The Founders of Hogwarts is the Harry Potter Movie that Must Happen Next

September 1st marks the first day of school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Fans know the iconography of the castle and the basic outline of the school’s founders, yet they only know a brief snippet of them. The founding of Hogwarts, the story of how Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff, and Rowena Ravenclaw meet and become friends is the basis for a compelling story in its own right. It is enough material for a movie of its own.

The Harry Potter series is one of the biggest franchises in history. With seven record-breaking books and eight blockbuster films, it made sense that Warner Bros. would want to keep the brand going. There is a whole universe to explore. Warner Bros. officially tapped into this world of stories with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. A sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is due out this autumn with three more sequels planned. If there is any franchise that could rival Disney’s Star Wars brand, it is the Wizarding World.

The Wizarding World as a series is so much more than Harry Potter himself. It is a vast world filled with colorful characters, its own history and internal mythology, and fantastical ideas that we have yet to see. Much like how Disney wants to do spin-off Star Wars films, WB could easily do spin-off films set within the Wizarding World.

One idea that is just waiting to be explored is the story of the Hogwarts Founders. Through the books and Pottermore, we are given a rough outline of their history together as well as details on their personality.

In the vein of the X-Men films, you could start off with a First Class type of story (Hogwarts: First Class, if you will), which would feature the four founders meeting for the first time. Establish them as characters, who they are and how their personality traits will come to influence their respective houses. Put them on an adventure together that establishes them as friends. Unlike First Class, though, you don’t have Salazar leave the school yet. Tease the building of Hogwarts at the end of the film, setting up sequels and having the rift between him and the other founders develop in that film.

Casting is important. The Potter franchise is known for getting some of the biggest British actors of the stage and screen. There are still some high-profile actors that have yet to wield a wand that would be welcome additions to the wizarding world. Casting the key roles was no easy task, but we believe we have found the best of the best.

Godric Gryffindor – Henry Cavill

The books and films tend to highlight the positive notions of the house of Gryffindor, but diving into Gryffindor’s traits should also highlight some more negative aspects of the house to create a solid character arc. The film (or films if this is a series) can start by showing Godric as a reckless and maybe even arrogant wizard. As they go on, they see Gryffindor grow into the more noble figure he’s known as.

The obvious aspect is of Henry Cavill looking like the embodiment of what a lion heart individual would be (I mean, watch him reload his arms in the trailer for Mission: Impossible – Fallout?!). His role in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and brief shots in the DCEU films showcase that Cavill has the charm to bring the legendary wizard to life. Cavill’s history in period programming like The Tudors and fantasy film Stardust show that he is right at home in historical pieces. He has the look, the talent, and the courage to wield the sword of Gryffindor.

Salazar Slytherin – Benedict Cumberbatch

Salazar is one of the more complicated characters. While the films and books have painted him as a traditionally evil man, this story could focus on making the audience understand where Salazar is coming from. Much like Magneto, there is a logic to his thinking. This story takes place in medieval times, and one can imagine those with magical abilities were often murdered and tortured for what they were, like mutants in the X-Men series. The Wizarding community has obviously hidden away from the Muggle World for a reason, so to a small extent they don’t believe in total cohabitation. The film(s) could build from that and maybe push Salazar over a line, one that does become more based out of hatred than care for his people.

Casting Benedict Cumberbatch may seem like a predictable choice at first, but there is a certain logic to casting him. One is that Cumberbatch’s features do seem serpent-like, very cold and pale, much like how the books describe him. Plus, he does share a slight resemblance to the young actors who would go on to play Voldemort, the heir to Slytherin. Still, physical appearance is the least important aspect; what matters is what he could bring to the role. Cumberbatch is an accomplished actor who could give the Slytherin founder a level of depth. All while maintaining a sense of danger to him.

Rowena Ravenclaw – Rebecca Hall

Audiences meet Rowena Ravenclaw’s daughter, Helena Ravenclaw aka the Grey Lady, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, played by Kelly MacDonald. Fans of Potter lore know that Rowena’s story is one of tragedy. Wise, intellectual, artistic with an air of nobility: these words describe Rowena Ravenclaw, but also Rebecca Hall.

Rebecca Hall gave the best performance by an actress in 2017 in a movie that nobody saw: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Hall has been a long-established character actress for years, taking on numerous projects in different genres. The Town, Frost/Nixon, The Prestige, The Gift, and Vicki Christina Barcelona are just a small sample of films that showcase her range. She typically plays characters that find themselves in emotionally very dark places. She has the talent to tackle the complex range of emotions this character will have to experience.

Helga Hufflepuff – Hayley Atwell

Hufflepuff as a house is often joked about for taking in everyone. That quality tells us something about the Hufflepuff founder. Unlike the other houses, Helga didn’t honor just one or two key character traits. She was a warm welcoming person who accepted everybody. She was a warm, friendly person who wanted to make sure everyone could be included. That even ties back into the Ashwood wand which is common among Hufflepuffs. This open-mindedness could put her in perfect opposition to Salazar’s exclusivity.

When it comes to casting Helga Hufflepuff, the actress that stood out was Hayley Atwell. Most audiences know her as Peggy Carter from Captain America: The First Avenger and her spin-off series Agent Carter. She might be associated with being a tough no-nonsense action hero (which is certainly an element they could bring into Helga as the sweet yet fierce witch), but one underappreciated element of her work on Agent Carter was the warmth she brought to the character. There was a sense of comfort and a wicked sense of humor. One that the Hufflepuff house leader (the most laid back of the houses) would need among the quartet.

These four performers side by side would create a great ensemble that could build a franchise. A story that could explore a more ancient side to the Wizarding World. See where the Wizarding World might have been ahead of the muggle world. Where the true origins of the barriers between the two began. Allow the filmmakers to make a more traditional period piece mixed in with a modern action fantasy blockbuster.

This spin-off could be just the beginning. If Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them could be a movie, why not Quidditch Through the Ages as a sports movie? Or even adapt subplots from the books that the movies either had to trim for time or omit entirely. A series focusing on the Maurders would sure be interesting. It would be nice to see the friendship of James, Sirius, Lupin, and Pettigrew. Feature James’ blossoming relationship with Lily and explore a young Severus Snape. The fanbase would eat it up, but it would also help bring new viewers into this world.

While some might be hesitant about the box-office validity of a Harry Potter spin-off when a Star Wars spin-off like Solo: A Star Wars Story underperformed (not a flop – it made the amount of money one would expect for the very niche audience that wanted a Han Solo movie), there is a sharp difference that allows Harry Potter to work.

Part of the issue with doing spin-offs of Star Wars is that they are courting a generation of fans who grew up on the expanded universe material. That attachment leads to resentment when it was tossed out. Nobody reasonably thought Disney would ever actually do straight adaptations. They didn’t spend $4 billion to do adaptations of what is essentially licensed fan-fiction. They’ve drawn from the material and been inspired by it, but have wanted to make a new path not restrained by those previous stories. This has led to some slight divide between fans with each new Disney installment. Harry Potter, on the other hand, started out as a series of books to begin with, so nothing is being tossed out. There is enough room left to be explored by the filmmakers.

With Wizarding World now a major part of Universal Studios theme parks, combined with the fact that Harry Potter is becoming an institution with each passing year, this is a franchise that audiences will want to keep exploring. Warner Bros. will want to expand the IP. What better way to continue after Fantastic Beasts by finally telling the full story of the four founders and the origins of Hogwarts, one of the most important aspects of the franchise?

Like our casting choices? Beg to differ with ones of your own? Let us know in the comments below!