Potter Redux

Now that the film series is over, what will fill the Harry Potter-shaped hole in your heart?

After all, rumors of Harry’s popularity have not been exaggerated. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part Two shattered box-office records over the weekend, taking in more than $168 million for the highest-grossing opening weekend ever. “Deathly Hallows Part 2 alone accounted for nearly two out of every three tickets sold this weekend,” writes Box Office Mojo.

But now, it’s finally over. (At least until they realized they can make another half-billion dollars with an Origin of Dumbledore movie or something like that.) You don’t just come down off an eight-movie series like that and go back to playing FarmVille on Facebook. What book-to-movie adaptations can Potter fans obsess over in the meantime so they don’t get the jitters? Here, some other Young Adult books in the Hollywood adaptation hopper that have found some cross-over audience with Adult Adults.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part One
Twilight has always been waiting in the wings eager to pick up the Potter pieces. Sure, the world-building isn’t as fantastic and, with a heavy emphasis on a vampire-human-werewolf love triangle, it’s always been aimed more at girls too young to start reading Harlequin novels. But, like, Harry, the Twilight franchise is just about to release the first half of its two-part concluding chapter, with Breaking Dawn—Part One coming out this November. Those who weren’t fans of Harry’s epilogue will be reminded that it could be much, much worse.

Though it’s not a series, Hugo—based on the Caldecott-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret—won over adult audiences through the charming illustrations of writer/artist Brian Selznick. One of his adult fans: Martin Scorsese, who signed on to adapt the film, scheduled to be out late November. And, for the magic-averse, there’s not a witch, wizard, vampire, werewolf, hob-goblin, or minotaur in sight. It is, like Potter, about an orphan, though—one who lives in a train station in 1930’s Paris, which is imbued with its own kind of magic.

The Hunger Games
This is most likely to be Harry’s great successor. Though magic-less, the series of three books is dark, like the later Potter novels, and centers around teens involved in a good-vs-evil war in which adults (and the government) are not always out for their best interests. The story in takes place in a dystopian future society that, each year, sends youths (two from each of the society’s districts) into a battle to the death in order to assert government authority over its people. Signs of obsession have already blossomed, with fans foaming at the mouth for casting announcements. The first installment of the film series is due out in March.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Frodo had his moment in the shire’s son, and now it’s Bilbo’s turn. Peter Jackson returns to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth to direct two films (and a gaggle of dwarves). There’s more than a year before it hits theaters—in December 2012—so if you’re Tolkien fanatic, you might want to make sure you pace your all-consuming passion to last the long haul.

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What’s your Potter replacement? Let me know in the comments.

Twilight photo by: Andrew Cooper © 2011 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

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