The Harry Potter franchise is set to expand even further as Tom Ascheim, previously President of Warner Bros Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, takes over as head. He will be in direct contact with author J.K. Rowling, agent Neil Blair and James Knight, Chief Creative Officer of the Blair Partnership. His role will also include expanding the Wizarding World although precise details of what form this will take have not yet been announced.
I look forward to going even further in exploring and expanding all of the opportunities we have in this incredible world
“I’ve been an avid Harry Potter fan for years,” said Ascheim. “I’m honoured to now be leading the very talented individuals and teams who have done such a great job in growing this brand and its meaning and value to fans everywhere. I look forward to going even further in exploring and expanding all of the opportunities we have in this incredible world.”
The news follows hints that the magical IP will continue to expand, both in and outside of its theme parks.
“We’re not done,” said Universal Creative’s Senior VP and Chief Creative Officer Thierry Coup, last December. “You think about what has happened with Harry Potter in the past 10 years beyond our theme parks — The Cursed Child, the eight movies, Fantastic Beasts, the mobile game Wizards Unite. The Wizarding World is not resting. It keeps building.”
Growth within Universal theme parks
So far there have been no solid announcements at the form the expansion will take. However it seems likely that Wizarding World lands within the Universal theme parks will grow.
Inside the Magic suggests that Epic Universe at the Universal Orlando Resort may showcase a new Wizarding World “that would include both the Fantastic Beasts franchise as well as Harry Potter. It would not be surprising to see the Harry Potter IP make a return within Epic Universe.”
Meanwhile Warner Bros are set to release Hogwarts Legacy this year, the first open-world role-playing game based on the world of Harry Potter.
Keeping the IP fresh and relevant
“In Harry Potter and the Wizarding World, we have an iconic franchise and characters that have become a beloved part of the lives of millions around the world,” said WarnerMedia chief Ann Sarnoff, reported in Variety.
“This new management of the franchise highlights its enormous importance to Warner Bros. and the myriad opportunities we see for continuing to engage and delight fans of all ages across the globe. I’m excited for Tom to be leading our efforts and look to him and his team to work across the company to discover innovative and creative ways of keeping the Wizarding World fresh and relevant for years to come.”
Ascheim will report directly to Sarnoff. He will also continue his role as President of Warner Bros Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics.