Friday, July 15, 2011

The Next "Harry Potter"

Today marks the release of the eighth and final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. And so ends one of the most successful movie franchises of all time.

It's a sad moment for a lot of fans, many of whom grew up watching the Harry Potter films since the first one debuted 10 years ago. I don't feel an emotional attachment to the series. I don't dislike Harry Potter. How could I? I've only seen one of the movies, and I've never read any of the books. I will concede that it bothers me that J.K. Rowling's books have encouraged a generation of children to read. When I was young, I would skip a book and watch the movie adaptation instead. It's just what you did back then. Nowadays, kids read a book and then watch the film it inspired. How sad.

Nevertheless, I feel it is important that this blog says farewell to perhaps the biggest pop culture phenomenon of my lifetime. Since I'm not capable of writing a fitting tribute to Harry Potter, I've invited a friend to sum up what the boy wizard means to him. I do believe you're familiar with his work. Ladies and gentlemen, Will Smith:

Yo, yo, yo! [Editor's note: Yes, I've never actually met Will Smith, but I've always assumed that if I were to have a conversation with him, he'd subconsciously slip into his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air character. I'll let you know if there are any other Fresh Prince references.]

Will Smith here. Shane asked me if I could say a few words about the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, and I couldn't be more delighted. I love the movies, and so do my youngest kids, Jaden and Willow. You know them: Jaden was the star of the blockbuster film The Karate Kid, and Willow likes to whip her hair back and forth.

I read the Harry Potter books to them when they were smaller. We're such big fans, and we know how bittersweet it is that the new movie is out, knowing that it's the last one.

It was the last one, I should say, until I came up with a brilliant idea. I haven't told anyone this, but this seems like the perfect opportunity to announce that I will be producing a remake of the original Harry Potter film. Starring as Harry Potter: my son Jaden! He's only 13, so he is more than capable of carrying a new Harry Potter series for the next decade. He was featured in my film The Pursuit of Happyness, I will co-star with him in an upcoming M. Night Shyamalan movie, and I produced him in The Karate Kid, so I can tell you he has acting talent that is second to none for someone his age. He also appeared in The Day the Earth Stood Still, so his track record with movie remakes speaks for itself.

Joining Jaden in the new Harry Potter movie will be...I Am Legend star Willow Smith! She'll play Hermione. It'll be the perfect way for her to follow up on her role in the proposed Annie reboot I'd produce that could feature music from Jay-Z. (Carlton will make a cameo, dancing to a song that samples Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual"!) [Editor's note: This is a Fresh Prince reference.] So I may ask Jay-Z to do the music for Harry Potter, too. You know what I'm sayin'? Ya know? [Editor's note: Another Fresh Prince reference.]

We'll probably eliminate the role of Ron. It doesn't seem necessary. Jaden as Harry Potter and Willow as Hermione should be powerful enough.

Look for the first, new-and-improved Harry Potter movie to be released in 2014. After that, we'll begin work on the sequel, and maybe even a Star Wars remake that I've been thinking about doing. Jaden would be Luke Skywalker, Willow would be Princess Leia, and Uncle Phil would be Darth Vader. [Editor's note: Yet another Fresh Prince reference.]

So, Harry Potter fans, don't despair. There will be plenty more Harry Potter movies in the years to come. Ya feel me? (Will slaps another person's hand, whips his head back and says, "Psssshhh.") [Editor's note: Yep.]