What's The Next Big Thing After Harry Potter? Five Franchises Primed To Be The Next Big Multimedia Hit
It seems that after all this time, the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends are truly over. No more books. No more movies. No more dressing up for premiers or waiting for new trailers. Nothing more to get jazzed about. But nature abhors a vacuum. A new series must fill the Harry Potter void (or the soon to end Twilight void if that's more your speed).
But what will it be? Something focused on the young audience that the Harry Potter franchise began with? Or perhaps the new hit series will be try to grab the attention of the adults who fell in love with Hogwarts? Will it be a fantasy crossover or a completely new genre? Read on to find out what upcoming book and movie franchises can fill the Dumbledore shaped hole in your heart.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Time magazine's roustabout nerd writer has put his money where his mouth is and created an engaging and exciting new fantasy series for older teens and adults. A blend of genres with a post-modern take on the Harry Potter landscape. The Magicians follows a young Brooklyn man as he earns admittance to a magical college (Hogwarts with more partying) and discovers that his favorite series of Narnia-esque childhood books are all real.
An overwhelming hit on release, the first sequel is due to be released at the end of 2011. Readers who want to experience a more adult version of the wonder and joy of creating friendships and learning magic will definitely be interested. Genre savvy readers will be especially impressed with the way that Grossman defies expectations and plays with the conventions of modern fantasy.
With the buzz continuing to grow around this new series, readers should expect to see news about a film adaption of the series in the next few months.
A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Having just finished a critically acclaimed first season on HBO and released a much anticipated 5th book, it looks like the Game of Thrones series (aka: A Song of Ice and Fire) is primed to reach a multimedia fever pitch next year. A low-fantasy series, follows a make-believe world filled with political backstabbing, sex, and violence. Inspired more by old European wars than Lord of the Rings, A Game of Thrones mixes realpolitik with dragons and zombies.
The HBO series was already one of the most popular new shows in the premium cable channel's history and it is expected to see ratings soar for its second season as new fans catch up with the DVDs and books. Although it is expensive, the high ratings make it a sure bet viewers will be seeing plenty of AGOT on the TV for the next few years.
With at least two books left in the novel series, the excitement over Martin's fantasy world is sure to continue across multiple platforms. If adult Harry Potter fans are looking to see their sword and sorcery mix it up with The Sopranos, this is the series they should gravitate to.
A Game of Thrones on HBO: the next crossover fantasy hit?
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The popular trilogy of dystopian teen-focused sci-fi novels has big things coming in the next few years: a movie helmed by Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke and the third and final book in the series. The book's workman like prose guides readers through a nightmare world filled with mysteries, cruel tests, puzzles, and adventure. A group of boys (and one girl) are locked into a never ending maze that changes positions every day. They are constantly beset by monsters and most create their own society.
Part Lord of the Flies, part Hunger Games, The Maze Runner is an addicting read that is on course to become a major pop-culture hit. Fans of the Potter series will recognize the indecision and excitement of being thrust into a world you don't understand. More sci-fi than fantasy, The Maze Runner is a welcome change from wizards and vampires.
Matched by Allie Condie
Perhaps the next big book/movie franchise will focus more on the romance aspect. It certainly worked for the Twilight series: introduce a supernatural world and then force the protagonist to choose between two romantic interests. Ally Condie's Matched explores a world in which a (mostly) benevolent dictatorship matches individuals up with the perfect job, the perfect home, and the perfect romantic partner.
It wouldn't be a dystopian novel if our protganist didn't fight against the expectations of the state. Should our beautiful heroine accept the perfect life she is given or risk the wrath of the government and follow her heart?
The novels are scheduled to be released as a trilogy. It's pretty tough to fill three books with a lot of hemming and hawing over who to date, so expect a lot of action and excitement in addition to the mushy parts.
Disney has bought the rights to the novel and plan to make it into a motion picture by 2012.
The Dark Tower by Stephen King
It doesn't get much bigger than this: one of the world's most popular author's seminal works will be adapted by A-list director Ron Howard into a trilogy of movies plus a television series to fill in the story holes between film releases. Javier Bardem is slated to play the title role of Roland, a hard living gun wielding knight traveling through the ruins of a world devastated by war. He'll be joined by people from our world from different time periods: a handicapped civil rights activist from the 60s, a junky from the 80s, and a school boy from the 70s.
Never before has such a mix of mediums been integrated together before. Imagine if your favorite scenes from Harry Potter hadn't been cut for time: instead, you can just flip on NBC and see them play out on the small screen.
Howard is currently looking for a studio to finance the project after their original backer Universal passed on the film, but everyone involves is very confident that production will begin soon.
New Multimedia Sensations, Post Harry Potter
Sequel released this fall
Far in the future
A Game of Thrones
5 of 7 released
Yes, on HBO
The Maze Runner
2 of 3 released
1 of 3 released
The Dark Tower
7 of 7 released
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