There will be an eighth 'Harry Potter' book… sort of

In this April 9, 2015 file photo, "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling lights the Empire State Building to mark the launch of her non-profit children's organization Lumos, in New York. Scholastic Inc. announced Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, that a “script book” of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” will be published July 31. The book is a based on the two-part stage collaboration of Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany and arrives just after the play premieres in London July 30. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” premiering July 30, 2016, picks up on stage where the epilogue left off as Harry Potter struggles to balance his career as an Auror, an elite officer that works to apprehend Dark Wizards, with raising a family. That’s right, “The Cursed Child” is a play, not a movie, but digital and print copies of the script will be released on July 31, infamously known as Harry Potter’s birthday.

So far, we only know one thing about the plot: Harry’s youngest son, Albus, is facing some peculiar difficulties because of his father’s past. Based on that short synopsis alone, it seems possible that Albus Potter may have to deal with the fact that his father who was a horcrux for the first 18 years of his life. Of course, I’m sure there’s still no shortage of trouble for kids to get into at Hogwarts, so this “curse” could also stem from something else entirely.

Taking a page from the “Deathly Hallows” playbook, “The Cursed Child” will be a play in two parts. It’s a little strange for a play to turn itself into a two day event, patrons are expected to buy tickets for two separate performances on different evenings if they want the full experience, but if any story can pull it off it’s Harry Potter’s. After all, we’re talking about a fandom whose members have happily paid hundreds of dollars to pretend to be a wizard in a Polish castle.

Despite how little we know at this point, “The Cursed Child” has still managed to stir up a bit of a controversy thanks to the casting of Noma Dumezweni, a black actress who has starred in everything from “A Raisin in the Sun” to “Dr. Who,” as Hermione Granger. While a few nobodies with too much time on their hands made a fuss online about character fidelity, just like they did with Rue in “The Hunger Games” and Finn in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” J.K. Rowling has come out hard in support of Dumezweni.

“Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified,” Rowling wrote on Twitter.

As a longtime fans of the series, it’s nice to see some diversity that wasn’t added until after the fact (a la Rowling’s “Dumbledore was gay the whole time” reveal). Hopefully, this means we can expect a slightly more complex window into the wizarding world now that Harry’s had a chance to leave his life as a muggle behind.


Kimberly Armstrong is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.armstrong@uconn.edu.