There`s a trailer currently making the rounds on YouTube for a Harry Potter fan film called Voldemort: Origins Of The Heir.
The funny magic words, spells and monsters provided an entertaining backdrop for the real story of three outcasts who found solace in one another's company. The isolation experienced by Harry, Ron and Hermione, and the petty infighting inside their social circle is the magical ingredient that makes the series truly relatable.
Voldemort was a bit like a prancing Disney villain, flamboyant, theatrical and obsessed with snakes. The guy felt far less threatening than Snape, that sour-faced professor who you were certain had a grudge against you, or Umbridge, terrifying sociopath who`d somehow managed to worm her way into a teaching position with children.
Once Voldemort`s background was revealed, however, he started to become quite interesting. J.K. Rowling could get surprisingly grim when she wanted to, and Voldemort`s origin story is one of incest, rape and self-loathing. But this being Harry Potter’s story, there wasn`t really time to tell the full tale of how the Dark Lord became dark. So Harry Potter fans and filmmakers Gianmaria Pezzato and Stefano Prestia found themselves curious to what happened after Voldemort left Hogwarts, and decided to create their own version of the story.
But the filmmaking duo quickly ran into problems when it came to funding, and last year set up a Kickstarter page, but it was quickly taken down for copyright infringement. Not to be deterred, the duo communicated with Warner Bros directly to resolve the issue. Pezzato told Polygon that they`ve “had a private and confidential discussion with Warner Bros,” who gave them permission to “proceed with the film, in a non profit way, obviously.”
Origins of the Heir follows the heir of Gryffindor, Grisha Mac Laggen, who is hot on the trail of young Voldemort after he frames a house elf for murder. During this timeframe, Voldemort is on a twisted quest for immortality, and is beginning to lose his soul to the dark arts. As much as I normally hate looking into why villains became villains, this one actually sounds pretty interesting. More so than the origin of Fantastic Beasts Dark Lord Grindelwald, anyway.
It`ll be interesting to see the fan reaction to the completed film once it hits YouTube (the current plan is to stream the film for free, circumventing copyright issues). Warner Bros will surely be keeping an eye on the situation, and may end up seeing a new opportunity to expand the wizarding world beyond Fantastic Beasts.