Rowling published the piece on 8 July via her Pottermore website to tie in with the current football World Cup. In the form of a gossip piece by the wizarding world's notorious journalist Rita Skeeter, it details a visit by Potter and his family to the Quidditch equivalent in Patagonia. Harry is revealed to be 34, with two children and a few "threads of silver" in his black hair. Working as an Auror for the ministry of magic, he has a mysterious cut on one cheekbone which – it is speculated – might be the result of his work hunting dark wizards.
Speaking in New York to promote his TV series A Young Doctor's Notebook, Radcliffe said he would read the 1,500-word piece but did not expect it to lead to further films. "My inclination is to say 'no' because I don't think it's even a hypothetical at the moment," he told reporters. "What she's written – and I haven't read it yet but I will – I understand it's a very short piece. And he's 10 years older than I am now."
The 24-year-old actor admitted his decision to focus on independent cinema and TV drama rather than blockbuster fare might have been a reaction to an eight-film stint as Potter hailing back to his debut as an 11-year-old in 2001's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. "I think it is connected to Potter, but maybe not in the way everyone thinks," he said. "What it is, I played only one character for such a long time, I think there's a little bit of envy and desire to try as many different things as possible. Now that I'm in that position, I'm trying to while the getting is good."
Film industry observers have been speculating about which studio might own the screen rights to the new Rowling story: Pottermore was a collaboration with Sony until April 2014, but the Potter films were funded by rival Warner Brothers. But fans wanting another glimpse of Hogwarts are more likely to get their wishes when the Rowling-scripted fantasy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives in cinemas for November 2016.
The new film, which Warner Bros and Rowling revealed in September last year, will feature the swashbuckling adventurer Newt Scamander and is set 70 years before the events of Philosopher's Stone. The title is borrowed from the first-year textbook that Potter uses at Hogwarts in the novel. Rowling will write her debut screenplay for the film, which is expected to be the first of a trilogy.
Radcliffe said in October that he would not rule out a cameo in Fantastic Beasts, but felt in his heart that he was unlikely to return as Potter. "I don't think I'm going to be coming back," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "We can't be doing these characters when we're 40, so there has to be a line drawn."
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