Nearly three decades after its original release, the 1986 cult classic "Troll" is spawning an animated film and television titled -- at least until Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling spring into action -- "Troll: The Rise of Harry Potter Jr."
Announced today SC Films International, the 3D-animated feature will be produced by John Carl Buechler, who wrote and directed the original, and Peter Davy. Oscar winner Patricia Arquette is on board as the voice of the witch, with Baxter Bartlett as Harry Potter Jr., the role originated by Noah Hathaway.
In "Troll," the Potter family moves into a new apartment complex where a wicked creature named Torok possesses daughter Wendy. The only one to suspect something's wrong, her brother Harry turns to neighbor Eunice St. Clair (June Lockhart), who's secretly an ancient witch and longtime adversary of Torok. When the possessed Wendy begins transforming the building's tenants into mythical creatures, it's up to Harry to foil the troll's plans.
The animated feature, which will "revisit the world of the wizardry" (ahem) from the original film, is targeted for release in 2017. SC Films hopes to debut the television series sometime next year.
“We are hugely excited by this project," Simon Crowe, CEO of SC Films International, said in a statement. "We see a 3D-animated 'Troll' as having tremendous commercial value and huge appeal for family audiences worldwide.”
Although the announcement devotes two paragraphs emphasizing that "Troll: The Rise of Harry Potter Jr." has nothing to do with that other Harry Potter, Rowling or the blockbuster Warner Bros. franchise, that's unlikely to delay a cease-and-desist letter from the studio's attorneys. Expect "Harry Potter Jr." to be dropped from the title fairly quickly.