In a bizarre bit of news hitting just as the Boy Who Lived turns 35, we’re getting another Harry Potter movie—just not the Harry Potter movie most of us were were probably hoping for.
The low-budget fantasy film Troll, directed by John Carl Buechler and released in 1986, followed a young boy named Harry Potter, Jr., as he tried to save his sister who has been possessed by a troll/ancient wizard planning to take over the world. Now, that character is returning in an 3D animated movie called Troll: The Rise of Harry Potter, Jr., according to Wired UK.
The new animated feature will revisit this storyline. Only Harry Potter, Jr., with the help of a magical witch, can save the planet from the clutches of the troll wizard and his evil forces.
"The original Troll film has achieved cult status, and based upon its success we believed that the timing was right to produce an updated 3D animated version for a whole new generation of filmgoers,” Buechler said in a press release. He’ll return to co-produce the new movie, which will be preceded by a TV series. Patricia Arquette has signed on to voice the witch, and Baxter Bartlett will voice Harry Potter, Jr. The film is slated for a 2017 release.
The filmmakers are making an effort to distance themselves from the more famous Harry Potter, as is made clear in a long footnote at the end of the press release:
The reprise of ‘TROLL: The Rise of Harry Potter, Jr.’ has not been prepared, approved or licensed by any entity that created or produced the J.K Rowling series of Harry Potter books or the Warner Bros. series of Harry Potter motion pictures. TROLL: the Movie LLC is not affiliated with J.K.Rowling or Warner Bros nor has this motion picture been endorsed or authorized by J.K.Rowling or Warner Bros. The characters “Harry Potter” and “Harry Potter, Jr.” depicted in TROLL are not related to, or inspired by, the book and film characters of J.K.Rowling and Warner Bros. Harry Potter and Harry Potter, Jr. and his family were characters in the 1986 motion picture 'TROLL' which was independently created and distributed 11 years before J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book was written and published.
Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling have yet to comment. No word on whether Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who made her acting debut playing Jeanette Cooper in the 1986 film, will return for the animated feature.