Media Scrambles to Replace Harry Potter

Despite his ever-changing and perpetually horrible haircut, Daniel Radcliffe managed to secure a place in the hearts of Harry Potter fans across the globe—a place that will not soon be filled with new characters.

MCT/J. Buitendijk

Despite his ever-changing and perpetually horrible haircut, Daniel Radcliffe managed to secure a place in the hearts of Harry Potter fans across the globe—a place that will not soon be filled with new characters.

Megan Freeman, Editor-in-Chief

Since the conclusion of the Harry Potter movie saga earlier this summer, there has been a gaping hole in the teen market. Fans reeled, floundering without any new book or movie franchises to placate them in its absence.

To add to the panic in the young adult entertainment world, the Twilight film series is also coming to a close, with part one of Breaking Dawn hitting theaters this November, and part two a year later.

The media is in a frenzy, trying to fill the void left by those two giants of marketability, and in their panic, they have tried to shove replacements down the public’s throat.  If you pay any attention to the young adult book market, you have probably noticed the trends fluctuating wildly over the past couple of years.

There was a period of time when one could not enter a Barnes and Noble without having to push past a wall of vampire novels and other supernatural romances.  Werewolves were the next fad, followed by fallen angels and magical boarding schools, and then dystopian settings.

Recently, filmmakers have stumbled upon a gem of truth: young adult book series can be stretched out into wildly popular movie franchises. Now, if any book gains popularity with the teen market, off it goes to Hollywood to be transformed into a four-movie-long series that rakes in billions.

A prime example is Suzanne Collins’ series The Hunger Games. Fantastically thrilling and adrenaline pumping, with action and romance in spades, this series has enraptured the press even before they began casting for the movies.

However, a drawback to turning young adult books into movies is that sometimes the consumers reject the finished product. Since the story already has a loyal fanbase, moviemakers better make darn sure they get every detail the same, or they’ll have a mob on their hands.

Remember the movie Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief? Neither does anybody else. Since the movie strayed so far from the book, fans were outraged and the movie, while a success in theaters, turned out to be hated by critics and fans alike.

On the flip side, if a book is not well known when it is made into a movie, consumers will also reject it.  Case in point, I Am Number Four.  Filmmakers predicted that the book series would become a mega-hit, but when they released the movie, they were sorely disappointed.  Instead of generating more interest in the books, the movie actually turned readers off of the series altogether.

The moral of the story is this: there is no replacement for Harry Potter. Maybe, many years from now, a new story will captivate an entire generation of kids for a decade, but for now we should let the quest for the next big hit rest.