the books, and there are elements that are really fun around it.”
Sadly, she didn’t dive into specifics when it came to Jackson’s pitch. However, it seems her approach to “Potterizing” things depends heavily on whether it’s something she feels right about — and gets say in.
She’s certainly greenlit plenty of expansions of the franchise, including the Wizarding World theme parks and the Fantastic Beasts series. It’s a shame we’ll never get to see Harry and his friends in a musical number — though I suppose that’s what StarKid is here for.