Earlier this month, the synopsis for the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was announced. It was the assumption of many that the two-part play would take place in the world of Potter, but was not necessarily going to be about the Boy That Lived, kind of like the upcoming film trilogy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was all the more surprising than when it was revealed that The Cursed Child is all about Potter. But you know who won’t be in the play? Harry Potter, and by that we mean Daniel Radcliffe, the boy/man who played Potter for 10 years and eight movies.
Radcliffe responded to the question of his participation in The Cursed Child at the ceremony where he accepted his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “I’m getting asked a lot, ‘Would you play him?’ and I’m like, ‘No.’ Because I’ve done it. But it would be very weird to see someone else play him,” said Radcliffe.
Well that, as they say, is that. I’m not sure why people would think Radcliffe would reprise playing Harry for both practical and logistical reasons. It’s hard to blame Radcliffe, his work on Potter represents more than a third of his life, so why not get out there and focus on doing something news (like playing Igor in the upcoming Victor Frankenstein). Considering too that the play is supposed to feature a more middle-aged Harry Potter, and the fact that Radcliffe himself is not even 30, The Cursed Child would definitely be a bit of an odd fit for him.
This wouldn’t be the first time that a new actor takes on a popular character at a later age. Among the more famous examples is “Trapper” John McIntyre, who was played on M*A*S*H by Wayne Rogers, but was then portrayed by Pernell Roberts on the drama series Trapper John, M.D., which took place several years after M*A*S*H. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles also comes to mind with Old Indy in the modern-day played by George Hall bookending a story featuring either Sean Patrick Flanery or Corey Carrier as the Young Indy. Harrison Ford, of course, played Indiana Jones in four movies.
So with Radcliffe definitively out, it will be interesting to see who they recruit to play the older Harry Potter. We will have that, and other Cursed Child news as it comes in.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 1 and 2 is expected to hit the London stage sometime next year.