Harry Potter headed for West End in new play produced by JK Rowling

The stage show will centre on Harry's formative years before Hogwarts

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The Independent Culture

A new stage play based on JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is due to open in the West End within two years.

The play, which will be co-produced by Rowling, will tell the story of Harry Potter’s younger years, before he attends Hogwarts.

Rowling will not write the play, but will collaborate with a playwright and serve as a co-producer on the show, the Daily Mail reports.

London and New York producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender are reported to be involved in the production.

Friedman is one of the producers behind current West End hit The Book of Mormon, and one of this year’s most acclaimed plays, Chimerica.

Callender oversaw Tom Hanks in Broadway play Lucky Guy this year, while his previous TV credits include The White Queen and Dancing on the Edge.

Rowling said she had been approached numerous times to adapt her blockbuster series into a stage play. But she told the Daily Mail that the vision put forward by Friedman and Callender was the strongest she had seen.

JK Rowling is due to co-produce the stage show

“[It] was the only one that really made sense to me, and which had the sensitivity, intensity and intimacy I thought appropriate for bringing Harry’s story to the stage,” she said.

“After a year in gestation, it is very exciting to see this project moving onto the next stage.”

It is thought that Warner Bros, the studio behind the Harry Potter films, will be involved in the development of the West End show.

Rowling’s seven-volume Harry Potter series has sold more than 450 million copies since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published in 1997.

Eight films based on the books, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, have made close to $8 billion at the international box office.

In September, it was announced JK Rowling will write a new Harry Potter-inspired film series based on Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Rowling said at the time: “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards, where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.”