30 Books That Could Be The Next Harry Potter

Pretenders to the Boy Wizard's crown...

Artemis Fowl

The Book: Eoin Colfer’s fantasy adventure series follows the adventures of 12-year-old Artemis Fowl, a young genius with a tendency to bend the law in order to line his pockets with gold. As Colfer himself describes the series, it’s “ Die Hard with fairies.”

Potter Factor: A wide cast of weird and wonderfully named characters, many of whom sound as though they could have studied at Hogwarts in their younger years (Minerva Paradiso, Aloysius Maguire etc.), as well as a raft of magical elements have lead to Artemis frequently being dubbed the next HP.

Dream Cast: You would expect an unknown to bag the role of Artemis, in the same way Daniel Radcliffe was cast as Harry. We’ll have Daniel Craig as his stoic bodyguard Domovoi Butler and Emma Stone as feisty elf Holly Short.

Directed By: Mark Gatiss did a brilliant job with another misunderstood genius in the form of Sherlock Holmes, and he’d also be comfortable handling the series’ darker elements.

Radcliffe Cameo Potential: Radcliffe pops up as Mulch Diggums, a thieving dwarf with a nasty case of wind…

Skulduggery Pleasant

The Book: Irish playwright Derek Landry’s five book series follows undead wizard detective Skulduggery Pleasant and his partner Stephanie Edgely as they try to prevent an evil sorcerer from unleashing a weapon of mass destruction on the world.

Potter Factor:
Wizarding wars between the forces of good and evil? It could have sprung from the pen of Ms. Rowling herself.

Dream Cast: Michael Fassbender voices skeletal hero Skulduggery with Abigail Breslin as his young assistant Stephanie. As for the wicked sorcerer Nefarian Serpine, we’ll plump for Jason Isaacs, chronically underused throughout the Potter franchise.

Directed By: Alfonso Cuaron’s moody Prisoner Of Azkaban was by far the finest Potter film to date, and the macabre elements of Landry’s series would be right up his alley.

Radcliffe Cameo Potential:
An appearance as Fletcher Renn, an Englishman and the last living teleporter in Pleasant’s world.

Jake The Dreaming

The Book: This one hasn’t actually been released yet, but the buzz surrounding Adam Freeman and Marc Bernadin’s graphic novel is such that it warrants inclusion. The story follows the eponymous Jake, a 10-year-old boy plagued by an inability to stop himself daydreaming. However, he’s not just another ADD-suffering youngster. Jake is a "Dreaming," a person capable of exploring the plane between sleep and wakefulness in which the evil Nocturnus is stealing people’s souls…

Potter Factor:
Jake, like Harry, is an outsider burdened with the unwanted responsibility of saving the world from a terrifyingly powerful antagonist. Bummer.

Dream Cast: We’re actually envisaging this one as an animation, so as to capture the look of the comic. Inevitably, it will likely be presented in 3D…

Directed By:
Imagine what Hayao Miyazaki’s dream-world would look like? We’d very much like to find out.

Radcliffe Cameo Potential:
Hmm, if we’re keeping things animated, there might not be room. Although if Jake were to dream of a young sorcerer…well we’ve got just the man to do the voice!

CHERUB

The Book: The CHERUB books are a series of young spy novels, the acronym referring to a division of the British Secret Service that uses children as intelligence officers. The story follows the recruitment of James Choke, a young lad from a troubled background who becomes one of CHERUB’s star operatives.

Potter Factor: Lets see, ordinary boy arrives at a mysterious institution from a difficult homelife, where he learns a raft of exciting new skills? It’s a non-magical Potter!

Dream Cast:
We’ll need a 13-year-old actor for James, or possibly one a little older given his significant physical presence. Brian Cox plays Dr. Terrence McAfferty, the founder and chairman of CHERUB whilst Zoe Saldana is Meryl Spencer, James’s handler.

Directed By: There’s a distinctly hard edge to the CHERUB series, with violence and sexuality frequently coming to the fore. James’s home life in particular, is no bed of roses. If Shane Meadows ever fancied making a big franchise film, this would be the one for him.

Radcliffe Cameo Potential:
We could see him dropping in as an ex-CHERUB graduate.

The Eyre Affair

The Book: Jasper Fforde’s ceaselessly imaginative novel is set in a parallel version of 1985, where resourceful literary detective Thursday Next must track down a fiendish criminal who specialises in kidnapping characters from the pages of their books.

Potter Factor:
Fforde’s universe is every bit as innovative and surprising as Rowling’s, so much so that he’s written six novels in the series and counting.

Dream Cast:
In our heads the prim but driven Ms Next is Emily Blunt. Meanwhile, Downton Abbey ’s Michelle Dockary plays the captured Jane Eyre.

Directed By:
Charlie Kaufman would be a great pick to bring the metaphysical mayhem to life.

Radcliffe Cameo Potential: Given that the story concerns itself with classic literary characters, Radcliffe could simply reprise his role as Potter!

Mortal Engines

The Book: Philip Reeve’s quartet is set in a dystopian future where the last surviving cities have mobilised themselves and set about consuming each other for fuel. Post-apocalyptic fun for all the family!

Potter Factor: An orphaned teenager finds himself adrift in a frightening new world. Sound familiar?

Dream Cast:
Teenage star Freddie Highmore clings on to adolescence for one more film as orphaned hero Tom Natsworthy.

Directed By:
Peter Jackson was reportedly working on an adaptation before other projects made demands on his time. We can’t think of anyone better for the job!

Radcliffe Cameo Potential:
Radcliffe appears as Chrysler Peavey, a pirate with dreams of becoming a gentleman.

Noughts & Crosses

The Book: Malorie Blackman’s five book series is set in a Britain of deeply entrenched racism, in which the black-skinned majority (known as “crosses”) enjoy dominion over the white-skinned minority (known as “noughts”). Against this backdrop, a Romeo and Juliet style romance begins to flourish between young protagonists Sephy and Callum.

Potter Factor:
Much of the story is set at Heathcroft High, an exclusive school in which the politics between noughts and crosses knock pure-breed / half-blood tensions into a cocked hat.

Dream Cast: Richard Madden and Ony Uhia took the lead roles in The Royal Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed stage adaptation. We’d love to see a movie studio given them the chance instead of bussing in some bigger names from Tinseltown.

Directed By:
Racial tension meets explosive action? Sounds like a Spike Lee joint to us…

Radcliffe Cameo Potential:
A blink and you’ll miss it appearance as a Heathcroft sixth-former.

The Hardy Boys: Operation Phoenix

The Book: Something of an American institution, it’s astounding that the sleuthing brothers have yet to make their way onto the big screen. The action-packed Operation Phoenix story arc would be a good place to start…

Potter Factor: There might not be any fantasy involved, but the “precocious teens take on evildoers” angle is common to both series.

Dream Cast:
Taylor Lautner and Zac Efron would pack theatres with swooning teens as the crime-fighting double act.

Directed By: Martin Campbell’s success with the Bond films would make him an ideal candidate for the Hardys’ blend of action and espionage.

Radcliffe Cameo Potential: The Potter star appears as a snivelling, British snitch.

The Mortal Instruments

The Book: Cassandra Clare taps into the current craze for all things supernatural, with this fantasy trilogy about a magically gifted girl who joins a gang of super-powered teens in a city overrun with werewolves, witches and wizards.

Potter Factor:
We’ll repeat that again: werewolves, witches and wizards…

Dream Cast:
This one is already up and running, with a 2012 release date reportedly on the slate. Whilst author Clare had previously expressed a desire for Emma Stone to play heroine Clary Fray, the role has gone to Priest star Lily Collins.

Directed By: Priest and Legion director Scott Charles Stewart is in the director’s chair. Expect Paul Bettany to be added to the cast forthwith…

Radcliffe Cameo Potential:
He could play one of the magical denizens of the film’s alternate New York. A wizard, perhaps.

Tunnels

The Book: Authorial double-act Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams’ fantasy series follows the adventures of young archaeologist Will Burrows (an apt name if ever there was one) and the hidden world he uncovers beneath London. No, not the tube…

Potter Factor: The first novel was snapped up by publisher Barry Cunningham, the man who first signed J.K. Rowling to Bloomsbury. The boy who lived is now the boy who digs.

Dream Cast:
Will Burrows will be played by a newcomer, with Gary Oldman playing his roguish Uncle Tam. Sirius Black didn’t have enough screentime in our opinion!

Directed By:
Splice director Vincenzo Natali was reportedly attached to a Relativity Media-financed adaptation. We’d like to see him bring his sci-fi sensibilities to the table…

Radcliffe Cameo Potential:
Radcliffe appears as a minor member of Tam’s gang.

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