LONDON, Eng. – Author J.K. Rowling announced on Wednesday that the newest installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Part I & II, will debut in a two-part book on July 31, 2016. Fans of the series were ecstatic upon learning of the book’s release, as it was originally intended to only appear on stage.
Debuting on Harry Potter’s birthday (July 30th for the uninformed) at the Palace Theatre in London, the play acts as a sequel to Rowling’s seventh book. Unlike its predecessors, the play is a result of a creative collaboration between J.K. Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne, and director John Tiffany.
Set nineteen years in the future, the plot revolves around the life of Harry Potter -now a working-class family man, and has, according to producers, an underlying theme that touches on the “inherent dangers” surrounding the global climate change crisis. “The play serves to make a strong case for the dire need to end our dependency on fossil fuels,” said cast member Paul Thornley, who plays an adult version of Ron in The Cursed Child.
The story’s antagonist, whose identity has yet to be revealed, has harnessed the immense power of fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses and threatens to destroy the Muggle world -and Harry’s legacy, once and for all. “It’s up to Harry to learn how to combine his advanced wizardry with clean energy to save not only himself, but everyone he holds dear,” explained Rowling. Meanwhile, the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
Since Rowling’s 1997 release of the first book in the series, titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the books have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide. In addition to being the best-selling series in world history, the four most recent Harry Potter books broke records for the fastest-selling books in recorded history with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows selling nearly 11 million copies within twenty-four hours of its release in the United States alone.