The highly anticipated epilogue to the entire Harry Potter franchise will exist on a stage in London's West End, and now, it's been confirmed, in two separate parts. According to J.K. Rowling herself, the play -- set to debut at the Palace Theatre in summer of 2016 -- will be split due to its grand scale.
This isn't a new concept to fans of young adult film franchises: both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games use this device for their two final films, due to the complicated, long story that occurs in the final installment of their respective books.
The announcement also went up on the Pottermore app, with more details and some thoughts from the folks behind the scenes. Via Pottermore:
Bafta-winning writer Jack Thorne was elated by the chance to delve deeper into the wizarding world.
‘Obviously I loved it when we decided to tell this story in two parts,’ Jack tells us, ‘because I got to spend more time with the characters and what an honour that has been.
‘It continues to be unbelievable and amazing that I’ve been given this extraordinary chance to bring Harry Potter to the stage. As a fan, who just devoured the books and the films, this couldn’t be more exciting for me.’
No stranger to the stage, Tony and Olivier Award-winning director John Tiffany is excited to take on the project, which is intended to be viewed in two parts on the same day, or within two consecutive nights.
I’ve never worked on anything quite like this before ... Usually in theatre you’re adapting existing material or creating an entirely new play. With 'The Cursed Child' we have been given the unique opportunity to explore some of the most cherished books and beloved characters ever written, yet work with J.K. Rowling to tell a story from that world that no one yet knows – it’s exhilarating.
It shares a scale and ambition with all the Harry Potter stories so in order to do this justice we have decided to present the play in two parts.
Granted, both Thorne and Tiffany realize just how important this story is to Harry Potter fans across the world. "I’m so constantly aware of respecting the previous seven stories," said Thorne. "I hope people love this play like they loved the books. Everything we do is with that in mind."
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to debut in London in summer of 2016.