Twenty four years after the first book was published, Harry Potter might be coming to TV screens for the first time. At the end of January, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that a live-action show is in the early stages of development at HBO Max.

It comes after steam of other popular series were revived by HBO Max.  A reunion to 90’s hit Friends will air on the service in March of this year, while the Game of Thrones universe is being expanded with multiple works in development. HBO original Sex and The City is also receiving an update, with a 10 episode run featuring three of the original four cast members set to start shooting in the coming months.

With rumours circulating of the new series featuring The Boy Who Lived, fans around the world were quick to voice their excitement at the prospect of the next chapter in the HP universe. While no writers or talent have yet been attached to the HBO Max project, Bovada recently dropped odds surrounding the casting of the key role of Harry Potter.

Expanding the Wizarding World

It should be no surprise that HBO are investigating a new Harry Potter series, given the astonishing success of the franchise. The original feature films alone grossed more than $7 billion worldwide. The final installment in the series was released in 2011 and went on to become the third highest grossing film of all time, trailing only Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009). Since then, it has been pushed down the rankings by films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and highly-anticipated Disney works.

Expanding the universe has long been a priority of HBO, Warner Bros. and author J.K. Rowling, who all control the rights to the franchise. Alongside the original eight Harry Potter films, the universe includes three spin-off books, three screenplays, a West End show, a studio set tour, more than twenty video games, a five film Fantastic Beasts prequel series (three of which are in production/development), and two theme park areas at Universal Orlando Resort.

A model of Hogwarts castle from the Harry Potter film series

A model of Hogwarts castle from the Harry Potter film franchise, seen at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter

Despite the monumental success, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Author of the original books, J.K. Rowling, has become a controversial figure after comments about gender and identity polarized fans. The most recent film franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, replaced the actor playing the primary antagonist in the series following abuse allegations. In November 2020, Warner Bros. announced that Mads Mikkelsen would take up the role.

Who will Play Harry Potter in the HBO Max Live-Action Show?

So, who do bookmakers think is next in line to play The Boy Who Lived? Here are the odds at Bovada:

Top Picks

Daniel Radcliffe (+250)

Original actor Daniel Radcliffe is the current favorite to reprise his role almost twenty years after he first donned the lightning scar. Radcliffe played Potter in all eight of the original feature films. Now 31 years old, he has received critical acclaim for his work across stage and screen, and for many fans, there is simply no better person for the job. 

Asa Butterfield (+400)

Another child star, Butterfield is best known for his work in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2007), a role he played at just 10 years old. He has also received critical acclaim for his performance as Otis in Sex Education (2019). Though only 23, Butterfield has already built an impressive resume which ranges from war drama to comedy, and he’s from England, so there would be no need to fake the accent. Lastly, we couldn’t not mention the fact that – according to Butterfield’s Twitter account – his cat’s uncle starred in the original Harry Potter films. No, we’re not joking


Actor Asa Butterfield poses for photographers upon arrival at the Bafta Film Awards, in central London,

Asa Butterfield is a top pick to play Potter

David Mazous (+400)

The only American on this list, Mazous has earned his spot on the list of contenders by proving that he can step into an iconic role and make it his own. Having played Bruce Wayne in 100 episodes of the Batman prequel Gotham from 2014-2019, it’s clear that, at just 19, Mazous can carry a TV show. This, as well as his dark hair and green eyes, make him a great choice. 

Sam Taylor Buck (+400)

This Brit is a favorite because of his physicality and age. Taylor Buck is just 17, but has already impressed audiences in both the Medici (2018) and Good Omens (2019) TV series. Though less well-known than others on this list, Taylor Buck would make a fantastic young Potter – if that’s the direction the HBO Max series goes. 

Slimmer Chances

Dev Patel (+600)

Having rocketed to stardom as the lead of Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Patel is a definite maybe when it comes to playing Potter. We’re withholding judgement because while his acting talent is undeniable, we’re yet to see him perform in a fantasy film. We’ll be watching closely to see how his leading role in medieval fantasy The Green Knight is received – it’s scheduled for release in July 2021.

Dev Patel poses before attending a screening of

Dev Patel is also one to watch

Hugh Dancy (+800)

Another Brit, Dancy is best known for his titular role in the television film, David Copperfield (2000). Since then, he’s worked across stage and screen and was even nominated for an Emmy for his role in Elizabeth I (2005). One thing which might disqualify him from playing Harry Potter, however, is his age. Dancy is 45 years old, so if the show decides to feature a school-aged Potter, he’d be ruled out. 

Best of the Rest

Matt Smith (+800) is worth thinking about too. Smith earned a cult following for his portrayal of the eleventh doctor in the Doctor Who series from 2010-2014, but has more recently received acclaim for his role as Prince Phillip in The Crown (2016-2017). James McAvoy (+1200) and Tom Hiddleston (+1200) could also be in the mix, having both dabbled in the fantasy genre over long, celebrated careers in the industry.  Fans might be keen to see them take on the iconic role, but like Dancy, all three would be ruled out if the series ends up featuring a younger version of Potter. 

What will be the age of the actor playing Harry Potter in the new HBO Max Universe? 

Age of Actor Bovada Odds
13-16 +150
8-12 +210
16-20 +250
20-30 +300
30-40 +600

The odds will change up until the next Harry Potter is cast. Be sure to follow Gamble Online for all the betting latest news from the worlds of entertainment, sports and politics. If you’re ready to bet, head over to Bovada!

Olivia MacLean

Olivia started writing about the casino industry during her first trip to Vegas over a decade ago. She has a life-long love of card games, particularly Texas Hold ‘Em and HORSE. When not working on her poker face, Olivia can be found watching Formula One and UFC.

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