King has the last laugh after fallout with Rowling


The Harry Potter franchise has become a global phenomenon over the past couple of decades, making author JK Rowling an extremely rich woman.

The decision to adapt her books into movies has proved to be hugely lucrative, with the film series generating billions of dollars at the box office.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II stands head and shoulders above the rest, registering $1.34 billion to become the highest-grossing film adaptation of all-time.

According to a recent study by Betway, The Philosopher’s Stone and The Deathly Hallows I also make it into the top 10.

However, while Harry Potter has made Rowling wealthy beyond her wildest dreams, it appears that Hollywood has not done justice to the series.

A quick look at review site IMDb highlights that point to perfection, with none of the films featuring amongst the highest rated film adaptations of books.

The Deathly Hallows and The Prisoner of Azkaban each received a 7.9 rating, with the rest of the series all recording lower scores.

Quite why the movies have failed to find favour with filmgoers is unclear, although it has been suggested that they do not stick closely enough to the books.

Rowling’s controversial tweets about the transgender community have probably had an impact, particularly amongst people who found comfort in the story of an ‘outsider’ finding peace.

Her comments caused outrage amongst fans, while stars including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Eddie Redmayne spoke out against her.

The issue subsequently generated tension between Rowling and Stephen King, with the Harry Potter author left with egg on her face after interactions on social media.

King retweeted a message sent by Rowling in June 2020 where she said that ‘it isn’t hateful for women speak about their own experiences, nor do they deserve shaming for doing so.’

The Harry Potter author followed up with another tweet containing gushing praise for King, thanking him for seemingly supporting her views.

King was quickly asked by a follower about his opinion on the trans community and responded by saying that ‘trans women are women.’ Rowling soon deleted her tweet supporting him.

The tension between the pair remains, with King recently admitting that Rowling had blocked him on social media following the disagreement.

King appeared to be non-plussed by the fallout, and can probably take solace in the fact that his more diverse outlook on life is viewed positively by film fans.

The film adaptation of his novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption has become firmly established as a modern-day classic, despite initially flopping at the box office.

Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption took just $16 million at the box office during its initial run.

The figure rose to just over $58m after it was re-released, but it has since gained iconic status as one of the best films ever made.

Its 9.3 review rating on IMDb is testament to how popular it has become, and probably rankles just a little with Rowling despite the size of her bank balance.

Tech Digest Correspondent