In the wake of HBO's adaptation of George R. R. Martin's fantasy novels that inspired eight seasons of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter movie saga star Matthew Lewis believes the seven-book epic penned by author J.K. Rowling would have "translated really well" into a television series.
"I think that it would have actually served really well as a TV series. In the current era of right now, maybe not when it came out, but in the world of Game of Thrones and what HBO was doing, BBC America, all these kind of things — I think it actually would have translated really well," Lewis said at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention. "As we'll probably see with the Lord of the Rings stuff on Amazon. There's so much wealth in the story, in the universe, it would have been nice to see a lot more of the Wizarding World itself."
The former Neville Longbottom actor said a longform television series would also mean exploring other countries and more aspects of the magical world not included in the films.
"It's always alluded to in Fantastic Beasts over here in North America, but there's so much stuff in Eastern Europe that we talked of, vampires, and all the Dark Arts things we never really [saw]. We got a glimpse of it, in the final battle [in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2], like all the different creatures, but we never really got to see a huge amount," Lewis said. "And I thought a TV series might have afforded a little more time for a bit more of the depth that was in the richness that was in the stories. And obviously, so many scenes that we had to lose, whether we didn't get time to shoot them, or we had to cut them out."
One such scene was a tender encounter dropped from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. There Neville visits his permanently hospitalized parents, both driven insane from a curse fired by Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter).
"One of my favorite scenes in the books — which we sadly never got to shoot — was Neville's parents in St. Mungo's Hospital. It was one that we really, really wanted to do, [director] David [Yates] and I really wanted to do it. It meant so much to us both," Lewis said, explaining the four-time Harry Potter director had "a very soft spot for Neville."
"He spent a lot of time with me and worked my character a great deal. I think he really related to Neville a lot and wanted to champion him throughout his films, more so than had been done before," Lewis continued. "And so David used to come to me, repeatedly, over the months, saying, 'We're gonna do it, we've written the scene, we've got it, we're gonna do it, it's gonna be amazing.' Then he'd say, 'We're really trying, we're getting there.' Then he'd say, 'I'm not sure we're gonna have time, we're really pushing it.' And then it was, 'We're just not gonna get there.' I could see how gutted he was, that he was devastated not to get it in, but it just got away from us."
Scrapping that scene meant "having to kind of shoehorn that entire backstory into a 30-second bit in the Room of Requirement."
"So I think with a TV series, we would have had more time to explore that stuff and we would have given a whole lot more inspiration to why characters became what they did, their reasonings behind that, and their motivations," Lewis said. "I think we would have seen it a lot more. Not just for Neville, for all the characters."
Yates next directs his second Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel, the third entry in what is planned as a five-movie series. Warner Bros. has dated that picture November 12, 2021.